I’m in the mood for a new stuffing this holiday. Something with rich exotic spices! And crunchy textures. This Paleo stuffing is based on a Moroccan stew, slow-cooked in a Tagine clay-pot. That’s similar to baking inside a bird, right? This turkey stuffing is nothing like my mom’s. It is gluten-free and grain-free, made with pure unrefined ingredients – onions, celery, squash, mushrooms, and toasted almonds, plus an enticing blend of Moroccan spices.
The spice paste has a deep, mellow flavor, tantalizingly sexy, and a bit sweet! It is similar to a traditional harissa sauce, however it is Nightshade-free, so it contains no peppers, tomato, paprika, etc. (Nightshades cause digestive problems for some people – see my post Beware of Nightshades.) A mortar and pestle is ideal for the spice paste, or use a large wooden spoon handle in a bowl to crush them. For a subtle Moroccan sweetness with no effect on your blood sugar, try one of the zero-sugar sweeteners suggested.
You can put this stuffing inside the bird, or bake it in a separate dish, or both. I like it best baked inside the turkey, so the the exotic spices can mix with the turkey flavors. This recipe makes about 12 cups of stuffing – enough for a 12 to 14 pound turkey, plus about 4 cups extra to bake in a dish on the side.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 onions, sliced in thin half-moons
- 2 tablespoons olive oil,
- 4 large cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
- 2 inches fresh ginger, chopped fine (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon unprocessed salt
- 1/2 teaspoon whole caraway seeds (optional if you like caraway)
- 1 tablespoon sweetener such as Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener, or 1/2 teaspoon PureLo Lo Han Sweetener by Swanson, or 2 teaspoons raw honey, or your favorite sweetener.
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (crimini, shitake, button, or your favorite)
- 1 cup black olives, sliced
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 3 leaves kale, chopped coarsely
- 4 cups cooked squash (lightly steamed or bake it) and cut in 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 cup almonds, soaked if possible, and toasted. (See All About Nuts.)
- 1 cup stock
- 1/2 bunch parsley or cilantro, chopped
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender.
- Put all spice paste ingredients into a mortar and pestle or a small bowl. Pound or grind until it is as smooth as possible, then add it to the onion mixture and stir in.
- Add vegetables one at a time, sautéing briefly until they are softened. Remember, this will be baked so it doesn’t have to be completely soft. Add celery, mushrooms, olives, green onions and kale one at a time.
- Add squash and 1 cup broth as needed. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a very low simmer, cover, and allow vegetables to soften for about 10 minutes. Do not overcook.
- Add almonds, chopped parsley or cilantro, and stir in gently. Salt and pepper to taste.
- If you're baking a turkey, spoon the hot stuffing into the cavity of the bird and bake. Otherwise put the stuffing in a covered casserole dish, and bake at 350° F for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Enjoy!