This year, my friend and I cooked Thanksgiving dinner together and she was kind enough to make her stuffing without bread for me, and it was fantastic! What's great about having friends who understand that your choices are yours and that they don't need to follow them if they don't want to is that they can eventually also see how easy it is to just avoid certain foods. I didn't even really mention it to her, but she said “well, I can just make the stuffing and leave out the bread for yours.” YES! Exactly! I can enjoy all of the same flavors and stuffing awesomeness without the digestive discomfort and brain fog I used to experience with a grain-based version.
I don't think the recipe itself is highly calculated, just whatever proportions you find tasty will be just fine.
Grain-Free Sausage & Apple Stuffing / Dressing
Yield: Approximately 6 servings.
Click here for estimated nutrition facts.
(this really is all okay to make by-taste, all measurements here are approximate)
- 1 lb ground sausage meat (I used pork but you can use another kind if you prefer)
- 1 Tbsp butter or bacon fat
- 1 onion, chopped into 1/2″ pieces (medium-large)
- 3 stalks of celery, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
- 2 green apples, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
- 4-6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- Sea salt & pepper to taste
- 1c chestnuts, roughly chopped (buy them pre-cooked or roast and shell them first- Trader Joe's and Whole Foods usually carry these)
- 1/4c dried cranberries (or fresh if you like 'em tart- I used fresh)
- 1/4c homemade chicken or turkey stock
Note: If you can't find a good quality sausage in a store, you can make it by simply adding the following spices to 1lb of ground pork or chicken before browning it: 1Tbsp garlic powder, 1Tbsp onion powder, 1Tbsp paprika, 1Tbsp ground fennel seed, 1tsp ground black pepper, 1tsp sea salt, dash of cayenne, 3 or so leaves of chopped fresh sage.
Brown the sausage then remove from the pan and set aside.
Sautée the onion, celery, apples and seasoning in either the remaining sausage fat or add some to the pan.
Add the chestnuts (already roasted or bought pre-roasted from TJs), cranberries and stock and simmer together until well heated and the cranberries either hydrate a bit (if dried) or cook down and pop (if fresh).
Add the sausage back in to combine all of the ingredients.
That's really it. You can then set it up in a pan and brown it in the oven a bit, or serve it as is.