Recipe – Wild Rice & Quinoa Stuffing

A very traditional dish found at many holiday dinners is stuffing, also known as dressing. While typically made of bread, many people with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity are unable to eat traditional stuffing due to its gluten content. I discovered a recipe that offers a delicious solution to this issue. Another perk of this recipe is that it has more protein than traditional stuffing thanks to the quinoa and pecans. Technically this is a gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan-friendly dish. Despite these labels that may deter some folks without certain food preferences, it is delicious! I have laid out the steps with pictures, but you can find the entire recipe if you scroll down. Happy cooking!

Wild Rice & Quinoa Stuffing

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IMG_4271 Gather and prepare all the ingredients first. One way to feel easily overwhelmed in the kitchen is to start cooking without having all the ingredients ready to go. My boyfriend said that out of all the cooking tips I have taught him, this is the most underrated step of the cooking process. Before turning the heat on, you will first need to chop, mince, and dice all the appropriate ingredients. It is much easier to keep up with the pace of cooking when  everything has been prepared and can just be poured in. That’s why it is called prep! Total prep time for this stuffing is just over 1 hour.

Make sure your broth is gluten free!

img_4186.jpgFinely chop 1 large yellow onion. Onions obtain sulfur from the ground as they grow. When sliced into, they emit a gas that stimulates the lachrymal gland, thus causing your eyes to water. You can reduce this irritation by using a very sharp knife, chilling the onion for 30 minutes prior to cutting, or burning a candle.
IMG_4193Since I was going to be finely chopping an entire onion, I brought out my nifty hand-powered chopper. This tool allows me to obtain smaller, more uniform pieces of onion And it is much faster than if I were to dice them all with just a knife.

IMG_4197When the onion is very finely chopped, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Wipe off the knife and cutting board.

IMG_4203Chop 2 stalks of celery. We are sneaking some vegetables into the mix!

IMG_4216Peel and dice 2 medium Granny Smith apples. You can peel the apple with a knife or peeler. I opted for a peeler and then used another handy tool, my apple corer & divider, to remove them stem and seeds. Personally, I found this to be swifter and easier, but you can also just use a knife for this step, being careful to dispose of the stem and seeds.

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Continue slicing the apples into smaller pieces.

IMG_4245Chop 1 cup of raw pecans. Rinse the hand powered chopper and then you can use it again for the pecans.

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Chop up 1/2 cup fresh parsley and 1/4 cup fresh sage. Push the leaves together in a pile and ran a knife through it several times in each direction.

IMG_4241Go ahead and pour yourself a glass of wine! But set aside 1/2 cup for the stuffing! The recipe calls for a dry white wine. I used Pinot Grigio but you can also opt for Sauvignon Blanc. If you do not want to wine, you can use an additional 1/2 cup of vegetable broth instead.

Finish measuring and preparing the last few ingredients before heating a pot and preheating the oven.  Mince 2 cloves of garlic. Measure out 2 tablespoons of olive oil,
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt,  and 2 tablespoons of dried rosemary. You will need 2 cups uncooked wild rice blend and 1 cup uncooked quinoa – be sure to rinse these off. The recipe also calls for 4 cups (32 oz.) of low-sodium vegetable broth. You can buy a box that already comes in this size at the store and then you would not need to portion this out ahead of time.

Now that we have prepared our ingredients, let’s get cooking! 

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In a large pot, heat  the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the onions and celery, cooking about 5 minutes until soft.  Add the apples, 2 cloves of garlic, rosemary, and salt.
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Stir this all together before adding the 1/2 cup of wine and 4 cups vegetable broth.

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Once this comes to a boil, add in the rice and reduce to medium-low heat. Cover and simmer until the rice is cooked, about 30 minutes. After this time has passed, stir in the quinoa and cover again for another 10-15 minutes until the quinoa is tender.

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Stir in the cranberries, pecans, sage, and half of the parsley.
It is now beginning to look like a beautiful holiday dish!

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Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare to bake the stuffing.  Brush a cake pan lightly with olive oil. Transfer the stuffing to a baking dish, being careful to mound it in and not mash it down.

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Transfer to oven and bake until lightly browned, about 20-25 minutes.
After removing from the oven, drizzle with more olive oil and top with remaining parsley. It is now ready to be served!

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Not only is this a beautiful dish, it is very tasty. I was nervous because I don’t normally like dried fruit, but I had no issues with the texture of this stuffing. This recipe was even more delicious than I could have anticipated and got a lot of high praise from a few friends who tried it with me. If you have anyone attending your holiday gatherings who is avoiding gluten or meat, this is a great option for them. Not only is it appropriate for a wide variety of people, it really tastes good!

Special thanks to Artur Renault for the amazing photos!

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Wild Rice & Quinoa Stuffing

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + more for greasing the baking dish + more for drizzling over the top
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, dried
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt + more to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups uncooked wild rice blend, rinsed
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 cup raw pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, minced

Directions

  1. Place a large pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil. When hot, add the onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the apples, garlic, rosemary, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently for one more minute.
  3. Stir in wine, then add broth. Bring to a boil.
  4. Stir in the wild rice blend and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, until the rice is tender, about 30-35 minutes.
  5. Stir in the quinoa and cover again. Cook until the quinoa is tender, about 10-15 more minutes.
  6. Stir in the cranberries, pecans, sage, and half the parsley. Taste and add additional salt if desired. Remove from heat.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F. Rub a large (9-inch x 13-inch is best) casserole dish with a little olive oil. Lightly scoop the rice mixture into the casserole dish, mounding it instead of mashing it down.
  8. Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with remaining chopped parsley. Serve!

Serves about 16 people.

Nutrition Info per serving

Calories 259
Protein 6.18 g
Fat 8.39 g
Carbs 40.97 g
Fiber 4.9 g
Sugar 12.57 g

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