Best Stuffing Ever

And it was almost zero waste. Not that it couldn’t be done, but it was a combination of what’s called “laziness” and “using what you’ve already got”.

Stuffing is the exact opposite of a science, which is probably why I love it so much. It’s nigh impossible to screw up, and when writing down the recipe, all you need is a list of ingredients because the rest is a no-brainer. Oh, and did I mention that it was vegan?

Best Stuffing Ever

  • Cubed bread (whatever size, whatever kind; I used two different loaves that I had laying around)
  • Sauteed chanterelle mushrooms (diced)
  • Sauteed onion (chopped)
  • Celery (chopped)
  • Frozen peas
  • Garlic (diced)
  • Dried craberries
  • Flax seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Thyme
  • Marjoram
  • Parsley (chopped)
  • Veggie “drippings” (make some hours, at least, ahead of time)

Veggie Drippings

  • Celery
  • Carrot
  • Onion
  • Bay leaves
  • Crushed whole garlic
  • Dried mushrooms
  • Soy sauce
  • Kombu
  • Balsamic (good stuff)
  • Beer (pref. a stout, as dark, rich beers have tons of umami)
  • Salt
  • Whole peppercorn
  • Oil
  • Better Than Bouillon (optional)

Make as you would with a typical vegetable broth– put the kombu piece in the water as it heats up and remove before it comes to a good boil. You want richness, not a vaguely fishy taste. Put everything else in to taste. The broth will need to be reduced by half to get a good consistency and intensity of flavor, so keep that in mind when deciding how much water to start with. When finished, it should be a nice deep brown. Strain, put in a jar with a good drizzle of oil. Shake well and put in the fridge so that the oil will get some of that flavor too. Heat up and shake before pouring it over your stuffing; use as you would regular meat drippings!

If you celebrate Thanksgiving (not that there aren’t plenty of reasons not to), how was yours?


A ZW Thanksgiving?

My family, as it can pretty easily be guessed, isn’t all that environmentally-conscious… and especially not to the extent that I am. So I can pretty much guarantee that my Thanksgiving won’t be politically or environmentally-aware in the least. BUT. That’s not going to stop me from fantasizing about my someday-Thanksgiving (actually, my two someday-Thanksgivings, as hubs, being Canadian, celebrates his 6 weeks before I do mine!).

Making Thanksgiving vegan, it seems to me, would be surprisingly easy. There’s not much in the way of cheese or eggs or milk in any of the dishes, so the main animal by-product would be broth and drippings. Which, considering that the meat itself has always been second to the rest of the fixins for me, is easy peasy to bypass.

Green bean casserole. Mashed potatoes with vegan gravy made from starch, nut milk, and veggie broth. Winter salad. Roasted carrots. Baked veggie stuffing. Biscuits. And for dessert? Pumpkin pie, of course! For me, all of this besides the butter and flavorings (oils, tamari, etc) can be made using bulk-sourced or package-free products. Pretty nifty. I’m not going to say that I haven’t eyed the Gardein “Stuffed Turk’y”, which comes in a pack of two. (Gardein makes amazing stuff, I promise.) And this year, I may still get myself one, depending on whether or not I feel like making my own stuffing to bring to dinner. Honestly, I can do without turkey, or even a turkey substitute, but I cannot do without stuffing.

Hubs, what with doing the low-carb paleo thing (or trying to), would require a turkey breast or two for sure, and definitely some of his own gravy. The rest can be shared between us, no problem, aside from the biscuits and stuffing, which he doesn’t much like anyways. The pie is easy enough to make grain-free also. Unfortunately, meat is very hard to find package-free, and especially seasonally available meats like turkey breasts and the like. Oh well, what’s a little cling film every once in a while I suppose.

All in all, it’s a pretty zero-waste plan, and making the vast majority of the meal nut and produce-based pretty much guarantees it.

To end  this post, here are some of my favorite holiday recipes:

Go forth and cook!

What’ll your Thanksgiving look like this year, USians?