Two big holiday favorites are cranberry sauce and stuffing. Unfortunately, these are two of the least healthy ‘savory’ dishes on the table. Cranberry sauce is made with a ton of sugar, to downplay the bitterness of the fruit, and stuffing is usually just a bunch of spiced white bread. This alternative uses a protein-rich, whole grain bulgur wheat, enough cranberries for flavor, and no added sugar.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups chopped onions (approximately 2 large onions)
- 1 cup chopped celery (approximately 2-3 stalks)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- ¼ teaspoon allspice, ground
- 2 cups bulgur, rinsed
- 3 cups stock
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ⅔ cup chopped peanuts, unsalted and roasted
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Black pepper to taste
- In a large, heavy pot, heat oil to medium, then add onions and celery. Stir frequently and cook until softened, 5-8 minutes. Add garlic, cinnamon, and allspice, continue stirring for one minute.
- Stir in bulgur to combine with vegetables and spices. Add stock, bayleaf, and salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover, and leave for 15-20 minutes. Bulgur is done when all liquid has been absorbed and it is tender.
- In a small pan, combine cranberries and orange juice. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and allow to sit. The cranberries will plump up.
- Remove bayleaf from cooked bulgur. Add cranberries, peanuts, parsley, and pepper. Fluff with a fork and serve hot.
Safety tip: Do not cook poultry with stuffing inside of it. Putting a densely packed grain or bread in the interior of a raw bird is an invitation for salmonella and other food-borne illnesses to set up shop. To flavor your bird, cook it in a flavorful liquid with aromatic vegetables and herbs. (Throw the vegetables and herbs away after cooking.) To flavor your stuffing, use a high quality bone broth instead of stock.