Quinoa Mushroom Stuffing

Is it just me or are the Target black-Friday commercials so ridiculous that they’re funny? We’ve never gotten up early to battle our way through the mobs of people in order to get great deals. Granted, we don’t have the money to buy any of the big-ticket items that probably make it worth getting up early, but nonetheless, we have yet to venture out at 3AM the day after Thanksgiving (or midnight this year!). I think that we just like our sleep too much and I don’t want Elysia to have to bust out her guns if things get rough.

Whether you’re a go-getter on Black Friday (‘mountain phase, level ten; backwards’) or someone who waits for Cyber Monday to find crazy deals, make this stuffing to ramp up your training so you can get that 80-inch, flat-screen, 3D TV you’ve always wanted. Or, if you’re like us, enjoy it on Thanksgiving Day and then go take a nap.

Quinoa Mushroom Stuffing

  •  ½ cup chopped onion
  •  ½ cup chopped celery
  •  ½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 ½ -1 ¾ cup vegetable broth
  •  ½ lemon
  •  ½ teaspoon Sage
  • 16 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 Bell Peppers*
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  •  ¼ cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 5 slices dry bread, cubed**
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

– Set oven to broil and roast the bell peppers, turning until the skin begins to char. Don’t forget them in the oven! Once each side looks burnt, remove the peppers and place them in a container with a lid. Set aside.

– Preheat oven to 375 F (if you would like a crusty stuffing. See below for options).

– In a saucepan over medium heat, add a small amount of the vegetable broth and then add the onion. Saute until translucent. Add the celery and saute 1-2 minutes more.

– Add the rinsed quinoa, the sun-dried tomatoes, and all of the vegetable broth except 1/4 cup. Bring to a low boil. Stir in the sage, add the lemon half and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes (until most of the liquid is absorbed***).

– While the quinoa is cooking, heat a large skillet to medium-high and warm a small amount of oil (I use canola). Add the mushrooms, allow them to start to shrink in size, and then stir them slightly. If you’ve ever seen Julie and Julia, don’t crowd the mushrooms! They will steam/boil instead of saute due to the water that is released. Once the mushrooms are browned, set them aside.

– After letting the peppers sit, covered, for about 15-20 minutes, remove the skin and chop them. *I like to use a variety of bell peppers, red being my favorite. If you use green, I suggest roasting them and then sauteing them with a sprinkle of salt as it will actually bring out a slightly sweeter side to them. I know that it’s a lot of cooking for one pepper but the taste is enhanced quite a bit this way. When I use red, yellow or orange I do not saute them after roasting.

– Once the quinoa has absorbed most of the liquid, add the nutritional yeast, chopped broccoli, mushrooms and peppers.  Cook until the broccoli begins to turn bright green. ***I used tri-color quinoa which never seems to absorb as much liquid as the tan quinoa, so you may have to use more broth with that kind.

– Add the bread cubes, adjusting the liquid if necessary by adding more bread or vegetable broth. **If you’d like more of a bread-filled stuffing, feel free to add more than five slices, just adjust the amount of broth as necessary.

Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve as is or bake in the oven until crispy. Options: roast in a pumpkin or as a stuffing in a seitan roulade (recipe coming tomorrow!).