My family has always been very traditional when it comes to Thanksgiving. Traditional in the American sense—we have a roasted turkey, stuffing, gravy, green beans and whatnot. We also have our own traditions. Meaning, we have the same items at the table every year. We always have my great grandmother’s scalloped potatoes and we have plenty of appetizers. No matter the creative ideas for appetizers or side dishes we might have, you can bet your bottom dollar that the same ones will adorn our table year after year.
The holidays are comforting, as is family and the routine dishes we enjoy. However, generations grow older and changes happen. It’s inevitable—a new dish will someday find a place next to the turkey. There are two of us in the family that are now gluten-free. My cousin and I adopted the diet after becoming aware of our thyroid issues many years ago. I remember we both had a holiday or two in the beginning where we accidentally ate a dish that we didn’t know wasn’t gluten-free. It’s been an uphill battle ever since.
For me, the hardest holiday food to part with has been stuffing. I’m the girl that reheats leftover stuffing the day after Thanksgiving instead of making a turkey sandwich. It has always been my favorite. Enter, gluten-free cornbread stuffing. My grandmother usually makes a traditional stuffing with stale white bright. I could have gone the gluten-free white bread route, but it wasn’t the same, so I had to go the other direction. I made this recipe a few days ago (for the sake of the picture) and I’ve been eating it for lunch ever since. I’ll make it again for Thanksgiving and I’ll have no problem eating those leftovers, too.
Photo by Rachel Bratene
• 1 pan prepared gluten-free cornbread (I used a mix. You can substitute regular cornbread here. Prepare the day before.)
• 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 12-ounce pork breakfast sausage (I used a gluten-free sausage.)
• 1 yellow onion, diced small
• 2 celery sticks, diced small
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, removed from the stem and chopped
• 2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 eggs, slightly beaten
• 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
• 1 cup fresh cranberries
• Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Dice day-old cornbread into medium-sized cubes and lay out on a baking sheet.
3. Sprinkle walnuts around cornbread and bake for 20 minutes, or until cornbread starts to brown.
4. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees.
5. In a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil together. Add sausage and, when it begins to brown, add onion and celery.
6. Cook just until onion becomes tender, about 3 minutes. Turn off heat and let mixture cool completely.
7. In a large bowl, mix cooled cornbread mixture and cooled sausage mixture with remaining ingredients. Generously season with salt and pepper.
8. Spoon cornbread mixture into a glass baking dish (I used a 9-by-9) and cover with foil.
9. Bake for 35 minutes.
10. Remove foil and bake for 25 more minutes.
Malorie Davis is a classically trained chef, holistic nutrition counselor, wife, and mother. She created the True American Diet and has a passion for natural homemaking. Malorie offers up recipes and nutrition tips on her new blog Malorie Davis Nutrition, as well as online nutrition counseling services.