Wild Rice Stuffing

A classic alternative to bread stuffing, this wild rice dish is a delicious  way to add whole grains to your holiday meal.

A classic alternative to bread stuffing, this wild rice dish is a delicious  way to add whole grains to your holiday meal.

Is your holiday menu planned? Does it include a whole grain? I asked because I’m encouraging a healthier holiday, and for me,  that means   more vegetables, less sugar, and more whole grains.

Let’s face it, most traditional turkey day fare is NOT inclusive of whole grains. With that in mind,  I’ve prepped the perfect side dish to add in! This year, I’m going to substitute bread stuffing with this wild rice stuffing.  Notice how it pops beautiful fall colors thanks to the mix of wild and brown rice, sauted celery, onion and carrots and the garnishes of  pecans and dried cranberries. It’s delicious, satisfying, and gluten free.

It’s still early, but if you’re like me, thoughts of the BIG meal prep are overwhelming.  My solution is to make Wild Rice Stuffing, and my Lower Sugar Sweet Potato Casserole one day ahead of time.  On Thanksgiving, all I have to do is get the bird in the oven, pop my apples in the slow cooker, assemble a tossed salad  and steam the green beans. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Break up your cooking tasks and enjoy Thanksgiving  with friends and family.   Be sure to stay tuned for  my full Thanksgiving meal menu.
A classic alternative to bread stuffing, this rice stuffing adds a whole grain to your holiday menu!

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Wild Rice Stuffing

A classic alternative to bread stuffing, this rice stuffing adds a whole grain to your holiday menu!

A classic alternative to bread stuffing, this wild rice dish is a delicious  way to add whole grains to your holiday meal.

  • Author: Diane Boyd
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

• 2 tablespoons canola oil

• 1 1/2 cups vidalia onions, chopped

• 3 stalks celery, chopped

• 1 cup carrots,matchstick cut

• 1 cup uncooked wild rice

• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

• 1 tablespoon minced garlic

• 1 teaspoon ground sage

• 1 teaspoon salt, divided

• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper,divided

• 4 cups 33% less sodium chicken broth

• 1 cup uncooked long-grain brown rice

• 1/2 cup dried sweeetend cranberries

• 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrots and wild rice. Cook stirring occasionally  until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add butter, garlic, and sage. Look stirring constantly for one minute. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour in chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add brown rice; cover and simmer until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 1 hour.
  4. Remove from heat. Allow to stand 10 minutes. Stir in remaining salt and pepper.
  5. Spoon onto a serving platter and top with dried cranberries and pecans.

Notes

Make the day ahead. Follow directions through step 4. Refrigerate . The following day, reheat just before serving and top with nuts and dried cranberries.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2/3 cup
  • Calories: 260
  • Sugar: 11 grams
  • Sodium: 590mg
  • Fat: 11 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 36 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Cholesterol: 5 mg

Slow Cooker Baked Apples

Slow Cooker Baked Apples

Slow Cooker Baked Apples are a healthy and delicious holiday dessert prepped in only 10 minutes; your slow cooker does the rest!  Let your guest customize the warm fruit dessert with a myriad of topping options such as ice cream, maple syrup, honey, walnut oil,  whipped cream, or cheddar cheese.
I’m a traditionalist, and holidays are filled with time honored classics. But each year I tweek my menu trying to create  a healthier holiday.  What is a ‘healthier holiday’? For me, it’s one with less sugar, more vegetables, more whole grains, and less saturated fat. It’s a  meal that reflects the way I eat everyday day of the year.   This year  I’m stoked about my apple pie makeover  for Thanksgiving dessert: a slow cooker baked  apple with an assortment of toppings for my guests to customize to their liking : walnut oil, maple syrup, ice cream, honey, cheddar cheese, whipped cream. Even befor the toppings, it’s  satisfying for those with a sweet tooth and appropriate for a myriad of deit restrictions/choices/palates including  gluten free and vegan .

Make it  in the slow cooker, so it doesn’t compete for oven time on your busy cooking day. I suggest assembling a toppings bar to allow your guests to  have fun finishing off their own custom baked apples.  Note: Just to be sure you have some leftovers, you might want to add a few more apples to the slow cooker;  they are a great accompaniment to oatmeal and pancakes.

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Slow Cooker Baked Apples

Slow Cooker Baked Apple

Warm apples with cinnamon and ginger are easy to make in the slow cooker, and allow your guest to customize the toppings according to their preferences and dietary restrictions/goals.

  • Author: Diane Boyd
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: slow cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 8 honey crisp apples
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 tablespoons dry old fashioned oats (gluten free varitey for gluten free diets)
  • 4 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 4 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Core apples .
  2. Mix cinnamon, ginger, oats, nuts, raisins and salt in a small prep bowl.
  3. Fill  the apples with spice/nut mix and place in a the bottom of 3 quart slow cooker.
  4. Add water to the bottom of slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours. Serve immediately or keep on warm setting until ready to serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 apple
  • Calories: 130
  • Sugar: 19 grams
  • Sodium: 75 mg
  • Fat: 3 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 0
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1.0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 28 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0
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