Stuffing is a traditional menu item for Thanksgiving dinner, but it’s typically high in fat and low in fiber and nutrients. This year I challenged myself to come up with a new recipe that could work as a substitute. I chose quinoa as the primary ingredient, but added mushrooms for a little more depth, and almonds for a bit of crunch. Dried cranberries added a nice, subtle sweetness to the dish as well.
Quinoa is an ancient grain of the Incas, but is making its way into our diets in recent years. It is a healthy grain, high in protein and fiber, and is a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese. It is considered a whole grain as well as a complete protein – making it a nice choice for people following a vegan or vegetarian diet. It’s also gluten-free.
If you haven’t tasted quinoa before, now might be a good time to try it. Don’t let unfamiliarity scare you away. Quinoa can be used in a number of ways, such as hot side dishes or salads. Do a quick search on the web and you’ll find plenty of recipes to try. And it’s relatively easy to cook – much like cooking rice. Thanksgiving is a perfect time to try the following recipe as an alternative for traditional dressing. Enjoy!
Ingredients are gathered.
Everything is in the pan and ready to finish cooking.
Time to eat!
15 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 1 c. Quinoa
- 1/3 c. Slivered almonds
- 1 c. Sliced celery
- 2 c. Sliced, fresh mushrooms
- 3/4 c. Diced onion
- 2 c. Chicken broth
- 2 T. Olive oil
- 2 Cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 c. Dried cranberries
- 1 Tbsp. Dried parsley
- 1 tsp. Rubbed sage
- 1/8 tsp. White pepper
- Heat olive oil in deep skillet and saute onion and garlic in hot oil till translucent.
- Add celery and mushrooms, cooking till tender, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, toast almonds over medium heat till golden.
- Add quinoa to almonds and toast a few minutes longer till quinoa starts to darken, stirring occasionally.
- Remove almonds and quinoa from heat and add to onion mixture.
- Stir in broth, cranberries, parsley, sage, and white pepper.
- Bring to a boil.
- Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender.
- Remove from heat.
- Fluff with fork and serve hot.
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