This vegetarian stuffing recipe is the perfect alternative to a traditional bread-based stuffing, and is made with healthy brown rice.
It is still full of flavor though, thanks to some apple cider, cranberries and thyme. A few healthy vegan Christmas recipes like this one add up to a wonderful holiday meal, leaving you satisfied and nourished without falling asleep with an overstuffed belly.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes + 20 minutes if reheating
Time from start to eating: 55 min, or 20 min if reheating.
Makes enough for 4.
This transcription will have some mistakes because it is partially automated.
Hello and welcome to freshly served, healthy vegan recipes. I’m Heather and today we are continuing on with our Christmas series of recipes. Today, we will be tackling vegetarian stuffing, and stuffing obviously is meant to be stuffed inside a turkey, but we can do a healthy vegan version by using brown rice, and I’ll give you some tips along the way on how to make a delicious stuffing.
Stuffing is usually based on bread, which you can do as well if you can find a bread that is a vegan bread. But, brown rice is a lot healthier so I’m going to show you how to make a delicious vegetarian stuffing using brown rice.
What I’m going to do is start with some rice in a pot. I’m cooking for a quite a few people, so I’ve got two cups of brown rice, then you’re going to add, as always with grains, you need to add twice as much water as you have grains.
For two cups of rice, I’m going to add four cups of liquid. What I’m going to do to make this really nice and special is I’m going to add some apple cider as part of my liquid.
I think what I’m going to do is one cup of apple cider and three cups of water. So, a quarter of my liquid is going to be apple cider. Now, I also have some pineapple juice in the fridge that I was really tempted to use because I love pineapple, but one of the ingredients in our stuffing today is actually apples.
So, I thought that would go really nicely plus there some “Christmasy” seasonings in apple cider like cinnamon, nutmeg – that kind of yummy stuff. Next, I’m going to add three cups of water along with some salt pepper, and I’m going to use thyme for an herb.
You can use whichever herb you like. Rosemary is really nice if you like rosemary, or marjoram, or basil, or just a mix of Italian seasonings. So, get all that in the pot, put in on, and get it boiling. Once it’s boiling, you’re going to turn it down to minimum and let it simmer 45 minutes – exactly how you normally cook brown rice, we’re just adding some seasoning to make the brown rice taste really-really delicious.
So, while that rice is cooking away, we’re going to chop and lightly sauté some vegetables. I got some mushrooms chopped right here, and what you want to do is get things chopped up pretty fine in small little chunks. So, I’m going to do the same thing with my carrots, celery, onion, garlic and some apple.
When you sauté this vegetables, you’re going to start with the mushrooms, get them really nice, soft, dark brown, just use a little bit of oil for them. They’ll release their juices and everything will be fine. Then, you’ll add the onion and let it get translucent that you can see through a little bit.
The reason you add each vegetable individually is to get their individual flavors developed first, and then combine with the rest. So, start with the mushrooms, then the onion, then the garlic, then the carrots – just let them soften a little bit, they don’t need to get fully cooked because this is going to bake afterwards.
Then the celery, just briefly, and the last but not the least we’ll season this with some salt, or some more thyme or whatever herbs you’re using. Now, like I said, this is going to bake afterwards, but what you want to do is sauté this vegetables first.
You can do this a day or two ahead of Christmas so that when you actually get to the time of preparing the meal, you can just take this whole dish, put it in the oven bake it, heat it up and you’re ready to go. Mushrooms take a little while to cook but don’t worry, you’ll get there, just let them have their time in the heat and then you can move on.
Now, you can find the recipe for today’s vegetarian stuffing along with my whole series of vegan Christmas recipes at healthyveganrecipes.net/Christmas.
Alright, depending on how you like your mushrooms, you can put it up right here, keep it going a little bit but this is the first stage you’re looking for. They can get a little bit browner form here, a little bit softer in texture.
The reason we add mushrooms to that pan and sauté them before onions, because normally onions are the first to go in, right? But, mushrooms are one of the thirstiest vegetables around, so they will suck up any kind of moisture that’s there in the pan, including the juice from the onions, and then you’ll have onion flavored mushrooms, which might be good for certain situations, but in general, I’d like to have each flavor be distinct and then come together in the dish.
So, we’re going to have mushroom flavored mushrooms, onion flavored onions and then we’re going to mix them together and let all those flavor combine with the carrots, the celery, the garlic, the apple and all that good stuff.
After the mushrooms, you’re going to put the onions in, at that point is just to get the vegetables a little bit softer and get them ready to go in and bake later on. So, the onions soften, garlic soften, carrots – just until they start to turn a little bit brighter orange, celery just a couple minutes, while really, just 30 seconds with the celery it will start to soften just a little.
And then the apple, throw it in and we’re going to season, so we’ll get some salt in there, some black pepper – the grinder is not working so well today, and I’m going to do thyme, same seasonings that I put into the rice.
Work with whatever seasonings you like, whether it’s a mix Italian herb, or thyme, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, basil – all of those herbs are excellent. Give it a stir and then you can turn the heat off and you’re going to wait for you rice to finish cooking.
Once you’re rice is fully cooked and you can tell when the water has all absorbed right into the rice. Then you are going to add you’re vegetables to that pot – I’m just going to dump them right in here, give them a stir through, there are a lot of them.
So, get that stirred together somewhat. And then I’m going to add some fried cranberries – always an excellent addition to Christmas dinner and some sliced almonds. I always get confused as to which is called sliced and to which is called slivered, and these I believe is actually called slivered, even though I feel that they should be called sliced.
So, dump it in there. You can use whatever nuts you like. Hazel nuts are wonderful, pecans are nice as well. If you don’t like dried cranberries, or if you don’t want to get them, raisins or currants are another option.
Get that all stirred together and then what you’re going to do is save this vegetarian stuffing mix until you are ready get dinner together. What you can as a vegan, because we aren’t cooking turkey is you can actually stuff this stuffing into the shell or skin of a quash, if you’re making a squash for Christmas dinner, or sweet potato if you’re doing sweet potato, or even potatoes if you want to save your potato skins that you baked.
Stuff this right in the potatoes and then baked it in the oven to bake it up. You can also make it a day off and enjoy it hot out of the pot, or you can just bake it on its own out of a baking dish without worrying about stuffing it into a vegetable.
It’s just a nice an idea to infused flavor into the stuffing from the squash and the sweet potato. That’s the beauty of putting stuffing into a turkey and the juices from the turkey infused flavor into the stuffing.
However you enjoy it, I hope you make this a part of your Christmas dinner – healthy brown rice vegetarian stuffing. You can find the recipes at healthyveganrecipes.net/Christmas along with all of the rest of my Christmas videos. I’m Heather, this is freshly served.