A Wild Twist on Thanksgiving (Part 2)
My husband and I have an unspoken rule. I just put the food in front of him and ask him to taste it. I don’t set it up. I don’t tell him what’s in it or how it’s supposed to taste. I don’t ask him any questions except…do you like it?
I think his opinion is important because he considers himself “mainstream.” I feel if he likes something, then everyone will like it. And he’s usually spot on. Sometimes I disagree with his taste buds but I definitely can’t go by my own preference. I’ve been told one too many times that I like food to taste a bit “too healthy.”
After having a taste of this Wild Blueberry stuffing my husband looked at me and said “wow, this is so good you could serve it at Thanksgiving!”
That’s when I knew I was onto something pretty darn good.
I think it’s safe to say that stuffing is a must on any Thanksgiving table. And there are so many variations! You can stuff it in the turkey or bake it in the oven. It can be meatless. It can be made with boxed bread, fresh bread, rice or other grains. Growing up, my mother always made two versions, one stuffed inside the turkey and the other one baked. As a kid I loved the soggy mound that came straight from the bird, oftentimes sticking to my spoon. As an adult I wonder…what was I thinking?
A really great stuffing can have that “dream about it all year” quality. Indeed, once you’ve had an amazing stuffing, it’s hard to forget it. To create an unforgettable stuffing, you have to add a little something special that people will remember; something unexpected that will take your stuffing to that elusive craving level.
This stuffing definitely has that something special. For one, look at the gorgeous wild blue color! Anthocyanin takes most of the credit for that; it’s the flavonoid that is found in the deep blue pigment of Wild Blueberries, giving them their amazing color and their antioxidant power.
The base of this stuffing is a lovely loaf of five grain bread that I left out overnight to get a little crispy. To the bread I added cooked tri-color quinoa and sautéed leeks, baby bella mushrooms, and diced parsnips. After seasoning with sage and thyme I tossed the stuffing with my something special: frozen Wild Blueberries. The Wild Blueberries are that unexpected ingredient that takes this stuffing to the next level. They not only add gorgeous color and unique flavor, they also add moisture to the stuffing, so very little extra liquid is needed. I love this perk because sometimes broth can overpower the other flavors.
This stuffing is gorgeous straight from the oven. But to really impress your guests, give it a quick stir before serving and watch how those warm Wild Blueberries transform this dish into something…well, unforgettable.
About the Author
Danielle Omar is a registered dietitian, clean-eating coach, teacher and cookbook author. She is a passionate food and nutrition educator and founded Danielle Omar Nutrition to support busy men and women on their journey to becoming their healthiest self. An avid cook, she also enjoys sharing plant-based recipes and nutrition strategies on her Food Confidence blog. Danielle has a Master’s degree in Nutrition and has been teaching nutrition at the college level for over 10 years. She has contributed to local and national media outlets such as The Washingtonian, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Shape Magazine, and Women’s Health Magazine. Through her private nutrition practice, media work, and group programs, Danielle has successfully motivated hundreds of busy professionals and families to eat confidently and live a healthy life.