[Perfect Bread-Free Stuffing is vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, yeast-free, and low glycemic. Suitable for all stages on an anti-candida diet.]
Remember this (extra points if you identify the author)?
In my beginning is my end. In succession
Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended,
Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place
Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass.
Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires,
Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth . . . .
Those of us who
suffered through endured tolerated studied Modern American Poetry in university might remember that stanza from The Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot. What do I remember about that poem? (A) It frustrated and infuriated me because I couldn’t “get” most of it; (B) I frustrated and infuriated my professor by pointing out that “T. Eliot” backwards spells “toilet”; and (C) That darned first line. . . . in my beginning is my end? Really? I remember pondering (and pondering, and pondering): HOW can the beginning be the end? The beginning and end of WHAT? What does it all mean? Why is this guy famous? How will this poem ever have relevance to my “real life”. . . ??
Well, dear readers, I now have the answer to that last question, as that day has finally arrived. Why? Because today, I bring you the beginning. Except it’s the end–sort of.
Let me go back to the beginning–er, end–of the story.
With our Canadian Thanksgiving happening a while back, I decided to try out a new kind of stuffing, one without bread. (Radical, I know.). Who says stuffing needs to contain bread? When I’m off of flours (as I am now), I go for whole grains instead. You can, of course, grind them up when you crave “flour-like product” (say for pancakes); but the whole grain is really tasty on its own, and so much healthier. And ever since the close of the Candida Kick-Start a couple of weeks ago, I decided to continue more or less on Stage One of the diet, as a kind of precaution against the repercussions of stress (did I mention that my final book edits were due this week?). I find that, for me, taking a break from flours, or even grains entirely, once in a while makes a huge difference in how I feel and whether or not my candida symptoms manifest themselves.
After checking out a bunch of recipes online and not finding one I liked, I went with what had been my original idea and just threw together a bunch of ingredients with cooked rice. The result was simple yet delicious, baked in a casserole dish and served alongside baked squash and Festive Roast (which has become my new “go-to” holiday main course now that I’ve moved on from the darling of previous years, Vegan Tortière). The HH and I both enjoyed it immensely, but I hadn’t really measured ingredients and ended up with a lot of leftovers. Enter my Squash and Stuffing Burgers–the “end” of the recipe sequence–which I posted last week.
Well, I couldn’t have predicted the overwhelming response to those burgers! Thank you all for the comments on Facebook, Instagram and twitter about them. Y’all sure did love the leftover idea! But several of you asked for the stuffing recipe so that you could create the same burger that I did.
Today, I’m going back to that stuffing beginning so that you can all reproduce the burgers exactly as depicted, if you so choose. And next post, I’ll talk a little more about the difference between flours and grains, and why you might go for one over the other.
And so: In my beginning is my end. In my burger is my stuffing.
Enjoy them both.
Looking for more Thanksgiving recipes? Here’s my roundup of 75+ Healthy, Whole Foods, Gluten-Free & Vegan Recipes.
Perfect Bread-Free Stuffing
Feel free to take this basic stuffing recipe and adapt it to your own needs and preferences: if you prefer to use other herbs, go ahead an replace the ones lists with equal amounts of something else. You could also switch up the nuts for walnuts, chopped almonds, or even pumpkin or sunflower seeds. I’ve also made this with added cranberries, which is lovely, too (use about 1/2 cup or 120 ml for this recipe).
2 cups (480 ml) vegetable broth or stock
1 cup (240 ml) brown basmati rice
2 stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots, grated
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) chopped fresh sage (I like a lot; use less if you’re not a fan)
1/4 tsp (1 ml) dried thyme
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) dried marjoram
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) sweet paprika
1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp (1 ml) fine sea salt, or more, to taste
1/2 cup ( g) lightly toasted pecan pieces or halves
1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh or oven dried cranberries, optional
Bring the 2 cups (480 ml) broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the rice, lower heat and cover the pot. Cook undisturbed for 15 minutes, then check to see if all the liquid has been absorbed. If it hasn’t, replace the cover and continue cook another 5-10 minutes before checking, until the liquid is evaporated and the rice is soft. Alternately, if the liquid is absorbed before the rice is entirely cooked, add a little more broth or water, replace the cover, and cook another 5-10 minutes before checking again. Once the rice is ready, turn off the heat and set it aside.
Meanwhile, in a large frypan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the celery, carrot and onion; sauté for 5-8 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another 2 minutes or so. Add the 1/2 cup (120 ml) broth, lower the heat to medium-low, and cover the pan. Cook until the liquid is almost entirely absorbed and the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients to the pan and stir well to coat everything. Use immediately, or place in a casserole dish and heat for another 15-25 minutes at 350F (180C) until the top begins to brown and crisp, if desired. Can also be used to stuff squash, zucchini, baked potatoes, or for these burgers.
Suitable for: ACD All stages, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, yeast-free, vegan, low glycemic.
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