Thursday, December 3, 2015

Recipe: Vegan Stuffing

All throughout my childhood, stuffing had always been my favorite Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner dish. I may have also been known in my younger days to cook up a box of Stove Top Stuffing as my dinner, especially if my husband was working the evening shift and wouldn't be home for dinner. I had no issue with enjoying a dinner of stuffing even in the summer months. But then came my diet change and certain things were eliminated.

Stuffing is one of those things that many people don't think about when it comes to being vegan. Even if you omit the sausage (or kidney, liver, etc.), many stuffing recipes still call for chicken stock or the boxed stuffing mixes also have meat /fatflavor. For someone wanting to avoid all animal products for whatever reason, it is difficult to find a good stuffing recipe. 

I had tried a few vegan stuffing recipes over the years but felt that they were too bland. I would end up throwing away the leftovers and considering not making the attempt the following year. This year, I set out to make something that I could actually enjoy. I was able to make this savory stuffing for Thanksgiving this year, and this time my daughter and I finished off all of the leftovers! 

Vegan Stuffing

15 cups Italian or French bread, 1-inch cubed
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1/4 tsp. ground sage
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
3 1/2 c. vegetable broth
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped

1. On baking sheets, toast the cubed bread in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until toasted and crunchy.
2. In a skillet on medium-high heat, heat olive oil and cook the onion and celery, until soft.
3. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes.
4. Add sage, thyme, salt, and pepper to the vegetables and stir until well combined. Turn off heat.
5. In a large bowl, combine toasted bread and vegetables. Add the vegetable broth and mix well until bread is softened and well-coated. If bread is still dry, add a bit more vegetable broth.
6. Add fresh parsley and stir until well combined.
7. Pour contents of bowl into a 9x13 baking dish.
8. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, or until the top begins to turn golden brown.

Note: The vegetables can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Before adding them to the bowl with the bread, heat up in microwave for a minute or two to "loosen up" so that they can be mixed in well.

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