Love these challenges. Didn't get this recipe entered in time, but I thought it was good enough to post. Would be a great alternative to those marshmallow covered Sweet Potatoes.
I originally made this with sliced veggies and apples (trying to be "fancy"), but it was difficult to serve, so I changed it to cubes. I will make it again and post a picture of the corrected casserole.
Note: Place cream cheese and butter in the freezer for at least 1 hour or overnight for ease of shredding.
Preheat oven to 375°. Spray a 3-4 qt casserole with cooking spray. Zest and juice the orange and reserve.
Peel Rutabaga and chop into 3/4" dice. Place in small microwaveable bowl with 1 or 2 Tbsp water, cover with plastic wrap and steam on high for a few minutes until almost tender and drain. Peel sweet potato and chop into 3/4" dice.
Leave apple unpeeled, core and chop into 3/4" dice.
Toss veggies and apple together in a medium bowl and sprinkle with some of the orange juice to prevent discoloring.
In a small bowl, place the remaining orange juice, OJ concentrate, 1 tsp orange zest, salt, water and cornstarch and mix well.
Remove cream cheese and butter from freezer and shred on the coarse holes of a grater onto a sheet of waxed paper.
In the prepared casserole, place a layer of veggie cubes, a pinch of salt (if desired), then a layer of shredded cream cheese mixture. Repeat layers with remaining ingredients.
Stir the sauce again if the cornstarch has settled, and pour over veggies in the casserole. Set aside.
Melt butter in a 2 cup microwaveable container. Add crumbs, nutmeg, brown sugar, and 1 tsp orange zest. Mix together well. Add pecans, mix and sprinkle topping over the veggies.
Bake, covered with foil for a total of approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove foil for last 30 minutes or so of baking to allow to brown. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Garnish with a slice of orange and some mint sprigs.