Saturday, November 17, 2007

South Beach Diet Friendly Stuffing with Whole Wheat Bread and Mushrooms

South Beach Diet Friendly Whole Wheat and Mushroom StuffingHere's another addition to my Thanksgiving Recipes, and it was really delicious.  For Thanksgiving I'll be going to my sister's Val's house (mother of the cute kids) and although she's not a South Beach dieter, she does eat mostly whole grains and low-sugar foods. In our family we call it stuffing even when it's not cooked inside the turkey, and last year for Thanksgiving, we tried the recipe for Whole Wheat Stuffing with Sage, Italian Sausage, and Pears from the South Beach Diet Parties and Holidays Cookbook. That's a delicious recipe if you like the idea of stuffing with sausage and pears, but this year I thought it would be fun to try taking a more traditional stuffing recipe and making it South Beach Diet friendly. The recipe that inspired this one was from Williams-Sonoma Holiday Entertaining (yes, I'm a bit of a sucker for those holiday cookbooks!)

I'll be adding this recipe to my post about Low-Glycemic Holiday Recipes, but if you want to adapt your own traditional stuffing recipe to the South Beach Diet, there are just a few things to keep in mind. First, you need to be sure to use 100% whole wheat bread. Read my post about the right bread for the South Beach Diet to help choose the bread. Second, you should avoid butter, or just use a tiny bit for flavoring, as I did in this recipe. I used olive oil to saute the mushrooms, onions, and celery, which is considered a "good fat" for South Beach. Third, include plenty of low-glycemic vegetables like onions, carrots, and mushrooms in proportion to the bread in the recipe. Fourth, avoid high-sugar flavorings like cranberries, cherries, or raisins, and use reduced chicken stock and plenty of fresh herbs instead for flavor. Stuffing is something I could never pass up on Thanksgiving, but this South Beach Friendly version will taste great next to my turkey.

Start with South Beach Friendly bread, and cut it into small cubes. This is kind of a personal preference, but I cut my bread cubes less than 1/2 inch big.

Put the bread on a cookie sheet and toast it in a 350 F oven for about 30 minutes, stirring a few times and watching so it doesn't get too brown.

I did like the idea of mushrooms in the stuffing, and they're low on the glycemic index, but I didn't want big pieces of mushrooms, so I use the food processor to chop them very small.

While bread is toasting, saute mushrooms, then onions and celery in a small amount of olive oil, and then put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Add the reduced chicken stock which you've simmered with the thyme, and gently stir until stuffing ingredients are well combined.

Whether to bake your stuffing covered or uncovered is definitely a personal choice, and in my family we have fans of both "wet" and "dry" stuffing. I take a middle ground and bake mine covered half the time, and then uncover for the last 20 minutes.


South Beach Diet Friendly Whole Wheat and Mushroom Stuffing with Sage and Thyme
(Makes 5-6 servings, recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Holiday Entertaining.)

Ingredients:
6 cups 100% whole wheat bread cubes (about 1/2 large loaf of bread, cut into cubes)
1/2 lb. mushrooms, finely chopped (I used Crimini mushrooms, also called Baby Bella)
1 onion chopped in small dice
1 cup chopped celery
2 T olive oil (or more, depending on your pan)
2 T fresh sage, chopped small (if you only have dried sage, use 1 T)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 cups chicken stock, simmered to reduce to 1 1/2 cups
2 tsp. fresh thyme (or use 1 tsp. dried thyme)
1 tsp. Turkey soup base (optional but recommended)
1 T butter

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut bread into cubes about 1/2 inch square, arrange on cookie sheet and toast in oven about 30 minutes, or until bread is dry and slightly browned. (I did toast my bread that long, although one commenter said hers burned. I stirred the bread cubes quite a few times to get them toasted on all sides. Be sure to watch the bread carefully.)

Place 2 cups chicken stock in small saucepan with Turkey soup base and thyme and let simmer while you chop mushrooms, onions, and celery until reduced to 1 1/2 cups.

Chop mushrooms, onions, and celery. Put small amount of olive oil in large non-stick frying pan and saute mushrooms, until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are starting to brown. Put mushrooms into large mixing bowl and add a bit more olive oil to pan, then add onions and celery and saute about 3 minutes, stirring a few times. Add chopped sage and saute 2-3 minutes more, until vegetables are starting to slightly brown. Put onion-celery mixture in mixing bowl with mushrooms.

