A Gluten Free, Grain Free, Soy Free Thanksgiving – The Stuffing


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Exciting news…I tried to make stuffing last night…and it WORKED!  Yay!!!!!  Most of my recipes are super simple and few ingredients.  This one pushes that limit a bit, but it’s still easy to make (if you can access the Paleo bread, see below).

NEW!  You can now order our stuffing mix kit, complete with the recipe (and it’s nut-free, too!)  Order at this link for just $10: Grain Free Stuffing Mix

Julian bread 11.26.13Side note about the bread I’m use in the recipe below:  Earlier this year, I was trying to find an acceptable bread to recommend.  As you might know from my other posts, “gluten free” breads that are grain based (contain rice, soy, quinoa, teff, sorghum, millet, or other grain flours) I don’t consider as safe for Celiacs or the gluten sensitive to consume (read my story here to understand why).  I had heard quite a bit about the Paleo bread from Julian’s. I found it at the local natural grocery store (Raisin Rack in Columbus, Ohio), and the manager said they sold a lot of it.  There are two types; one made with an almond/coconut flour combined, and one with a coconut flour base.  I personally paid $8.99/loaf for these (ordering online required air shipping, making my total order for two loaves well over $30).

Long story short, I purchased the bread and wanted to try it as a variety of things:  sandwich bread, grilled cheese, garlic bread, French toast, etc.  My mouth watered at the thought.  I was certainly convinced from all of their Facebook “Likes” that they offered a great product!

I’m not sure if people are just desperate for bread, but it was completely – not good.  It was dry and had a terrible aftertaste and a texture that left a lot to be desired.  My daughter and I tried to work through each loaf ($20 for bread!) in all ways I had been savoring, to no avail.  Each way I tried seemed worse (grilled cheese, French toast, sandwich…anything??)  It was dry, made me cough, and the taste was really bad.

So why bring this up now?  I had about 3/4 loaf left from that trial, and it wound up in the freezer.  I had made a mental note that maybe it could be used for stuffing.  Now was the time to try!  And…it finally found its purpose!  Yes!  The Julian bread was not a total disaster…it made great stuffing!  So if you are looking for a shortcut and easier recipe, hurry to your local nature store and grab a loaf.

Here is what you will need:

Ingredients

  • One stuffing mix kit OR One loaf of Julian bread (either type, available on their website or at Earthfare or Raisin Rack; if you cannot get this in time, just google “paleo bread recipe” and there are several to choose from)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 stick butter (For Paleo or dairy-free: substitute coconut oil or Ghee + sea salt )
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2-3 cloves of fresh minced garlic
  • 1 cup diced/chopped celery
  • Herb Mix:  Get our savory sausage seasoning packet here (included in the stuffing mix kit, or $4.50 for just the packet)
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 medium apple (Granny Smith or Gala preferred)

Tools

  • Medium to large dutch oven
  • Large casserole baking dish (grease well with softened butter)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Food chopper
  • Large cookie sheet
  • Safe utensils (Cooking spoon and spatula)

First, saute together:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped into tiny pieces
  • 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced (remember – no shortcuts here – don’t use garlic in a jar! It likely has gluten or soy!)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped into small pieces

Saute the above together until the veggies are soft and transparent, usually 4-5 minutes.  To that, add:

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 package of our GGF Gourmet Savory Sausage Seasoning
  • Additional herb mix: 1 teaspoon each of sage and thyme
  • 1 seasonal apple, chopped (I prefer Granny Smith or Gala for flavor)

Cook everything together over medium heat until the pork is browned and cooked through, but not overdone, like this:

Saute the stuffing 11.26.13

While the mixture is simmering, preheat the oven to 300 degrees, and then you can chop the Paleo bread into cubes (just remember to turn off the burner when the pork and vegetables are fully cooked).  It’s easiest to cut the bread when it is frozen (this bread should never be fully thawed or even kept in the refrigerator); I broke off part of it and sliced it from the top down.

Cut the Julian bread when frozen 11.26.13

After I cut the 3/4 loaf into cubes, I measured to see how many cups I had.  The 3/4 loaf provided almost eight cups.  You could choose to save about two cups for future use (refreeze) or go ahead and use it for the stuffing.

I laid out the cubes like this, and then added about 5-6 Tablespoons of melted butter to coat the cubes:

Cubed Bread 11.26.13

I then placed the pan in the preheated oven for ten minutes.  After the first ten minutes, I stirred the cubes to ensure they were evenly coated with the butter, and did that three more times until they were adequately toasted (about 45 minutes).

Once the cubes are toasted, you will want to raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Remove the toasted bread cubes from the oven, and add them to the pan with the sauteed vegetables and pork.  Then, whisk together:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Add the egg mixture to the pan and combine everything together, coating the bread pieces as much as possible.  Lay everything in the buttered baking dish and add chunks of butter (see picture) and cover it with aluminum foil.  

buttered stuffing

Bake for about 30 minutes covered (at 350 degrees).  Remove the foil cover and place under broiler on low for 10-15 minutes (this will allow it to become crispy).

Stuffing, complete, pretty simple, and delicious! Enjoy!

Stuffing 11.26.13Final stuffing 11.26.13

Let me know if you try this recipe, and how well it came out for you!

~Jen of the GGF Gourmet

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