I think stuffing needs a makeover. Traditional bread stuffing is one of my favorite holiday dishes but it would be nice to have a healthier alternative that I still want to eat. And maybe one that doesn’t put me to sleep after dinner. It’s not the tryptophan in the turkey, it’s all the starch and sugar that makes you want to take a nap. This quinoa yam stuffing is a perfect alternative to bread stuffing. It’s gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian friendly.
Quinoa makes a perfect base for this “stuffing” – it’s still satisfies the starch but has more protein and fiber and a wonderful nutty flavor. Even my meat and potatoes husband likes it. Some diced yam adds sweetness and the kale powers in with nutrients and beautiful color. In the background are those traditional stuffing flavors so it makes a great addition to your holiday feast.
Vegan Thanksgiving Dish
If I’m serving this as a main dish for vegans or vegetarians, I top it with some chopped walnuts and garnish with fresh parsley, thyme and/or sage. The walnuts make it feel more substantial and satisfying.
For some extra umami, (“meaty” flavor”), mushrooms make a great addition. Chop the mushrooms and add to the celery-onion mixture for the last 3-4 minutes of cooking time.
Garbanzo beans can also add some protein as well and won’t add any extra cooking on your part. Drain and rinse a 15 oz can of garbanzos, spread them on an absorbent kitchen towel to dry and stir them in,
How to Cook Quinoa
If you are new to quinoa, I have a video tutorial on How to Cook Quinoa. It is really easy. If you can boil water and set a timer you’ll have no problem! The cooking method is similar to cooking rice but much more fool-proof. Too, sticky, too, dry, too mushy is not really an issue when cooking quinoa, so don’t be intimidated
This dish does well when made a day or two ahead. The flavors will only get better and it is easily reheated on the day of your meal.
To quickly cool the prepared dish, transfer it to a baking sheet and spread it out. This quinoa yam stuffing can be reheated in the microwave uncovered or in the oven, covered with tin foil