Healthy Thanksgiving Stuffing

For some reason, this year while living in North Dakota I’ve been really excited about Thanksgiving. I think it’s the cold weather. When living in Texas, it would sometimes still be 60 degrees in November & December. Now that I’m in North Dakota and it started getting cold in September, all I’ve been thinking about is Thanksgiving & Christmas! I’ve been so excited that I started planning our Thanksgiving & Christmas menu in the beginning of October. As you can guess, I’m pumped that the holidays are next week!!!  I’m obviously making a healthy Thanksgiving meal this year and one of the biggest culprits of extra holiday calories is Thanksgiving Stuffing. The cardboard Stouffer’s boxed stuffing is full of sodium and calories. Plus, it’s not nearly as good as the homemade stuff. I found this recipe & we instantly fell in love with it. It tastes just like the stuffing that my mom used to make except I know it’s full of quinoa & whole grain bread, foods that won’t spike my blood sugar quite as much as traditional cornbread.

In case you don’t know, quinoa is a superfood. It’s one of only two grains that’s also a complete protein. Typically, only meat has all 8 essential amino acids, but quinoa also has all 8. That means whenever you eat quinoa you’re getting all of your essential amino acids with less bad fat (saturated fat).  That’s definitely a win-win situation!

Healthy Thanksgiving Quinoa Stuffing

thanksgivingStuffingIngredients
1 cup quinoa
2-1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
1 yellow onion, diced
1 rib celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
olive oil
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 slices dried or toasted whole grain bread, cubed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1-1/2 to 2 cups vegetable broth

In a medium saucepan, simmer quinoa in 2 ¼ cups vegetable broth and bay leaves until done; about 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Preheat oven to 375. Sauté onions, celery & garlic in olive oil until almost soft. Add mushrooms and heat a few more minutes, until onions are clear and mushrooms are soft. Add thyme, sage, salt & pepper, sitrring quickly just to lightly coat & toast the spices. Reduce heat to low and add cubed bread and nuts, stirring to combine well. Add vegetable broth until bread is well moistened. Add quinoa and gently toss to combine. Transfer to a casserole or baking dish & bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes.

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