Sunday, November 18, 2012

Quinoa Stuffing with Sweet Potato & Pear

I'm only making sweet potatoes this Thanksgiving, as my parents are hosting dinner. I know everyone has Thanksgiving on the brain, though, so I wanted to share an alternative stuffing recipe.

A few weeks back I came up with a riff on traditional cornbread stuffing, using my paleo almond flour-based bread (which tastes remarkably like cornbread thanks to the honey it contains). I wanted to offer up a dish, however, that didn't rely on baked goods to replicate standard Thanksgiving stuffings.
I realize that quinoa is not 100% paleo, but it's a heck of a lot cleaner and healthier than most traditional stuffing recipes. This dish made a very filling and tasty dinner on its own; you can use the fruit and nuts of your choosing, and reduce the sweetness if desired.
Quinoa Stuffing with Pears & Sweet Potato

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
2 medium pears, diced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey
dash of salt
2 tbs. melted coconut oil or olive oil
1 tsp. apple pie spice (you can use a bit of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg… whatever spices you prefer)
2 chicken apple sausages, sliced
couple sprigs of chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 cup raw almonds, toasted and chopped
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/4 cup water
2 tbs. palm sugar, maple syrup, stevia or other natural sweetener
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Place sweet potatoes and apples in a roasted pan, drizzle with lemon juice and maple syrup. Toss to thoroughly coat, then do the same with the coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt and apple pie spice or your choice of spices, tossing one final time. Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes or until soft.
While sweet potato mixture is roasting, cook chicken sausage until brown, and toast nuts in a small skillet. Place both in a large bowl with cooked quinoa.
Place cranberries, water and sweetener in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat. Cook until cranberries start to pop and soften, stirring often. Remove from heat.
Once sweet potatoes and pears are done, place in the bowl with the quinoa, sausage and nuts. Scatter in fresh thyme. Toss everything until well-blended. Drizzle with cranberry sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.

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