I've been eating this stuffing every day for the past week. No complaining here, but I believe in the marathon world, that's what they call carb loading. And trust me, I've got no marathon coming up.
For years I can remember every Thanksgiving I always skipped the stuffing. Partly because a lot of times it came right of a turkey's hiney and that just scared me...But more so because the thought of eating carbs was even scarier. I remember loading my plate with the cool-whip salad, because cool-whip had like no calories so that was a safe option right? Then of coarse I would have some salad, a handful of olives...and then I'd be totally depressed because I wanted to eat all the good food so I would give in and scarf down on my grandma's funeral potatoes topped with potato chips.
I've grown through the years and learned to enjoy Thanksgiving meals without obsessing over the calories, the carbs, and the everything else. I now do my best to fill up on greens, veggies, and fruits that day and if I want to give in and enjoy that chocolate cake...I will! But if I get one too many sparkling apple ciders in me, watch out funeral potatoes...You are all mine!
Yet now more than ever I've grown to realize the importance of how my attitude towards food reflects the children I'm raising. I don't want them to fear the food I once did, but I also want them to respect their bodies and what they put into it. Which is why it's perfectly healthy to eat some of those carbs on Thanksgiving. Or maybe you are looking forward to some warm and fruity pie. It's not an everyday occasion, which is why it's meant to be enjoyed while spending time with the ones you love. As long as you don't grab the whole baking dish of your grandma's funeral potatoes and tell everyone to "Back the He!! away from you", then by all means...
1 recipe homemade cornbread (optional recipe below)
1 loaf stale whole wheat/grain bread-not the sandwich kind
3 TB. coconut oil
3 shallots diced
3 stalks celery
4-5 garlic cloves diced
3-4 c. vegetable stock
1-2 TB. fresh thyme chopped
1-2 TB. fresh rosemary chopped
1-2 TB. fresh sage chopped
1/3 c. dried cranberries
optional: 1/2 c. pine nuts
sprinkle of salt & pepper
Ingredients for Cornbread:
4 TB. melted coconut oil, plus more for pan
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 c. yellow cornmeal
1 TB. baking power
1 tsp. salt
1 c. non dairy milk mixed with 1 tsp. vinegar-makes a 'buttermilk'
1/4 c. honey
Directions: (for cornbread)
1. To make cornbread, grease a small square pan and preheat oven to 425.
2. In a medium bowl mix flour, cornmeal, BP, and salt. In a separate bowl whisk eggs together. Then whisk in buttermilk, honey, and melted coconut oil to the eggs.
3. Whisk together wet and dry ingredients until incorporated. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until done. let cool and then remove cornbread from pan.
Directions: (for stuffing)
1.Once cornbread is done and cooled, chop cornbread into cubes. It will crumble a little, that's ok. Place cornbread cubes/crumbs onto baking sheet and set aside. Cut and cube stale bread, should be about 4 or so cups (maybe more). Spread that bread on a separate baking sheet. Place cornbread tray and bread tray in a 350 degree oven for 7-8 minutes. Remove trays, toss bread, and place back in oven for another 7-8 minutes. If you bread is super stale, you can remove it earlier just so it doesn't turn into burnt toast! :) Once its cooked, add bread to a large (9x13) baking dish.
2. In a stove top pan, melt your coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add your shallots and celery. Toss and cook until they become translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add in garlic and cook another 2 or so minutes. Next throw in your herbs, 1/2 c. of the veggie stock, and dried cranberries. Stir then turn off heat.
3. Grab your bread dish. Spoon herb mixture over bread crumbs and toss to coat. Then using a measuring cup, slowly add in the rest of the stock. Start with 1/2 c. increments, and add enough until bread is completely moistened. You don't want it to be super wet, like mushy. You also don't want it to be super dry. Toss bread as you add liquid, you may not need all of the stock. The cornbread will also start to crumble, that's ok! If you want to add pine nuts, go ahead and fold those into the bread as well.
4. Place in the oven for about 35-45 minutes.
Want to know the best part about this stuffing...
It didn't come from the Turkey's hiney.