Apple, Walnut and Sausage Stuffing

It’s true…

This is the first time I’ve ever made stuffing. I’ve never attempted it as my mother’s stuffing is so damn good and I wouldn’t want to compete with it.

But, I hosted a belated Thanksgiving at my place with my man last weekend and we created a deliciously epic stuffing. I was quite impressed with my skills, and based on the silence of our guests chewing away (and the little leftovers we had), it’s fair to say that everyone enjoyed it!

So, it was a stuffing success! 

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I’m excited to share the recipe with you and hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

I decided to make a stove top stuffing as it takes longer for the turkey to cook and can potentially dry it out a little when cooked inside. I kept hearing mixed reviews on this! Some like it stuffed in the turkey, others prefer separate. How do you make your stuffing? 

I thought about going gluten free on this one, but decided to use an organic french loaf fresh from the bakery. To me, it made sense to go full out and stick to a simple and basic recipe as much as possible. So, it’s not gluten free. But I did use all organic ingredients and a local grass fed sausage. 

You can make this recipe vegan by taking out the sausage and using vegetable broth in place of chicken broth. 

So here’s how I did itโ€ฆ

Apple, Walnut & Sausage Stuffing
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large french loaf with crust on (sliced, then added to food processor to make into 1inch crumbs). You should have approximately 8-10 cups of bread.
  2. Half a stick of butter
  3. 1 large onion, chopped
  4. 4 celery stalks, chopped
  5. 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  6. 1 apple, roughly chopped into 1 inch pieces
  7. 1 1/2 cups cured summer sausage, chopped into 1 inch pieces (optional)
  8. 3 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
  9. 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, stems removed
  10. sea salt and pepper
  11. 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375F and grease a 9x13 pan with 2 tablespoons of butter.
  2. In a large pot, melt the remaining butter over medium-low heat. Once it's melted, add the onion and celery, stirring occasionally, 3-5 minutes.
  3. Once vegetables have softened, add in apple, walnuts and sausage, stirring for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the breadcrumbs, fresh herbs, sea salt and pepper.
  5. Mix until the bread is well incorporated and slightly softened. The bread will be slightly wet but not soggy.
  6. Stir in 1 cup of chicken stock and stir. If the stuffing looks too dry, add in remaining 1/2 cup of stock. (I used all the stock - 1 and 1/2 cups).
  7. Adjust seasonings if necessary and stir once more.
  8. Transfer the stuffing to the prepare pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until top is nice and golden.
  9. Cool, cover with foil and let sit out on the counter.
  10. Once completed cooled off, transfer stuffing to the fridge.
  11. You can leave this in the fridge overnight and cook the next day in the oven at 375 for 15-20 minutes to heat, or I prepared mine in the morning, and just before my guests arrived, I popped it into the oven to heat up. 15-20 minutes should do the trick.
Holistic Wellness https://holisticwellness.ca/
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Dried Plums & Roasted Sweet Potato, Chocolate Heart Healthy Brownies, and the Perfect Cranberry Orange Holiday Mimosa for Meatless Monday

The holidays are among us! More time to spend with friends and family, and lots of time to indulge!! INDULGE??? Now wait a minute….just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean we have to compromise our health! I’ve included some delicious heart healthy recipes, perfect for the holidays that will keep you satisfied and your heart pumping with healthy joy! The common ingredient in these delightful recipes?? Prunes! These wrinkly sweet treats contain high levels of antioxidants and are high in fiber, which has been shown to prevent heart disease! So delight yourself in these healthy meals which will help to ward off the ‘holiday bulge!’

Dried Plums & Roasted Sweet Potato

Ingredients:

4 sweet potatoes

12 prunes

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp cinnamon

freshly ground pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Chop sweet potato into 1 inch prune size cubes (about 4 cups)

3. Place potatoes on a baking sheet with the prunes, coat with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, ginger, cinnamon and pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soft.

*This dish is perfect on top of sauteed greens, such as spinach, kale or swiss chard. Saute greens in 1-2 tbsp olive oil with 1 chopped garlic clove over medium heat until wilted.

Chocolate Heart Healthy Brownies

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 cup unrefined or demerara sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (or for a real antioxidant KICK- use Raw Cacao Powder)

8 dried prunes

1/2 greek style nonfat yogurt

1 cup almond milk

1 tbsp safflower oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

Rind of 1 orange (about 1 1/2 tbsp)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 and grease an 8×8 inch square pan or line with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, sugar & cocoa and set aside.

3. In a food processor or blender, puree prunes, then add yogurt, almond milk, oil, vanilla and orange rind, and blend until smooth. (*It’s very important to completely puree the prunes to a smooth consistency). Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring until well combined.

4. Spoon the very thick batter into the greased pan, spread evenly and bake for 25 minutes or until the brownies spring back when touched.

5. Cool brownies to room temperature before cutting into 20 squares.

Cranberry Orange Holiday Mimosa

Ingredients

7-8 oz. organic cranberry juice

3 oz. organic fresh pressed orange juice

1 750ml bottle of dry champange or white wine. For a non-alcoholic version, use sparkling water

whole cranberries for garnish

Directions:

1. Pour 1-2 oz. each of cranberry and orange juice into 4 champange flutes.

2. Top off with 4-6 oz. of champagne/wine/sparkling water

3. Garnish with whole cranberries

Happy Healthy Meatless Monday!

 

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