Tuesday, January 7

Apple Stuffing

During the new year, I'm trying to focus on balance.  And that's true with what my family's eating, too.  I tend to overindulge, then feel guilty and carb-restrict to even things out.  But I want to raise my daughter with a healthy diet that isn't unreasonable, that doesn't involve guilt.  And I'm learning each day that actions speak louder than words.  That girl mimics me and repeats me often- sometimes to even to my dismay.  I'm working on being a better role model for my daughter, and I think a healthy relationship with food is so, so important.

Which brings us to a carb loaded side: to prove that it's okay, in moderation.  In fact, it's necessary, in moderation.  But the real deal in this dish: the fresh produce. 

This stuffing is not found in a box.  And that makes it so much more enjoyable.  

I had a two-day-old baguette that I couldn't stand to waste.  So after a day of outdoor play, that baguette founds its place next to an oven roasted turkey tenderloin.  A lovely cold-weather meal.

I adapted this recipe from Ina Garten, my all time favorite Food Network host- although I'm really loving Ree Drummond lately, too ;)  I once dreamed Bobby Flay and I were friends, too.  But I digress.

I only had red delicious apples on hand, but they were still good in this recipe.

Herb and Apple Stuffing

1 baguette or other day-old bread, cubed
2 tblsp unsalted butter
4 stalks of celery, diced
1 apple, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 tblsp chopped parsley
2 tblsp chopped rosemary
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup - 2 cups chicken stock, or vegetable stock

Preheat oven to 300F.  Toast cubed bread on cookie sheet for about 7-10 minutes.  Remove and let set. Increase oven heat to 350F. 
 In saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add onion and celery, cooking until translucent.  Season with salt, pepper and herbs.  Add apple and continue cooking 2-3 more minutes, until softened.  
Combine bread with onion, celery and apple mixture in a baking dish (I used a 9x13) coated with butter.  
Top with 1 cup stock, adding more if bread seems too dry.
{I let my dish set at this time in the refrigerator an hour or so - we were playing in the snow! I simply baked it as directed after we came inside.}
Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes, uncovered, until top is golden brown.

I always feel better serving my family something homemade versus something out of a box.  You really can't beat the flavor of real herbs and vegetables and, of course, butter.
We loved this dish, and I'm making a point to include it more than just Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

Plus, it's a good lesson in balance-- served with a lean protein and vegetable, it's a healthy dinner.



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