Stuffing is my favorite Thanksgiving dish. Combined with gravy, it makes everyone’s mouth water, don’t you agree? Since I’m not a turkey eater though, I specialize in making vegetarian stuffing that tastes as rich and savory as any stuffing baked in a turkey.

This year, in honor of “free from” dietary needs, I decided to make my stuffing gluten-free which can be easily accomplished by using corn bread croutons instead of wheat bread. Except corn bread doesn’t stick together since it’s missing wheat’s gluten. The normal solution would be to add eggs but they aren’t vegan and they also don’t add any interesting flavor or texture to the stuffing. Let’s face it, corn bread has to be enhanced or it could be quite boring!

That started me thinking about all the delicious flavors TeeChia Cranberry Apple would bring to a stuffing recipe and the solution was clear. TeeChia’s chia, flax, quinoa, amaranth, ramón and pumpkin seeds would create the perfect texture combined with crispy corn bread croutons, and set the flavor theme for this year’s stuffing.

Wow! I made it last night to make sure it would come out like I want on Thanksgiving and it is fabulous! Now with a little cashew & shitake gravypoured over the top…TOTAL YUM!

I whipped this stuffing up in a half hour or less after sending my husband off to Whole Foods to buy some cornbread stuffing. He brought home a package of Glutino® Cornbread Gluten-Free Stuffing – just what I wanted. House guests kept me busy so I didn’t read the ingredients until this morning as I wrote this blog. So here’s the good news and the bad news.

Glutino® has done a great job of making crispy flavorful cornbread croutons that are absolutely perfect for stuffing. Keep in mind, they use egg whites so they’re not vegan. However, when I looked closely at the ingredient list, I realized that the corn starch they use (why didn’t they use cornmeal?) isn’t organic and thus the Glutino® Corn Bread Stuffing contains GMOs. I was bummed! It was so easy to make – sigh! However, if you want to avoid GMOs for Thanksgiving, you’re going to have to make your own cornbread ahead of time and then crisp up some croutons in the oven. It’s actually a lot easier than you may think and I’ve included a recipe for GMO-free and gluten-free cornbread croutons using Pamela’s® Cornbread & Muffin Mix made with organic cornmeal. I leave it to you to decide for yourself which one you want to serve your family and guests this Thanksgiving.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Pour boiling water over ¾ cup of cranberries and let soak for 10 minutes.
  2. Sauté the diced onions on a low temperature in a large frying pan with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil or butter (not vegan).
  3. When the onions look translucent, add the chopped celery and sauté for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the diced garlic and apples to the sauté and sauté for 3 minutes more.
  5. Chop the veggie patties into small chunks or slice each sausage lengthwise in half and then slice each half so you have 4 long pieces of each sausage. Chop them about ½ inch in length so you have small chunks.
  6. Add the patty or sausage chunks to the onions, celery and apples.
  7. Continue to sauté for 5 -7 minutes. Add more olive oil if needed.
  8. Chop the walnuts or almonds into chunks.
  9. Heat 2 cups of Imagine Vegetable Broth (I prefer low sodium as the cornbread already has salt in it and I can add salt as needed to my own taste preference).
  10. Strain the cranberries and reserve the liquid.
  11. In a large bowl, combine the box of Glutino® Corn Bread Stuffing with 1 cup of TeeChia Cranberry Apple Cereal, the chopped nuts, and the cranberries. If using your own cornbread croutons, add 4 cups.
  12. Add the sautéed veggies and sausages to the bowl.
  13. Mix all the ingredients together well with a large spoon.
  14. Add the heated vegetable broth a little at a time while stirring.
  15. Add 2 tablespoons dried sage or 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh sage and mix thoroughly.
  16. If more moisture is desired, add some of the cranberry water or more vegetable broth but be careful not to make it mushy with too much liquid. You want the cornbread to still have some crispness.
  17. Taste to see if you like the level of the sage and the salt. Adjust to preference.
  18. Grease a 2 quart pan (approximately 7” wide x 11” long) with olive oil or butter (not vegan).
  19. Add the stuffing mixture and pat into a nice shape, filling all the corners of the pan.
  20. Bake for ½ hour at 350º.
  21. Serve with Cashew Shiitake Gravy.

Product Used