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Tasty Paleo and Vegetarian Stuffing Recipes

By LUZ PLAZA

When was the last time you went to a gathering and there wasn't at least one person who was vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or Paleo? Whether you are planning to join your family or friends for Thanksgiving dinner, I would bet someone will have some sort of dietary restriction.

The great thing about a Thanksgiving meal is that most of it is "modular" and folks can pick and choose what to put on their plate. The turkey is Paleo, the cranberry sauce is vegan, the pumpkin pie is vegetarian, and the stuffing is ... well, the stuffing tends to be up for debate. So after scouring the web to find the best recipes, I came across three great stuffing (or dressing) recipes that will help keep your menu friendly for all.

PALEO
Slow Cooker Stuffing by blogger Rubies and Radishes
(For full nutritional information, here is a link to the recipe we created in MyPlate.)

stuffing_arsy

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 12

Ingredients
* 3 Italian sausages, removed from casing (I use two hot Italian and one mild)
* 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
* 2 cups of mushrooms, sliced
* 1/2 yellow onion, diced
* 2 stalks celery, diced (about 3/4 cup)
* 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
* 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
* 2 yams, peeled and chopped
* 6 fresh sage leaves, minced
* 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
* 1/4 cup dried cranberries
* 1/4 cup beef stock
* Salt and pepper just before serving

Directions
1. Brown sausage in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat and transfer to the slow cooker.
2. Turn the stove to low and melt the butter.
3. Add the rest of dry ingredients to the slow cooker, pour the melted butter over it and mix with a wooden spoon.
4. Add the stock and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.
5. Salt and pepper to taste, then serve.

VEGETARIAN
Root Vegetable Stuffing with Fall Fruit by blogger HeatherOMade 
(For full nutritional information, here is a link to the recipe we created in MyPlate.)

stuffing_heather

Prep Time:  30 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Serves:
 10

Ingredients
* 1 small loaf cranberry focaccia bread (or any hearty kind of bread), bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
* 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided, plus butter for baking dish
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 4 medium carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 1/2 cups)
* 3 medium parsnips, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
* 2 red onions, cut into  1/2-inch pieces
* 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
* 1 tsp ground allspice
* 1 tsp kosher salt
* 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
* 1 6-ounce package dried cranberries
* 1 cup vegetable broth
* 3 large eggs
* 5-ounces fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. If using fresh bread, spread the bread cubes on large rimmed baking sheet in single layer. Bake until the bread is almost firm to touch and beginning to brown slightly in spots around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool bread on the baking sheet. Maintain oven temperature.
3. Butter a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Add the onions, carrots, and parsnips to the skillet and sauté until the vegetables are beginning to soften, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes.
5. Add the apples and 1 tablespoon butter to the same skillet and sauté until the apples are slightly softened, about 5 to 6 minutes.
6. Stir in thyme and allspice. Season the vegetable mixture with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Cool slightly.
7. Meanwhile, combine the dried cranberries and 1/4 cup broth in a medium bowl; let soak 10 minutes. Strain the broth from the cranberries into another medium bowl.
8. Whisk together the rest of the broth and eggs until well blended.
9. Combine the bread cubes, vegetable mixture and cranberries in a very large bowl.
10. Add the egg-broth mixture and toss until bread is slightly moistened.
11. Transfer the stuffing mixture to the prepared baking dish.
12. Dot with remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Cover the dish tightly with buttered foil, buttered side down.
13. Bake stuffing covered with foil 25 – 30 minutes.
14. Remove the foil and continue to bake the stuffing until top is slightly crisp and brown in spots, about 15 - 20 minutes.
15. Scatter the goat cheese over the stuffing for the last 5 minutes of baking. Let stuffing rest 10 to 15 minutes and serve.

PALEO
Paleo Stuffing by Paleo Porn
(For full nutritional information, here is a link to the recipe we created in MyPlate.)

Stuffing_PP

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 10

Ingredients
* 8 cups Maple Paleo Cornbread
* 1 pound mild Italian sausage, removed from casings
* 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter (divided)
* 3 stalks of celery, chopped
* 4 garlic cloves, sliced
* 1 fennel, chopped, plus fronds for serving
* 1 onion, chopped
* 8 ounces (baby bella) crimini mushrooms, sliced
* 1 red bell pepper, chopped
* 1 Bosc pear, chopped
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 2 tablespoon fresh flat parsley, chopped
* 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1 teaspoon sea salt
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 2 cups chicken broth (divided)
* 3 eggs

Directions
1. Before you do anything, prepare the Maple Paleo Cornbread a day ahead! Store the leftovers on the counter then get this party started.
2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
3. Chop the cornbread into one-inch cubes and divide between two rimmed baking sheets.
4. Bake the cornbread for 20 minutes, toss, rotate the trays so each bakes evenly and bake for another 20 minutes until mostly browned.
5. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the Italian sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Once browned, transfer the meat to a large-sized mixing bowl.
6. Reduce the heat to medium and melt one tablespoon of butter in the same skillet and scrape up remaining sausage bits. Add celery, garlic, fennel (reserve fronds) and onion to the skillet and cook until the fennel is tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the vegetable mixture to the mixing bowl with the cooked Italian sausage.
7. Melt final tablespoon of butter in the skillet. Add mushrooms, red pepper, pear and white wine. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally until the wine has almost completely evaporated. Remove pan from heat and transfer mushroom mixture to the large mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
8. Add parsley, thyme, dried oregano, sea salt, black pepper, baked cornbread and 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth to the large mixing bowl. Toss to combine and let sit for 10 minutes.
9. Increase heat to 400°F and butter a 15x11x2″ baking dish.
10. Add remaining 1/2 cup of broth and toss to combine. Bread will be moist, but not soggy; add more chicken broth if that’s not the case.
11. Beat three eggs in a small bowl before pouring into the large mixing bowl. Toss until everything is coated, then transfer stuffing to the extra-large baking dish. Cover the top with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top is golden and crisp on top.
12. Remove from oven, top with chopped fennel fronds and serve.

Happy Thanksgiving cooking!

- Luz

Luz Plaza is LIVESTRONG.COM’s managing editor. She’s into fitness, nutrition, happy and healthy living, as well as indulging a little. Forever against the one-size-fits-all approach, Luz enjoys boxing, hot yoga and jogging. She previously produced content for Beachbody. You can follow her on Twitter at @LuzPlaza

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