Quinoa, Leek & Cherry Stuffing
Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just two weeks away?? Just two weeks!
I don’t know that I’ll be cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year. In all honesty, I have been experimenting with different Turkey Day dishes since September, so I kind have that, “been there, done that, and don’t really need to do it again” feeling. But then again who knows. I’ve been known to change my mind.
Anyway, let’s talk turkey, or in this case, stuffing!
I’ve never really been super excited about stuffing. Don’t get me wrong, I would eat it (because that’s the kind of girl that I am), but for me it was always one of those, “I could take it or leave it” kinda side dishes.
But anytime I would dare mention skipping the stuffing at Thanksgiving dinner my friends and family would look at me like I was crazy. I mean my husband nearly fell off his chair at the mere suggestion.
So I thought to myself, “Since I really don’t want to make a side dish that I don’t want to eat, I better come up with some stuffing that I’ll love!” I mean after all, half the fun of cooking is knowing that you get to eat what you make. (I think that’s why cooking is my favorite form of art. Notice that I don’t paint or play an instrument… nope, I prefer art forms that can be eaten.)
Anyhow, that’s how this stuffing came about and I can honestly say that I love it!
First off it has all of the traditional stuffing flavors; celery, leeks, mushrooms… it’s all in there. But instead of mixing it all with some wet soggy crackers or stale bread, I use clean, simple, light, fluffy, Quinoa! So it makes for a stuffing that doesn’t leave you with a heavy belly.
Plus there are no tricky steps. You just sauté your veggies, add your quinoa and enjoy!
You could easily make this stuffing with whatever veggies and seasonings you use in your traditional stuffing. I would imagine there are a million different ways to adjust this recipe to your taste buds, so if you come up with any thing good, be sure to let me know about it!
Quinoa, Leek & Cherry Stuffing
Yield: Serves 6
- 2 cups of leeks, halved and sliced (about 2 big leeks)
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped up
- 2 cups sliced celery, (about 4 stalks)
- 2 cups of quartered Cremini mushrooms, (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup of dried cherries, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp. of poultry seasoning
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups of cooked quinoa
- 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup of fresh chopped parsley
- The zest of one big, fat orange
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large sauté pan. Add leeks, celery, and garlic and season with some salt and pepper. Sauté for five to seven minutes or until veggies are just tender.
Stir in mushrooms, cherries, poultry seasoning, and another hit of salt and pepper, remember, you want to season as you go. Cook for another four to five minutes or until everything is tender and smelling great.
Toss in quinoa and Parmesan cheese and mix well. Finish off with orange zest and fresh parsley… taste and be sure it doesn’t need any more seasonings.
*If you’re stuffing seems a little dry, just add in some liquid. You could use some of the juice from you’re orange or any kind of broth you have on hand. Enjoy!
Calories: 194; Total Fat: 4.8g; Saturated Fat: 0.9g; Cholesterol: 3mg; Sodium: 103mg; Carbohydrate: 34g; Dietary Fiber: 3.9; Sugars: 12.7; Protein: 6.2g