October 31, 2012

Cornbread Dressing (vegan and gluten-free)


I took over the role of preparing and hosting Thanksgiving dinner many years ago, but I always have my mom make the dressing as her contribution regardless. I have been enjoying it for my entire life, and no Thanksgiving for me would be complete without it. When I changed the way that I eat with a dedication to a plant-based diet, I had to figure out a way to replicate the flavors of my favorite Thanksgiving dish with a new set of ingredients. Considering the fact that it never had meat in it, I had a fair chance of making it happen. Last year, I did a satisfactory job. This year I nailed it thanks to a new recipe I concocted for the cornbread base that happens to be gluten-free as well.

If you are not interested in keeping it vegan or gluten-free and want the original recipe that I grew up with or don't want to be bothered with making your own base, go ahead and replace the vegetable stock and butter sticks with something else. But I assure you that this one is a winner that you can feel confident to serve to a crowd. This is also another great dish to make ahead and keep in the freezer until the day before the holiday.

Cornbread Dressing (vegan and gluten-free)
Serves 12-15. Halve the ingredients if serving less people.
For all ingredients, please use those that are organic or grown without pesticides.
24 ounces vegan and gluten-free cornbread stuffing base (double recipe) or your favorite store bought brand (my mom always uses Mrs. Cubbision’s Cornbread Stuffing mix)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 bunch celery, thinly sliced
16 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cans sliced water chestnuts
12 ounces slivered almonds, toasted
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
8 ounces non hydrogenated vegan butter sticks, melted (such as Earth Balance)
5-6 cups vegetable stock, depending on if you prefer it more dry or wet
1/3 cup cognac (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a 8-10 quart sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with the salt, and saute for about 5-10 minutes or until they begin to appear translucent. Add the celery and cook for another 5 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and cook for another 2 -3 minutes.
Add the water chestnuts, almonds, and parsley.
Add the broth, butter, brandy. Then add the stuffing mix that has been prepared according to the recipe.
Taste the mixture to make any last minute adjustments to the seasonings.
Put the mixture into a casserole dish or for a nice presentation, put the mixture into a Bundt pan. Its easy to slice, serve, and is very pretty for a Thanksgiving buffet when un-molded. Refrigerate or Freeze.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Bake the dressing for about an hour until it is golden brown and crispy.
Serve immediately from the casserole or un-mold the Bundt onto a platter.

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Categories: Fall & Winter, Gluten Free, Snacks, Nibbles & Finger Food

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