Sunday, November 23, 2014

80--- Vegetable-Loaded One Dish Stuffing

I received a phone call from a news reporter this week asking if I had tips for people for a healthier Thanksgiving.

I told her that I usually tell my patients to simply enjoy the holiday, because no one day of indulgence will throw off a healthy lifestyle.  

She said "Ummmm, okay, but what if people want to make healthier foods?"

So I relented.  I half-heartedly told her to tell people to mash up some cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes and add more veggies to their stuffing.

The conversation made me realize that people may very well be nervous about overindulging in the Thanksgiving meal and may want to make healthier choices.

So I took my own advice and made a veggie-loaded stuffing.  The result is lower-carb, higher fiber, lower glycemic index, more colorful, and just as tasty as the original.

Vegetable-Loaded One Dish Stuffing
Serves 8-10

1 red onion, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup chopped butternut squash
10 oz chopped cauliflower
8 oz fresh mushrooms, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried thyme
3 cups vegetable broth, divided
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
8 cups whole grain bread cubes, dried

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large oven-safe stoneware pot heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add fennel, thyme, and garlic and saute until fragrant.  Add remaining vegetables, stir to distribute oil, then cover and cook for 5-7 minutes or until slightly softened. Add 2 cups broth, white wine, salt, pepper, and sage.  Cover and bring liquid to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.

Stir in bread cubes and gently fold until bread is moistened.  Pour remaining 1 cup of broth over the mixture.  Cover pot and place into the oven.  Bake for 20 minutes, then remove lid and bake for additional 20 minutes, or until top of stuffing is slightly crisp, but liquid has been absorbed.

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly prior to serving.

Nutrition Info per ~3/4 cup:  158 calories, 6 g fat, 6 g protein, 15 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber

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