planning a thin thanksgiving: delicious whole-grain stuffing.

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It isn’t thanksgiving without stuffing.  When you think about it though, traditional stuffing really is a bunch of empty calories.  The base is usually white bread, and there’s usually a ton of butter involved.  There’s no reason why stuffing needs to be unhealthy.  This stuffing is made with whole-grain bread, a ton of veggies, a bit of olive oil, spices and some granny smith apple, which gives it an amazing kick and totally balances the flavors.  

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I absolutely love this stuffing just as it is, but if you’d like to use this recipe as a healthy base and personalize it with your favorite stuffing ingredients, I’m sure it would taste wonderful, too.  This recipe is very versatile, and can be adapted so easily.  If you usually add sausage to your stuffing, you could add a bit of lean turkey sausage in with the sauteed vegetables.  If you’re entertaining vegetarians, this is a perfect recipe just as it is, or you could add in some vegetarian sausage (there are some really good ones out there!).  If there are vegans in the crowd, omit the egg whites or replace them with vegan egg-substitute (you could also add in one tbsp. unsweetened applesauce, and cut down on the granny smith apple).  You could top this with a bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese…the possibilities are endless.  This is stuffing is so flavorful, I’m sure you’ll love it as a healthy alternative.

Whole-Grain Stuffing 

12 cups (about 1 lb.) whole-grain rustic bread (baguette, ciabatta or any other country-style loaf), cut into 3/4″ cubes 
3 cups onion, diced (I used a mix of red and yellow onions)
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
8 oz. mushroom (about 4 cups), diced (you can use any mushroom you like; I used a mix of baby bella and shitake)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 1/2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
2 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
salt and pepper
non-stick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350.

Spread the cubed bread on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes.  Remove and set aside.  Turn off the oven.

Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to a large saute pan, and add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Saute over medium heat for 2 minutes, and add in the mushrooms, garlic and rosemary.  Top with additional tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Saute for about 8-10 minutes, until all veggies are very tender and fragrant.  

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In a small bowl, whisk together the broth and egg whites.  Place the toasted bread in a 10″x15″ baking dish that’s been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Pour the broth mixture over the bread, and toss the bread in the broth so that each cube of bread has soaked up some of the broth.  Add in the sauteed vegetable mixture and the cubed granny smith apple.  Toss well.  Season with nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste (I used 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and 1/4 tsp ground black pepper).  Cover the dish with foil and place in the fridge for at least one hour (but this can be left overnight!).  

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375.  Place the covered dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes, until the stuffing is crisp on top.

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2 Comments

  1. Ema says:

    Yummy, it is what was looking for. Delish and can be done a day ahead

  2. tali says:

    Thanks, Ema. It’s really really good!!!

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