Add bread cubes to mixing bowl. Season stuffing mixture with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Add the tablespoon of butter to hot stock and stir until melted, then gently stir stock into bread and vegetable mixture. (Depending on how moist you prefer your stuffing, you might not want to use all the stock.)

Put stuffing into metal or crockery baking dish which has been sprayed with non-stick spray and cover with foil. I baked covered about 20 minutes, then uncovered and baked about 20 minutes more. Whether or not to cover the stuffing is entirely up to you, but I would reduce the cooking time a little if you're cooking it uncovered. Serve hot, with plenty of turkey (and probably a bit of gravy, after all it's Thanksgiving!)

Printer Friendly Recipe

More Thanksgiving Links for South Beach Dieters:
Penzey's Turkey Base and a South Beach Gravy Tip
Low-Glycemic Holiday Recipes for a South Beach Diet Thanksgiving
South Beach Diet Menu Options for Thanksgiving from 2006
Tanna from My Kitchen in Half Cups has a secret ingredient for stuffing which I think would taste very good in this recipe and would be very South Beach friendly.
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18 comments:

junation said...

Really fortunate to read this given the problems my family has with sugar. Thanks.

Lydia said...

I'm a big fan of stuffing made outside the turkey, and this is one of those dishes that our vegetarian guests can enjoy with just a slight moderation on the broth used. Thanks!

cookiecrumb said...

That may be SBD-friendly, but it sounds exactly like Thanksgiving stuffing to me! Yumza.

Chris said...

My mom always made a dish of stuffing on the side...I loved it! This looks delicious.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I've never cooked a turkey that could hold enough to satisfy the folks eating and our Vegan son would eat it from the turkey anyway. One of my favorite things to do with this is like my grandmother and mother, I make stuffing balls so you can get more of the crust part.
You've just about got the recipe right here.
But you've left out the really best secret ingredient.
Thanks so much for the birthday greetings!

Mimi said...

This might be just what I am looking for! We are having Chateaubriand again, but I was thinking: What is Thanksgiving without stuffing?

Kalyn said...

Junation, glad you liked it.

Lydia, I never liked it in the turkey, too soggy. Veggie broth would be fine here too.

CC and Chris, thanks!

Tanna, you MUST tell me what your secret ingredient is!

Mimi, Chateaubriand with stuffing sounds great to me!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Soon Kalyn, soon!

Kevin said...

Nice looking stuffing. I really like celery in stuffing.

Katy said...

looks great!

Astra Libris said...

I'm delighted to discover a whole wheat stuffing recipe! After plentiful whole wheat substitution experiments, it's refreshing to find whole wheat finding its way into a traditional holiday recipe... This is the recipe I'm printing and taking home for the holidays!
- Astra Libris
http://foodforlaughter.blogspot.com

Christine said...

I have a bread machine, so I made my own stuffing bread. However, I burned my bread after toasting for 20 minutes at 350. :( I think 15 minutes would have been perfect. Just a heads up for those who might be trying this for the first time.

PS. Just started South Beach this week. I'm going to treat Thanksgiving as a Phase 2 day even though I'm still in Phase 1. (Phase 1 sure is tough when you're vegetarian!)

Jan said...

We all loved the stuffing. There was some confusion since the recipe ingredients call for an egg and is never mentioned again, not to mention the parsley that's supposed to be fresh. Good thing I've made stuffing before and was able to figure it out. I subbed an apple for the pear. I also cooked it in a Corning roaster, which was easier than a 13x9.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Kalyn said...

Christine, I added a caution about the toasting time, although I checked my notes and I did toast my bread that long. Sorry it was a problem for you, maybe it varies depending on the bread. Anyway, thanks for letting me know.

Jan I guess I am confused by this comment since I don't see any mention of an egg or fresh parsley? I will check the last year's stuffing recipe and see if that's the one you're referring to. Anyway, glad it turned out well for you.

Kalyn said...

Jan, just checked, and you are absolutely right, I must have skipped a line when I typed out that recipe last year. Have edited the post and thanked you in the comments, good catch!

MsKim said...

This stuffing, Whole Wheat I can stuff my Turkey with right? NOTHING says anything abuot actually stuffing the turkey, jsut cooking it outside in another pan. If I didn't stuff my Turkey, it wouldn't be Thanksgiving!!
So, can I stuff my Turkey with this recipe? Thank uu.. and happy thanksgiving to everyone.

Kalyn said...

Ms. Kim, yes you can definitely cook this inside the turkey too. FDA guidelines recommends that stuffing be cooked to 165F just like the turkey so if you have a meat thermometer, I would use that. Happy Thanksgiving!

Randy said...

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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