By Be Well Health Coach Laura Kraber
Recent research shows that people who practice gratitude experience fewer illnesses, enjoy greater health and feel more loving, optimistic and forgiving. Viewed in this light, Thanksgiving is an essential and important holiday: a national, annual day of gratitude. Without the complexities of gift-giving, religious prayers, or denominational rituals, Thanksgiving merely asks us to give thanks. And to cook and to eat – activities we generally do every day anyways.
As a celiac, I’m grateful that the majority of traditional Thanksgiving foods do not include gluten. The two crucial gluten dishes are, of course, stuffing and pies. You can do yourself a favor and skip the pies (we don’t need the sugar) and focus your efforts instead on making delicious, gluten-free stuffing that is indistinguishable from your old favorite.
Here’s to the holiday that celebrates gratitude and brings friends and family together to cook together and eat together – something we hopefully do more often than once a year.
Gluten Free Stuffing Recipe
Approximately 8 servings
- 1 loaf of gluten free bread, cubed
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced or 2 large leeks, cleaned and chopped
- 3 stalks celery, minced
- 4 – 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 TBLS grass-fed butter
- 3 cups chicken stock or bone broth, warmed on the stove
- 3 TBLS chopped fresh herbs: sage, rosemary and thyme or dried herbs of your choice
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 4 links sausage, chopped
- 6 strips bacon, crumbled
- 1 cup chopped apple
- 1 cup toasted pecans, walnuts or pine nuts
- Toast the bread cubes for 20 – 30 minutes in a 325°F oven on 2 baking sheets, turning once; set aside to cool.
- Sauté the vegetables in butter, stirring frequently; add the chopped fresh herbs toward the end of the cooking (after about 7 minutes). If you’re using sausage or bacon, cook them separately and add them to the vegetables after they are thoroughly cooked.
- Add the toasted bread cubes and stir gently to combine. Add any additional optional ingredients such as chopped fruit and/or nuts. Gradually pour the warm stock over the stuffing and mix gently.
- Transfer the mixture to a large, buttered casserole dish.
- Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake in a 325 °F oven until warm, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and return pan to the oven and bake until golden brown, about five more minutes.
Note: If making stuffing from scratch is not in the plan, a good option is Rudi’s Bakery GF Stuffing which is relatively easy to find and quite tasty.