What do you think of when you think of “stuffing”? I grew up in New Orleans, and some of my most memorable dishes were: stuffed artichokes, stuffed peppers, stuffed merlitons, and stuffed turkey. Interestingly, though, although the artichokes and merlitons were a “bread-based” stuffing, the peppers and turkey were a meat-based stuffing. For the turkey stuffing specifically, my sweet Italian grandmother made an oyster and sausage stuffing. Honestly, as a child, I never really took to her oyster/sausage stuffing very well (no offense grandma), but I grew up thinking that was just what turkey stuffing was.
It wasn’t until I married into my husband’s Texas family did I discover “cornbread” stuffing. Oh, I thought I had died and gone to heaven! My wonderful mother-in-law made such a delicious cornbread stuffing, which I eventually learned how to make myself and my family now knows no better, like I knew no better growing up with oyster and sausage stuffing.
But, like most things in life……change happens. It’s time to move on from the cornbread dressing (sorry Nana). Not because it is no longer delicious, but anything made with corn now “goes against the grain,” for so many reasons, especially the fact that most corn products are made from GMO corn. In addition, corn is not friendly for blood sugar control. And with a meal that can already be heavy in carbohydrates, I now choose to forgo corn and choose much safer carbohydrates.
So, here is a delicious “Grain-Free” stuffing recipe by Danielle Walker of “Against All Grain.” The recipe is below, but you might want to actually go to her website to check out her full recipes with images, and read her readers comments below it. There are some special preparation suggestions when it comes to using the ingredients, so just be warned, and ENJOY!
For the Bread:
- 2-1/2 cups almond flour (made from blanched almonds with skin removed)
- 8 ounces farmers cheese (dripped yogurt* or thick greek yogurt will work too)
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or butter
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup water (leave out if using undripped yogurt)
- 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, chopped (rosemary, parsley, or thyme)
For the Stuffing:
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks (leaves included), chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 sprigs parsley, chopped
- 1 sprig rosemary, chopped
- 2 sprigs thyme, chopped
- 2 sage leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, chopped
- 1/2 pound sweet italian sausage
- 1 medium fuji apple, chopped with skin on
- 6 cups bread cubes
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth
- 1-1/4 cups turkey stock
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 7 tablespoons salted butter
- Combine all bread ingredients (except for the flour and water) in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the flour and water and pulse until dough is combined. Dough will be a very sticky consistency.
- Grease a 9×9 pan and put a rectangular piece of parchment paper at the bottom. This will help the loaf come out easily. Spread a little more oil on top of the parchment piece.
- Fold the dough into pan and even it out with a spautla.
- Bake at 325 degrees for about 35 minutes. Careful to not let the top burn.
- While the bread is baking, saute the celery, onions, garlic, sausage, apples, herbs and mushrooms in 1 tablespoon olive oil for about 15 minutes. Add the vermouth and bring to a boil. Remove from heat while you wait for the loaf to bake and cool.
- Once the bread has cooled, slice it in half lengthwise to make two thin loaves. Next slice it into 1/2 inch strips and then across those cuts to make small cubes.
- Coat with 5 tbsp melted butter. Place on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for 30 minutes on 300° turning occasionally. The bread should come out golden brown and slightly dry.
- Toss the bread crumbs with the sauteed mixture, eggs, salt and pepper, and turkey stock.
- Transfer stuffing to a well buttered baking dish and sprinkle the additional 2 tablespoons of butter on top. Cover with foil, and bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes until top is golden.
Tip : make the bread and toast it a couple of days before and store the toasted cubes in a ziplock. You can also saute the mixture the night before Thanksgiving and then put it all together right before baking.
* dripped yogurt: use a yogurt strainer to drain the excess water overnight
Other Thanksgiving Day Courses: