This recipe for Cranberry-Pear Wild Rice Stuffing from fitsugar was one of the first healthy recipes from online that I ever made. It is close to my heart because of this! And, of course, who doesn’t love stuffing? It is a classic holiday comfort food.
Recently I modified it to make it not only healthy, but a good source of protein as a vegan dish too. In order to do so, I switched the wild rice to quinoa. For those of you who might not know:
“ Quinoa is a true wonder food,” says Daniel Fairbanks, Ph.D., a professor of plant and animal science at Brigham Young University. “It has about twice the protein of regular cereal grains, fewer carbohydrates, and even a dose of healthy fats.” Plus, it’s considered a “complete” protein, which means that, like meat, eggs, and dairy, it packs all of the essential amino acids your body needs to build muscle ( Source ).
Quinoa should be available at your local conventional grocery store (that’s where I picked up mine! No special trip to the health food store necessary).
Recipe adapted from FitSugar
2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, or 2 1/2 cups water with 1 vegetable bouillon cube
2/3 cup raw quinoa—in place of wild rice that is called for in original recipe
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 large celery stalks, diced—I doubled this from 1 to 2 stalks bc I am a veggie lover!
2 medium firm pears (such as bosc), cored and diced
4 cups finely diced whole grain bread
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2 teaspoons salt-free seasoning (like Spike or Mrs. Dash)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup apple or pear juice, or as needed
1. Prepare quinoa as instructed by package, but use veggie stock in place of water.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
3. Heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the celery and sauté over medium heat until both are golden.
4. Combine the onion-celery mixture with the cooked quinoa and all the remaining ingredients except the apple juice in a mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. Drizzle the apple juice in slowly, stirring all the while, until the mixture is evenly moistened.
5. Transfer the mixture to a lightly oiled, large shallow baking dish. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top begins to get slightly crusty.