My sister and I started helping my mom in the kitchen as soon as we could, especially around the holidays. My mom would assign us tasks like chopping or mixing. I would always help with the stuffing. I was probably about 12 years old when we experimented with a new kind of stuffing for Thanksgiving. We put apples in it, pineapple, walnuts, celery, fresh orange juice, and tons of onions and garlic. It was a hit! I’m not exactly sure how it happened but after a while we started developing our own areas of expertise. Even though we were all a part of coming up with the new recipe, ever since then the stuffing somehow became my thing. My sister would handle the dessert, my mom would take care of the main dishes, and the stuffing was mine.
Now that we’re older my sister, sister in-law and I take care of everything. We try and give my mom break but she still insists on bringing a couple of things. Funny how hard it is for us moms to step back and relax! It all worked out though and we had an amazing spread. There was quiche, a roast, heirloom carrots, turkey, cauliflower mash, cranberry sauce, and my mom’s ridiculous Persian rice. Everything was delicious as always, but since I’ve been eating low carb for a while I felt so heavy afterwards. Just bloated and not happy!
So when Christmas came around and we decided to get together at my parents’ place we kept it really simple. My mom asked me to bring stuffing of course so I thought I’d try my hand at a paleo stuffing. I modeled it after my usual stuffing with a few modifications according to the ingredients I had on hand. I started with garlic of course then added in the nuts and apples and pineapple. Then it was about getting the consistency and the flavor right. I usually just purchase a gluten free stuffing mix from the store and they come seasoned, but this time I had to figure out the seasoning myself so I decided on rosemary and thyme.
I was really pleased with the way the paleo stuffing came out! The family loved it too. It was great because you could have a nice helping of it and none of us felt gross the day after. My sister who is on a paleo diet took some to go and my mom was nibbling on it all afternoon. This stuffing is great for the holidays but I will definitely be making it alongside a roast or roasted chicken on just a regular evening. The leftovers kept really well and you get a nice crunch with all the yummy nuts in there.
1 tsp vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped pecans
2 apples, chopped
1 cup pineapple chunks (fresh or canned)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp fresh rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup orange juice
juice of half a lemon
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
Pour the vegetable oil into a pot and heat it on medium heat. I like to make stuffing in a dutch oven because you can always put it in the oven to reheat before serving, but a regular stainless steel pot works just fine.
Once the oil heats up a bit add the garlic and onions in. Let those brown just a little then add the nuts and the apples, but not the almond meal just yet. Give the ingredients in the pot a stir and cover it with the lid. Bring the heat down to a low setting and let the nuts and apples cook for about 10 minutes.
After the 10 minutes, the nuts should have lost a little of their crunch and the apples will have cooked. Now add in your pineapple chunks, dried cranberries, rosemary, thyme, and almond meal. When you stir you’ll notice that it’s pretty thick. Now we add the orange juice and lemon juice. Lightly stir again and add water starting with 1/4 cup until you reach the desired constancy. Too much water will make it all mushy.
Put the lid back on, keeping the heat on low and let it all sit for about 10 min. Grab a spoon and dig in! Make sure you save some for everyone else of course, or not! 😉