The holidays are pretty much upon us. And with the holidays come the foods. ALL of the foods. Because of this, these months can be very hard on a lot of us as bariatric patients. There are many ways to make this time as enjoyable as possible (including the tips and tricks listed in my post about how to deal with food-centered gatherings post-op), but in my opinion one of the most fun methods involves making things to share with everyone! In this case, I’m taking a classic American Thanksgiving recipe for stuffing/dressing and making it something that everyone can enjoy. It’s still got bread in it, so your non-low carb friends and family won’t be missing the texture and neither will you! Using a combination of low carb bread, veggies and meat takes this usually carb-tastic classic to a new level of low carb friendly, bariatric friendly deliciousness! Carbs (sorry, I just thought I needed to add it one more time.)
Every family has a different way of making their stuffing/dressing, but traditionally the basic recipe includes dried seasoned bread cubes, butter, stock (or hot water and turkey drippings), onions and celery. Some cook it separately in it’s own pan, some stuff their bird with it, and some other still do a combination of both. I, personally, always cook my stuffing separately because I dislike turkey and it’s flavor infusing my stuffing would make me very unhappy. There are many common mix-ins that people add to this classic formula including dried cranberries, nuts (usually pecans or walnuts), sausage, bacon and alternative veggies. I can’t do anything simple, so of course my stuffing includes most of these things! You can take out any of the ingredients you don’t like, or switch them for other variants. Just remember that any and all changes you make to the recipe will impact the nutritional information (minus most herbs and spices.) As a quick note, the recipe is kind of two recipes in one (one for stuffing mix and one for the actual stuffing) but it’s put together into one recipe card. Now onto the recipe!
If you’re interested in a quicker, easier (and probably cheaper), but not as carb friendly version, check out my post from last year.
Low Carb Sausage Apple and Onion Stuffing
- 1 Loaf Schmidt’s 647 Low Carb Italian Bread
- 1/2 cup Kerry Gold butter
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp poultry seasoning
- dash of Salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp Dried Vegetable Mix, ground
- 1 cup Onion
- 1 cup Celery
- 4 cups chopped Kale
- 1 medium chopped tart apple
- 1 cup diced Leek
- 1 pkg. Green Giant Riced Cauliflower Stuffing
- 1 lb Apple and Onion Sausage
- 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped pecans
- 4 cups Chicken Bone Broth
Pre-heat oven to 200°F
- Lay out each individual slice of bread out on a large cookie sheet, cooling rack, aluminum foil or other similar surface and allow to sit out in the open air for 2-4 days (aka, dry it out). To speed up this process, you can place the bread in an oven that’s been pre-heated to 170°F for 1-2 hours, flipping every 20 minutes until all the bread is fully dried. Once dried, dice bread up into bite-sized cubes.
- Alternately, you can dice up the bread before it’s dried, follow the next instructions for seasoning and then place in the oven to dry out. This will result in a less crunchy crouton/stuffing mix but works fine if it’s what you prefer.
- In a large bowl, drizzle melted butter over dried bread cubes, mixing regularly coat evenly. Sprinkle seasonings over bread and toss to combine. Spread mixture out on a large baking tray and place in the oven for 40 minutes. Take out and allow to cool. You now have stuffing mix!
- Turn oven up to 350°F
- In a large saute pan, cook sausage until cooked through and broken up into crumbles. Add onions, leeks and celery and continue to saute until all vegetables become translucent (5-10 minutes).
- Add riced cauliflower, kale, and bone broth and let cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add apples, pecans and stuffing mix (bread cubes) into the pan. Fold ingredients together gently so you don’t break the bread up too much. Once well combined, pour into a greased baking dish (approximately 9×13″) and place in pre-heated oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the top is browned and crispy.