With turkey day about three weeks away, it's time to start preparing for a healthy “real food” meal. Whether you call it dressing or stuffing, no Thanksgiving dinner is complete without it. If you are low-carb and gluten-free like we are, you can still enjoy dressing with your turkey and mashed cauliflower. I didn't particularly care for the dressing I made last year. It was a new recipe and I didn't test it out until the day of. Lesson learned. This year, in preparation for the big day, the dressing had a dress rehearsal. And yesterday was the big day!
Before starting, I did my research, as I always do, by scouring the internet, studying recipes and consulting my favorite cookbook, How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. I decided I would start with a basic dressing recipe and add some twists. The first twist, make my own dried bread cubes, low-carb and gluten-free, of course. Twist number two, reduce the amount of bread cubes just a bit and then “beef” it up with some sausage. The final twist, add a touch of tart and sweet with some cranberries.
Ok, first things first, we need to make our bread cubes. I used my One Minute Muffin recipe, using regular flaxseed meal (as opposed to golden), minus the butter, doubled it and baked in a mini-loaf pan. Once it was baked and cooled, sliced it, cubed it and toasted it. Voila, the perfect low-carb, gluten-free dried bread cubes suitable for our Sausage & Cranberry Dressing. Incidentally, if you are missing croutons on your salad, you can season these up with a pinch of garlic salt before toasting and throw them on a Caesar salad. Or whatever.
Makes 120 cubes
- 1/2 c. Unblanched Almond Flour
- 1/4 c. Bob's Red Mill Flaxseed Meal
- 1 tsp. Rumford Baking Powder
- 2 pinches Celtic Sea Salt
- 2 Large Organic Eggs
1. In small bowl scramble eggs with a whisk.
2. In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients.
3. Add eggs to dry ingredients and mix.
4. Pour into a mini-loaf pan sprayed with non-stick spray.
5. Bake at 350° F for 22 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
7. Slice bread into 9 slices and then each slice into 12 cubes.
8. Return to oven for 15 minutes to dry and crisp.
If you want to add a little more depth to the bread cubes, instead of using almond flour, you can use Bob’s Red Mill Hazelnut Meal/Flour. When Thanksgiving rolls around, I will be making this recipe at least quadrupled, so the plan for now is to make half the mini-loaves with almond flour and the other with hazelnut meal.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
- 12 oz. Grass Fed Ground Beef
- 4 Stalks Celery, Chopped
- 1/4 c. Onion, Chopped
- 2 tsp. Penzey's Italian Sausage Seasoning
- 1/2 c. Frozen Cranberries
- 50 drops NuNaturals Pure Liquid Clear Stevia
- 1 Recipe of Bread Cubes
- 1 tsp. Poultry Seasoning
- 4 Tbsp. Unsalted Organic Butter, Melted
- 2 Large Organic Eggs
- 1/3 c. Chicken Broth
1. Chop cranberries, place them in a small bowl with stevia drops and set aside.
2. In medium skillet brown ground beef with celery, onion and seasoning. Do not drain.
3. In mixing bowl, add bread cubes, sausage, cranberries, poultry seasoning and butter.
4. Whisk together eggs and broth then mix with dressing.
5. Bake dressing in covered casserole dish at 350° F for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
I prefer to make my own sausage with grass-fed ground beef and sausage seasoning. You can certainly replace this with pork sausage, however, there will be more fat, after browning. You will want to drain about half off. If cranberries aren't your thing, you can skip them altogether or replace with a tart green apple.
The dressing was a success. It had great flavor as well as texture. I plan to add Portobello mushroom to this when I make it for Thanksgiving dinner. I will reduce the sausage by the amount of mushroom added. I would have made it this way to begin with, but alas, I didn't have the mushrooms on hand. We enjoyed this “dressing dress rehearsal” as a meal, alongside some delicata squash, so the extra protein was welcome.