Who doesn’t enjoy eating stuffing at Thanksgiving dinner? After all, it’s one of the few dishes on the table that we only indulge in once a year on turkey day, making it impossible to resist especially with a little gravy poured over top!
Several years ago, I made the best stuffing I’d ever tasted. It was so good everyone at the table loved it even though it was gluten free. Unfortunately, I didn’t save the recipe, but I remember making it with chesnuts, sausage and veggies. I used real whole chesnuts and steamed them to remove the shells – a challenge for sure, but well worth the delicious reward.
It reminded me of many years ago when my sister and I were given the job of shucking oysters for our family’s Thanksgiving turkey stuffing. My dad always insisted that we have oyster dressing for our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. That year, my mom couldn’t find oysters that were already out of their shell, and so we were given the job of shucking them without the proper tools or knowledge (this was before the internet and laptops). It was a labor of love. Because my dad was in the snack food business, he also insisted that sourdough hard pretzels were in the stuffing with the oysters instead of oyster crackers. It wasn’t bad, but it’s not a tradition that I wanted to continue!
What are some of your funny or favorite Thanksgiving memories? Leave me a note below in the comment section so we can get giddy about it
Now, if you are eating gluten free or simply want a healthier version of stuffing that won’t make your belly pop and pants dig in (gluten is one of the biggest triggers for a bloated belly ), here’s a gluten free version of mom’s stove top stuffing or dad’s pretzel oyster stuffing.
Note: this recipe can be made vegan simply by eliminating the sausage.
Gluten Free Stove Top Stuffing
2 turnips, peeled and cut into cubes about 1/2 inch in size
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into rounds
6 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
1 pound pork or turkey sausage, chopped (or can use plain ground pork)
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bulb fennel, cut in half and sliced into thin strips
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock (broth)
2 sprigs fresh sage leaves, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1 sprig fresh thyme leaves,
2 tablespoons chopped fresh curly parsley as garnish
fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400. Melt coconut oil in a small skillet. Half will be used to roast the root vegetables and the other half to cook the sausage mushroom mixture. Toss the carrots, turnips and parsnips with two tablespoons of oil. Pull thyme leaves off the stems and sprinkle over the root vegetables. Toss to coat and place in the oven. Cook for 40 minutes, until soft and beginning to brown, stirring several times.
Place one tablespoon coconut oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and fennel. Cook over medium high heat for five minutes until starting to brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Add more coconut oil to the pan and then the mushrooms. Cook for three minutes then add the chopped sage and garlic. Stir, cooking until mushrooms begin to brown. Remove mushrooms from pan and add stock and sausage. Cook for 15 minutes or sausage is cooked through. If there is too much liquid, drain or cook uncovered until the stock is mostly reduced. In a large serving dish, toss the roasted root vegetables and mushrooms with the sausage mixture. Season with salt and pepper, adjusting seasoning as you like it. Garnish with finely chopped fresh parsley.
NOTE: this stuffing does not go inside the cavity of the turkey