For many people, including myself, stuffing, or dressing as it is sometimes called, is one of the highlights of any holiday meal. Countless recipes exist offering different variations of this classic dish; some with vegetables, others with fruit, some relatively plain with only dried bread and spices, others rather elaborate with such things as sausage, meat and oysters. My favorite has always tended to be somewhere in the middle, simple but flavorful, heavier on herbs and spices, than sugar or fat.
The practice of making stuffing is nothing new, and actually has an interesting and far reaching history. The first direct mentions date all the way back to the Romans, specifically a cookbook called Apicius, “De Re Coquinaria,” which included recipes for stuffed chicken and hare, among other things. However, anyone assuming that these recipes called for stuffing as we all know it now — made primarily of seasoned, dried bread — would have been mistaken. Bread, though a common staple in most cultures, was too precious to ever be allowed to go stale or dry out, meaning that it was not allowed to sit around for more than a day or so after it was made. Most likely, even during the time of the first Thanksgiving in America, bread stuffing, delicious as it is, would have been a rarity, if it even existed at all. Instead, recipes calling for vegetables, herbs, spices, nuts and possibly oats, or spelt, would have been the most common. For further insight into how stuffing as we know it came to be, click here.
For any of our readers who are vegetarian, our version of stuffing can be enjoyed regardless of whether a turkey is on your Thanksgiving menu or not, standing in as a wonderful side dish on its own.
To make the stuffing you will need:
Apple Cranberry Stuffing:
- 4 slices each, “Food for Life Brown Rice Bread” and “Udi’s Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium sized yellow onion, diced
- 4 sticks celery, finely chopped
- 1 large apple (gala or Fuji works best), chopped
- 4 Tbsp. cranberry sauce
- 1 tsp. Himalaya salt
- 1 tsp. dried rosemary
- 2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 cup organic free range chicken broth
Toast the bread on a cookie sheet in the oven until lightly golden brown and crispy, but not burned. Remove from the oven, cut into small cubes, and set aside.
In a frying pan, heat 1-1/2 tsp. of coconut oil, add the onions and garlic, cooking until fragrant and translucent. Add the celery and apple to the onion garlic mixture, along with the spices and salt, cooking for a further 5 minutes, than add the chicken broth.
Turn the heat down to medium, and cook until the apple is soft.
In an oven proof dish, mix the onion/celery/apple mixture with the dried bread cubes, and 4 Tbsp. of cranberry sauce. Any favorite cranberry sauce will work, the recipe for ours can be found here.
Bake in a 350° F/180°C oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
Serve warm and enjoy. This recipe makes enough for 4 good sized helpings, or 6 smaller ones.
We are sure that this recipe will shortly become a favorite on your holiday table as it is on ours.