Quinoa is a great alternative for the Gluten Free among us. Before I talk about quinoa (keen-wah) some more, let me just give a shout out to the Honey Baked Ham guy who helped me out in November 2010. He read the fear in my eyes and told me, “It’s going to be okay.”
Yeah, it was fine because my friend, L, was there to do the actual cutting of my pre-cooked turkey. I also Skyped earlier in the day with my family. I held up a huge bag of Yukon Golds and was like, “Mommy, what do I do with these?”
But back to quinoa – it’s a seed, not a grain. However, I’ve heard of it referred to sometimes as a “pseudograin,” and it has a mixed reception in the Grain-Free community. Since I am not eating meat presently I’ve embraced quinoa since I love the hearty texture, and the fact that it’s a complete protein. SCORE! I wouldn’t consider it a low-calorie food, though, so I’m still mindful of serving size, but in the grand scheme of things I’m glad quinoa is on my list of “okay to eat” things right now.
Pure quinoa is gluten free – but if you’re purchasing a mix just be careful to verify that it’s certified GF if you need it to be. This stuffing is a great alternative to the usual bread stuffing or its processed GF counterpart. Mommy never actually stuffed the bird when we were growing up – actually, I heard that this practice is frowned upon now as unhygienic. Anyhoo, Mommy always made a glutinous sticky rice we called “stuffing” with Chinese sausage, shitakes, and chestnuts for Thanksgiving. Yum! I wanted to do a quinoa/vegan version this year and this is what I came up with.
I’ve never cooked with fennel before, but I like the licorice-taste it imparts and I just sliced it up (only the bulb, not those pokey things) and went for it. I broth-sauteed this so there is no added oil, but feel free to cook it how you choose. I would definitely recommend, though, that you use red quinoa (it’s prettier) that has been cooked in leftover soup/broth. I’m pretty sure this gives it a tasty boost. I used some roasted carrot soup and some veggie bisque (recipe coming tomorrow) as well as veggie broth. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Fennel Apple Quinoa Stuffing (GF, Vegan)
Serves around 5
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (I used red quinoa cooked in soup/broth – the flavor boost is strongly recommended)
- 1 bulb of fennel, sliced
- 1 green apple, e.g. granny smith
- ½ lb. mushrooms, e.g. baby bella, sliced
- 5 chestnuts (or more/less – your preference)
- Veggie broth, for cooking
- Balsamic vinegar
- Mrs. Dash no salt
- Salt and pepper
In a big pan or wok, bring a splash of veggie broth to state of rowdiness over high heat. Toss in the mushrooms. Add a splash of balsamic, a pinch of Mrs. Dash no salt, and stir. Lower the heat and cover for 2 minutes. Add in the fennel and apple. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, stir and cover again for 1-2 minutes. Add the quinoa in and stir. Season to taste. Drop the chestnuts in and heat everything through.
Other Allergy-Friendly Thanksgiving Food: click here
Please pray that all goes well logistically and we will get the incorporation and banking issues squared away for the target launch date of Dec 10, or sooner.