Happy Christmas . . . five days ago. Yeah, yeah. I’m a procrastinator and a slacker. Guess what my New Year’s resolution is going to be.
It hardly seems like December here in South Lake Tahoe. We should have several feet of snow by now. Instead, it’s unseasonably warm and sunny. The snow machines are working overtime on the mountains. Meanwhile, the beaches are still accessible.
Call me crazy, but I chose to spend the holidays doing this:
Instead of this:
“Baby” S came home for Christmas, too. I spent a fair amount of time in the kitchen making his requested foods, like the Irish Car Bomb Cake. The traditional holiday cookies. And, the best holiday dessert, ever: Double-Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake. And, of course, our traditional holiday foods.
This stuffing is one of my favorite things about the holidays. By the time Halloween rolls around, I am already jonesing for it. I don’t remember where the original recipe came from, but it wasn’t a vegan recipe to begin with and we’ve made so many changes to it over the years that we now call it our own. But, you don’t have to wait for a holiday to enjoy stuffing. Sometimes I halve this recipe for a regular old Sunday dinner side dish.
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Sausage, Chestnut And Mushroom Stuffing
1 pound Gimme Lean sausage
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 yellow onion, chopped
6 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
1-1/2 pounds mushrooms, halved (quarter the larger ones)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 stick non-dairy butter
±14 ounces vegetable or No Chicken (preferred) broth
2 8-ounce cans water chestnuts, drained, rinsed and chopped
3 teaspoons ground sage
6 to 8 cups dried, unseasoned bread cubes (I use half sourdough and half whole wheat bread)
Preheat oven to 325F.
Brown the sausage in the oil over medium heat with fennel seed, sage, salt and red pepper flakes. Add the onion, celery, mushrooms and garlic and cook until the onions are soft and translucent.
Add the non-dairy butter and the broth and bring the liquid to boiling. Remove from the heat and add the water chestnuts and the sage; stir to combine.
Pour the sausage mixture over the bread cubes and stir to combine. Add more broth if necessary.
Bake in a large shallow dish (I use an 11 x 15″ 4-quart Pyrex), covered with foil, for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes to brown.
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Now that the holidays are winding down, it’s time to dust off my copy of Appetite For Reduction and do some serious damage control. Yes, dear readers. That will be New Year’s resolution number 2 for me.