Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Feast
Quinoa, Dried Cranberry and Spice Stuffing
I’m very excited about the new Thanksgiving dinner I created for Living Without magazine’s Gluten-Free Holiday Guide. Check out the menu on the photo here. I‘ve been eager to treat our family and friends to the new feast ever since I turned in the recipes to the publisher, and now it’s almost time.
You too can serve this menu, or any one of the seasonal recipes in the story. The magazine is available at newsstands, or order by clicking on this link. Of course, all the food is naturally gluten free, and I guarantee no one will notice that anything is missing.
In the meantime, here’s a recipe for Quinoa, Dried Cranberry and Spice Dressing from the story. This festive dish can replace the customary bread stuffing at Thanksgiving or serve as an addition to many meals. It’s valuable to have in your repertoire because everyone—gluten-free or not—will love it, its got wonderful flavor from the spices and fruit, is easy to transport, and can be made a day ahead.
Whether you make the whole dinner in the magazine, or one recipe, or something else entirely (I also love the Thanksgiving recipes already on this blog), it is time to start planning. Coordinating everything can be the thorniest part of putting together a holiday celebration, but the party can be pretty stress free if you have a strategy. I’ll start compiling my timeline soon, and I’ll post it here in a day or two.
Quinoa, Dried Cranberry and Spice Dressing
Makes 8 to 10 servings
It is worth purchasing ground cardamom for its striking taste, but it can be replaced with an equal measure of cinnamon. Make this early in the day or even a day ahead, and then reheat in the microwave in 2-3 minute intervals. I use an everyday olive oil to sauté the vegetables, but mix in a flavorful extra-virgin olive oil for the final seasoning.
2 cups quinoa (preferably multicolor)
3 cups turkey stock (see recipe) or chicken broth
2 bay leaves
¾ cup dried cranberries
¾ cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large red onions, finely chopped
2 large Granny Smith or pippin apples, peeled, cored and chopped
¾ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ teaspoons grated orange zest
Coarse kosher salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
Freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup minced fresh Italian parsley
⅓ cup toasted and salted shelled pumpkin seeds or pistachios
Measure the quinoa into a small saucepan. Cover with cold water, swirl and drain through a fine sieve. Repeat 3 more times. Return rinsed and drained quinoa to the pan, add 3 cups stock, bay leaves, cranberries, raisins and a big pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook until all the water has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand covered 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large, shallow bowl, discarding the bay leaves.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and apples, sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until the onions begin to brown, stirring frequently, about 12 minutes. Mix in the allspice and cardamom and stir until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add to the quinoa. Mix in the 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and orange zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate. To reheat, cover with plastic wrap and microwave in 2 to 3 minute intervals.)
Mix in the parsley and pumpkin seeds and serve.
Photo by Brian Ambrose