Makes 8 servings
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
10 cups whole grain bread, torn into 1- to 2-inch pieces
3⁄4 cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated margarine
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup dried cherries
The nutritional profile of this Thanksgiving mainstay is seriously lacking. “If you’re using a boxed mix, stuffing is usually a diet don’t. It’s filled with loads of fat, simple carbohydrates, plus sodium and preservatives,” says Amy Shapiro, R.D., a nutritionist who counsels kids and adults through her company, Real Nutrition NYC.
To give it a healthy update, skip the boxed mix in favor of a recipe from scratch (it doesn’t take much longer—and the results are worth it!) to sidestep the dehydrated veggies and excess salt. Boost your stuffing’s fiber with whole wheat bread cubes and chopped fresh onion, carrots, and celery. Finally, trim saturated fat by swapping butter for canola oil or non-hydrogenated margarine (it has a buttery flavor but is made from heart-healthy vegetable oils).
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots in the canola oil until the onions are translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Add the sage and thyme and cook for 1 more minute. Remove the vegetable mixture from heat and set aside.
3. Place the bread pieces in a large bowl and set aside.
3. Combine the vegetable stock and margarine in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 30 seconds, or until the margarine is melted. Pour over the bread pieces, tossing to coat.
4. Add the vegetable mixture and salt to the bread pieces, then add the dried cherries.
5. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray and bake 30 minutes in a 350°F oven, or until the top is crusty and golden brown.
Carbohydrates: 22 g
Fat: 5 g
Protein: 3 g
Fiber: 3 g
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes