Healthy Stuffing Ideas
Cooking stuffing inside of the bird can be dangerous if careful preparation and cooking instructions are not followed properly. The internal temperature for a cooked turkey and its stuffing must reach 165 degrees. Temp the poultry as well as the center of the stuffing with a thermometer to ensure that is cooked. To avoid the worry of cooking stuffing inside the turkey properly, stuffing can be cooked separately. Now that the precautions for avoiding a food borne illness have been discussed, the idea that a stuffing can actually be good for your body, too, is worth mention.
Stuffing can be a healthy option as a side dish. According to an online article in TIME called “Stuffing Yourself Healthy” written by Janice M. Horowitz new research suggests that bread crust may contain a cancer-fighting antioxidant called pronyl-lysine. In order to make stuffing really healthful, use whole-wheat bread or high-fiber grains like wild rice.
Many low fat recipes for stuffing are available. Cook stuffing outside the bird, where it won’t absorb fat-laden drippings. Since stuffing lends itself nicely to the addition of many different and varied ingredients, the possibilities for a flavorful low-fat stuffing are endless. Try stuffing with wild rice, dried fruits or nuts and use broth instead of butter to add flavor and reduce fat. Here are a couple of great stuffing recipe suggestions.
1/4 cup brown rice – uncooked
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups mushrooms — (1 1/2 lb) sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
Cook the rice in the water until tender, about 1 hour. Sauté the remaining ingredients in a skillet until the celery and onion are tender. Add the rice and stir to blend. Use in chicken roaster or double the recipe for turkey stuffing.
The recipe yields 8 servings (1/2 cup per serving) with just 2.5 grams of fat per serving. For the record, 1 cup of this stuffing contains 75 calories.
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
3/4 c. chopped green bell pepper
2 1/4 c. cubed French bread
2 tsp. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
3/4 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth divided
3 tbsp. hazelnuts
3 c. peeled, cored, diced quince (about 3 quinces)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring once. Remove nuts from oven and turn them out onto a towel. Roll up the towel and rub off the skins of the hazelnuts. Coarsely chop the hazelnuts and set aside. Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add the quince and sprinkle with sugar. Cook for 15 minutes or until very brown, stirring often. Add 1/2 cup broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until quince is tender and liquid is almost completely evaporated. Add bell pepper, onions, poultry seasoning and garlic and cook 3 more minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/4 cup broth, nuts, bread cubes, salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Spoon the mixture into a 1-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray, cover, and bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm.