We have had snow and freezing temperatures this week. I love this recipe in winter. It is warming, savory, and very filling. The perfect thing to make on a “snow” day when life is slow and cozy. Fresh thyme can be purchased from most grocery stores anytime of year. It is a crucial ingredient in this dish. This casserole is elegant enough for a dinner party and also works well if you need to deliver a nourishing meal to a friend.
Root Vegetable and Thyme Spiral Casserole
The juice from one can of chopped pineapple (3/4 cup)
Pineapple from one can or 1 cup of chopped apples
1 cup of apple juice
1 pinch of freshly ground coriander seeds
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
2 tsp of fresh thyme leaves
3 TBSP of butter or a substitute
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let sit while you prep the vegetables.
2 large parsnips or carrots , peeled and sliced into 1/8 inch rounds
3-6 sweet potatoes or yams (choose ones that are about the same diameter as your parsnips). You will need about 3 cups total after slicing.
Salt and pepper to taste
Place your cut vegetables, spices and oil into a large bowl and use use your hands to toss and evenly coat the vegetables.
Line a springform pan with parchment paper and oil.
Arrange the vegetables in a spiral pattern around the inside of the pan, stacking as you go.
Pour 1/2-3/4 cup of marinade over your vegetables
ALTERNATIVE-Replace marinade liquid with 1 and 1/2 cups of coconut or macadamian nut cream for a creamier/richer option.
Bake one hour at 400 degrees
Every 30 minutes add more marinade
Thymus is a member of the very large Labiatae/mint family. As one would expect it has several volatile oils that contribute to its smell and properties. Thymol and carvacrol are both antibacterial and anti-fungal. Thyme soothes inflammation and promotes tissue repair. Topically it cleans out infected wounds. A bath, liniment, or massage that contains thyme may help with rheumatism, shingles, warts, insect bites, staph infection, athlete’s foot, ringworm, lice, scabies, candida/yeast, dandruff, sore muscles, arthritis, neuralgia, bruises, sprains, injuries, sciatica, and large cuts. Internally this plant is known for its ability to “warm” various organs. It supports the immune system and increases circulation. It dries, loosens and clears phlegm. Thyme has been used to treat coughs, sinus infections, fever, bronchitis, the flu, headaches, gas, colic, diarrhea, poor appetite, indigestion, and viral infections. As an antiseptic mouth wash, thyme has been used to treat sore throat, laryngitis, bad breath, sores, and gum disease.
Thymus has a woody square stem, Depending on the variety it can grow from 1-10 inches high and often takes on a shrub like appearance. Some types creep and make good ground cover between pavers. The tiny white, pink or lilac flowers can be arranged in clusters around segments of the stem or only at the tips. Like other members of the mint family, the flowers petals are fused into a two lipped funnel. Its numerous small, flat, leaves are a bright, grey or dark green color. They have an ovate to lanceolate shape which rolls slightly on the edges. Some cultivars like lemon thyme are varigated (bi-colored). This easy to grow plant prefers dry soil and full sun.
Parts used: leaves and flowers
Energetics:pungent, bitter, warm, dry
Element:fire and water
Spiritual and Emotional Uses: For courage and strength over the long haul
Contraindications:Pregnancy, thyroid issues. Avoid in large doses or longterm use. The essential oil should never be used internally. Use with caution externally as it can irritate skin and sensitive tissues.