It is not even thanksgiving yet, and I am already having a hard time navigating these new culinary roads. And although I know I cannot be a burden on everyone else and force them to cook dairy free, I am going to do my very best to create recipes that everyone will like and that will help me stick to my new lifestyle.
My first dairy free holiday recipe came out better than I could have expected. I created this stuffing for my work holiday potluck, and actually decided on stuffing because I wanted something I could cook the night before and heat up in my crockpot for the potluck. Stuffing seemed like the way to go.
But, staying true to myself, I couldn’t do “just a stuffing”, I wanted to do something special. Cannied walnuts and cranberries needed to be a pa
rt of this recipe…why? I’m not really sure, those are just the 2 items I wanted to make sure I included. Then, as I was at Russo’s, I spotted some beautiful leeks and brussel sprouts, so those made the cut as well.
The end result was better than I could have expected. The sweetness from the wine and the walnuts, the saltiness from the broth and the stuffing, the tartness from the cranberries and the earthiness from the leeks, onions and brussel sprouts all married together perfectly into something that I would be proud to bring to any potluck.
Vegan Candied Walnuts:
If you choose to make your own candied walnuts, it is pretty simple. Heat a pan over medium heat. Add 1 cup of shelled walnuts, 2 Tbsp vegan butter and 1/4 cup of sugar. Stir consistently with a plastic spatula until sugar melts and begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Pour candied walnuts on to parchment or wax paper and separate the nuts immediately while they are still hot. Allow to cool and then chop to use in this recipe, or eat them all up!
A word about the brands I used:
I used Pepperidge Farms Country Style stuffing mix…because why slave over cubed bread when it is already done for you. I like this brand in particular because it is not loaded with seasoning, and lets my flavors shine through, and because I like how the cubes of bread hold up.
In place of butter I use Smart Balance Light w/ Flaxseed Oil. This is all I use in place of butter, it is the only product that produces nearly the same result as butter. I have tried other “vegan” butters and spreads, and they leave my food oily and taste artificial.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp Smart Balance Dairy Free Butter Substitute
- 2 large garlic cloves diced
- ½ large vidalia onion diced
- 1 large leek diced (dark green leaves removed)
- 10 brussel sprouts diced
- ½ cup white wine
- 1½ cup vegetable stock or broth
- 12 oz bag of your favorite stuffing
- 1 cup candied walnuts
- ¾ cup fresh cranberries halved
- Put olive oil, "butter" and garlic in a large, deep fry pan. Heat over medium-high until it begins to sizzle
- Add onion and cook until it begins to turn translucent
- Add leeks and brussel sprouts and cook until they begin to brown
- Add wine and boil until the alcohol smell goes away, about 3 minutes
- Add stock or broth and bring to a boil
- Remove from heat and pour in stuffing mix, cranberries and walnuts
- Stir stuffing gently and continuously until stuffing is all moist, about 5 minutes
- If stuffing is not moist enough, add another ½ cup of broth or stock and stir well, repeat as needed
- You may serve stuffing as is, or place in a baking dish and bake to get a crispy top