November 18, 2012

Christina's Stuffing

When I was a kid, the best part of Thanksgiving, besides having three days off and hanging out with my family (and playing endless video games that I was forbidden from because I had to study according to my dad)?  The dressing!  Granted, other stuff was cool, like cleaning out the turkey (and making it talk) and all the other trimmings, but the highlight of Thanksgiving was the dressing.  It was such a highlight that my mom used to make a separate pan of stuffing just got me (because I ate all of it).  Needless to say, now that I'm all grown up, and I'm on my own, my mom can't make my own dressing anymore I have to make it.  Also, when I was growing up dressing had turkey gizzards and the neck, and now that I'm vegan, that's no longer an option (and I don't want to eat vegan turkey gizzards either).  This is going to sound really horrible, but I kinda miss it.  Made me nostalgic.

Anyway, I researched vegan cornbread stuffing recipes, and I couldn't find one that I liked.  Most featured carrots (which does not belong in stuffing) and other sweet stuff that doesn't go together.  So I thought about spices and herbs that go together, and what was on life support in my refrigerator, and viola! Lots of people like this at the potluck so I'm posting it here.  There's also an alternate option if you are without an oven.

Christina's Stuffing recipe 

Serves about 12 hungry mofos

Corn bread
3 cups self rising corn meal
2 1/4 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch sage
pinch of oregano
1/4 cup grapeseed oil

1 bunch spinach, cleaned and finely chopped
5-6 stalks of celery, finely chopped
3 leeks, finely chopped to the green parts
12 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons sage
2 tablespoon oregano
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup almond
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Make the cornbread first.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the corn meal, salt, baking soda, grapeseed oil, and boiling water and mix.  Then, in a skillet, sprinkle corn meal and grapeseed oil.  Add the corn meal mix and reduce to a low heat.  It's okay to break the corn bread apart since you're going to do this when you  combine the cornbread with the rest of the stuffing.  Heat for about 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.  Put aside and let rest for in open air for 1 day. 

2.  Next, let's get to work with the stuffing "filling".  Boil the water and veggie cubes for the veggie stock.  Over medium high heat, add the grapeseed oil.  Then add the green onions, leeks, onions and garlic.  Heat until translucent - for about five minutes.  Then, add the spinach, veggie stock and celery.  Then add the spices, nutritional yeast and soy sauce.  Heat until boiling, and then reduce to simmer.  Simmer for about 25 minutes. 

3.  Now it's time to add the two!  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (170 C).  In a huge bowl, mix together the cornbread, almonds and cranberries and the veggie mix.  Then, spread in a casserole dish (or a pot).  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Alternate option:

If you are ovenless, you can also do this stove top version.  If you have a huge pot, slowly add the cornbread to the veggie mix, then simmer for about 20 minutes, turning it over so it won't burn.  Then serve.  

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