What Can You Bring To The Table This Holiday Season?
So this brings us to the question of what should you bring? Obviously the answer is different for everyone and is dependent on several things including the type of foods you would usually have at your holiday gatherings. If there is a particular tradition dish that you just have to have, can you change it up so that it fits your diet? For me, that dish is stuffing/dressing. I LOVE the regular sage stuffing that is fairly synonymous with Thanksgiving, but it is literally all bread with a big of veggies and butter. Last year, I came up with a new recipe that significantly reduces the carbs, ups the protein and still gives me the flavors that I'm craving when I think of stuffing:
Sausage and Cauliflower Stuffing
- 4 cup, Roasted Cauliflower Rice
- 8 oz, Apple and Onion Sausage
- 1 cup Stuffing Mix
- 2 cups Sauteed Kale
- 1 cup Yellow Onion, Diced
- 1 cup Celery, Diced
- 1 tbsp Poultry Seasoning
- 4 TBSP Butter
- 2 cups Chicken Stock
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8"x8" baking pan.
- In a nonstick or stainless steel pot, melt butter over medium heat. When butter is melted, add in the onion and celery and cook until translucent (approximately 5-10 minutes depending on your stove).
- If you sausage comes in a casing, you can remove said casing and throw it away. Crumble sausage into your cooking pot. Using your stirring utensil, you can break up the sausage into smaller pieces as it cooks. The size of the pieces really just depends on how you like it.
- When the sausage is fully cooked, add cauliflower, kale, poultry seasoning and stock then stir to combine. Bring to a simmer.
- When mixture is simmering, remove it from the heat and add the stuffing mix. Mixture will seem soupier than you would expect from stuffing, but it will firm up as it bakes.
- Move stuffing from cooking pot to baking pan. Smooth it out into a fairly even layer and place in the oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until top is browned and crispy and liquid has reduced.
Now, granted, there still isn't a whole lot in the way of protein in this recipe and the carbs aren't great. However, when you compare the nutrition from traditional bread stuffing of 33g of carbs and 0g of protein for a 3/4 cup serving, to the 17g carbs and 8g protein for a 1 cup serving of this stuffing, you can see that it's vastly better for our unique diets. And keep in mind that you can always change recipes up to fit your preferences better. You can add more veggies to this stuffing to make the carbs per serving even lower, or up the amount of sausage. Use a different kind of sausage, or you could even use some sort of vegetable protein if that's what you prefer. The reason I made this recipe this way is because while my family fully supports my decision to have had WLS, some of them still tend to turn up their noses at food that they know is "healthy." It's not that it doesn't taste as good or anything, it's just the stigma that we mentally put on "healthy food" in general. Because if it's healthy, it obviously won't taste as good at the original. Right? WRONG! I brought this to Thanksgiving last year and everyone loved it and asked for the recipe. It was then requested that I bring it to Christmas dinner as well! The proof is in the pudding, or rather, the stuffing in this case.
What recipes would you like to see healthier, more WLS friendly versions of? Do you have any recipes you've come up with on your own? Please comment and let me know what you really want for recipes this holiday season and we'll see what this little recipe elf can pull off!