So is everyone with me in saying that the best part of the turkey dinner is the STUFFING??!! Yeah I thought so. Which makes it a little sad for the vegans and gluten free’ers out there to be missing out on such heavenly deliciousness. So….let me help you out, you can thank me later 😉
This recipe features all the savoury flavour of regular stuffing, and enough good carbs (no, nothing that will send your blood sugar soaring, don’t worry!) to give it that comfort food feeling. Throw in a few dried cranberries to complement the poultry type herbs and omg….heaven!! This recipe will feed at least 8 so it will be perfect for your holiday get together.
First you’ll want to roast some cubed butternut squash (timesaving tip: Costco usually sells bagged, cubed butternut squash in the frozen section) until tender but not mushy. I found that on the top rack of my oven at 350 it took about 60-70 minutes (you’ll want to toss them at about the 30 minute mark).
As they are roasting you can start to cook your wild rice and quinoa. Follow the directions on the package, but instead of using plain water, use some stock or broth (and add salt too if your broth is unsalted). Time saving tip: pre-soak your quinoa and wild rice, not only will they cook way faster, they will also be much more nutritious and digestible. If you are making this ahead of time and plan on re-heating to serve, then make sure your wild rice is well cooked.
As you are cooking your grains, saute your onions and celery until golden, then add your minced garlic. Continue to saute until onions have caramelized.
Once grains have finished cooking (drain any excess broth if there is any), combine all ingredients, including chopped herbs, pecans and dried cranberries. Serve immediately, or if serving at a later time simply reheat in the oven, in a roasting pan with a lid, with just a little broth at the bottom (like 1/4-1/3 c) to help keep the wild rice from getting hard.
From my family to yours….Happy Holidays and best wishes for the New Year!!
- 12 c cubed butternut squash (approx one med-large squash)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1.5 c wild rice (optional: pre-soak 6+ hrs to shorten cooking time), cooked with stock/broth instead of water
- 1.5 c quinoa (optional: pre-soak 6+ hrs to shorten cooking time), cooked with stock/broth instead of water
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- ½ c flat parsley, chopped
- ¼-1/3 c fresh sage (more or less, to taste), chopped
- ¼-1/3 c fresh thyme (more or less, to taste), chopped
- ⅔ c chopped pecans
- ⅔ c dried cranberries (look for no sugar added, if possible)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Place chopped squash in large mixing bowl and add 3 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp salt. Toss to coat and add to large roasting dish or parchment lined cookie sheet and roast on top rack until tender but not mushy (about 60-80 minutes), tossing after 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile start cooking wild rice and quinoa according to package, but use broth instead of water and add remaining salt if your broth is unsalted (note: quinoa is much faster to cook so start the wild rice first and when it's about half done then start quinoa if you will be serving this immediately after cooking and want it all to be warm). If you have pre-soaked the grains you may find you have extra liquid left over, simply strain out any extra liquid.
- As the grains cook heat remaining tbsp of oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add chopped onions and celery and saute until soft and beginning to brown slightly. Add garlic and continue to saute, stirring frequently until onions have begun to caramelize.
- When grains and squash are done cooking, combine squash, grains, onions/celery/garlic mixture, herbs, chopped pecans and dried cranberries together and mix thoroughly. Adjust herbs and salt, to taste, and serve immediately.
- If you are preparing this ahead of time, when it comes time to eat you can just warm the stuffing in the oven in a lidded roasting dish (or covered tightly with foil) with enough broth to just cover the bottom of the dish. **If you are planning to be reheating this stuffing be sure that the wild rice is well cooked as it tends to harden a bit in the oven.