Holiday Quinoa Stuffing

HOLIDAY QUINOA STUFFING

Finally a stuffing recipe that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating and the gluten intolerant will celebrate. This healthy stuffing recipe is a “Complete in 3” food meaning it contains protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates (fibre) which will help keep you full and your blood sugar levels balanced.

The wonderful thing is, it is easier to make than traditional stuffing which busy moms and cooks will appreciate during the often stressful holiday seasons. This is also a great meal prep dish.

I received an email that included this source recipe just before Thanksgiving when I had almost decided not to make a big Thanksgiving dinner. My work and school had been exhausting and my son, who is serving in the military, would not be coming home because he was taking part in an exercise in another country. I was in a funk. However, when I looked at the healthy Thanksgiving recipes in the email, I was inspired to take the stuffing recipe and change it into the flavours my family is accustomed to.
I have a feeling this will become a staple dish at our Christmas and Thanksgiving meals.

I love eating it hot out of the oven, and meal prep it as a casserole to eat as a filling, satisfying lunch during the busy week days in the cold winter months.

HOLIDAY QUINOA STUFFING

PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 50-60 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr. 20 minutes                      
               
INGREDIENTS:
·         1 cup quinoa
·         2 cups chicken broth or water, turkey or vegetable stock.
·         1 large onion, diced
·         400 g fresh mushrooms, sliced (or 6 cups sliced)
·         3 cups chopped celery
·         ¼ cup unsalted butter
·         1/4 cup pine nuts, optional
·         2 garlic cloves, minced
·         ½-1 tsp salt (1 tsp is using Epicure’s Chicken Broth because it contains much less salt than regular brands.)
·         1/4 tsp ground black pepper
·         2-3 tsp poultry seasoning
DIRECTIONS:
1.      Bring water and chicken broth mix to a boil in a medium pot on high heat.
2.      Rinse measured quinoa in a fine mesh sieve.
3.      Add rinsed quinoa to the boiling chicken broth. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until water is absorbed.
4.     Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and set aside to cool.
5.     Sauté chopped onions, celery, mushrooms and garlic in butter several minutes until softened and onions and celery are translucent.
6.     In the frying pan, or a large bowl, combine the sautéed veggies, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and quinoa.
7.    Mix well.
8.    Pack lightly into uncooked turkey. Roast turkey as directed or bake in a covered 2.5-3 qt. casserole for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees.

TIPS TO ALTER IN LIEU OF A DIETARY RESTRICTION:
If you can’t have diary, replace the butter with virgin coconut oil or a healthy oil of your choice.
If you are gluten intolerant or sensitive you might be interested to know that all Epicure Selections spices and food products are gluten free (Canadian company).
Omit nuts in case of nut allergy.

TIPS TO SUB AN INGREDIENT TO ALTER THE RECIPE:
If you use Epicure Selections products, use the Chicken Broth (or Vegetable Broth) to cook the quinoa.
A delicious variation, and what I do, is to substitute the 3rd tsp of the poultry seasoning for Epicure’s Holiday Seasoning.
No quinoa? Or just don’t like it? Use cooked brown rice, and roasted, chopped chicken.
Adding a 1/3 cup of dried cranberries would also be delicious.
TOTAL SERVINGS: 8
TOTAL CALORIES PER SERVING: 186 calories

MACRONUTRIENT BREAKDOWN PER SERVING:
Protein: 6 g
Total Fat: 10 g  
Total Carbohydrate: 20 g            
Dietary Fiber: 3 g     

ADDITIONAL NOTES:
The leftovers make a delicious, healthy lunch that includes muscle building protein and complex carbs.
Quinoa is a staple food and crop grown in South America. Although it doesn’t contain the amount of protein meat does, it is a complete protein meaning it contains all the amino acids. This doesn’t normally happen in the plant world. It also contains fibre, a number of minerals and B-vitamins. 

Quinoa is eaten as a pseudo-grain but it is actually a seed and promoted as being gluten-free. While it is technically gluten-free, some people find its proteins have gluten-like tendencies that irritate their gut after it’s eaten. So if you have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant, you will want to make a note of this and monitor how you respond to eating quinoa.

Do you need to cook gluten free for yourself or someone else? If so, how do you work that around the holidays, traditional recipes and family favourites?


Adapted from: https://blog.livewell360.com/blog/quinoa-turkey-stuffing

The information in my articles is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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