By Orlea Miller ‘16
Thanksgiving is easily a foodie’s favorite holiday of the year. While my day-to-day life revolves around the foods I’m eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Thanksgiving is the one time of year when everyone else does the same. We begin looking into airline fares months ahead of time when making our holiday plans, and then spend at least a week or two carefully selecting Thanksgiving recipes and entering the grocery store madness just to eat together as a family.
My family sticks to the traditional foods for this annual event: turkey, stuffing, rolls, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and green beans (and a countless number of pies and other treats). Unfortunately, they don’t like straying from the recipes they’re used to either. However, after years of box-made stuffing, I decided to try out a new recipe for Thanksgiving this time around.
I found the recipe for “Save-the-Day Stuffing” online (a.k.a. homemade stuffing with a few healthy swaps) to lighten everyone’s plates this year. I used the typical veggies but included light bread and liquid egg substitute, and ended up with a pretty tasty addition to our household’s Thanksgiving repertoire.
(MAKES 5 SERVINGS)
6 slices light bread
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup fat-free chicken broth, room temperature
1/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute
1 tbsp. light buttery spread
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, to taste
1 oz dried cranberries (if desired)
Leave bread uncovered at room temperature overnight. Otherwise, begin by lightly toasting bread.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Spray a medium baking dish with nonstick spray, and place bread cubes evenly along the bottom of the dish.
Chop up the celery and onion to prepare it for the stuffing.
In a medium pot, combine broth, celery, and onion. Cook for 8 minutes over medium heat.
Remove pot from heat, and add mushrooms and garlic. Season mixture to taste with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Let cool for several minutes.
Add egg substitute and butter to veggie/broth mixture and stir. Pour mixture into the baking pan, evenly covering bread cubes. Mix gently with a fork. Bread cubes should be moist, but not saturated (if necessary, add 1 – 2 tbsp. water, and then mix again).
If desired, throw in the dried cranberries to add a sweet kick to your stuffing!
Cover with foil, and cook dish in the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove foil, and fluff and rearrange stuffing. Return dish to oven (uncovered), and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
After comparing my homemade stuffing to the boxed one we have had at our Thanksgiving table in years past, I was impressed. This version had more flavor and texture, though I admittedly added in more chicken broth than the recipe called for after noticing it looked dry before putting it in the oven.
I found the stuffing recipe, along with quite a few other holiday dishes at www.hungry-girl.com, one of my go-to websites for healthy sides, entrees, and desserts that are just as tasty as the original version, yet far more nutritious and lower in calories and fat.