Cornbread Dressing with (or without) Sausage
Without a doubt, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Regardless of what the skeptics say of its origin or a person’s affliction towards turkeys – It’s the only holiday that transcends all faiths, shuts down nearly all businesses across the US and brings loved ones together around the coveted dinner table.
When my boys were diagnosed with food sensitivities several years ago – I had to quickly makeover several side dishes and pies and I truly feared this holiday would never be the same. Much to my surprise, this challenge ushered in a new perspective, highlighting the true significances of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is much more than a meal, it’s a time set aside to be grateful for one’s blessings. I’m blessed to have food. I’m blessed to have the means to “make over” traditional recipes. I’m blessed for my morning cup of tea, the bus driver that saw me running this morning and waited, my health, funny cat videos, the GREAT outdoors, workouts that push your body to the limit, books, when the perfect song comes on at the perfect time, vacations, family support, pajamas, Netflix, a joke that makes you laugh so hard you might pee, being understood, hitting every green light, a friend I can truly trust, Saturday mornings, hot baths on cold evening… and soooooo much more.
Making over these meals and watching Thanksgiving come to life in our dairy, gluten free home has reminded me this beautiful holiday is about the gathering and being grateful.
Over the next 3 weeks, I’ll share with you our family favorites…. Starting with Cornbread Dressing (my husband’s favorite).
8 cups day old gluten free corn bread cubes (Bob’s Red Mill Cornbread mix is my go too and its found at most major grocery stores or via Thrive or Amazon)
1 lb ground turkey, pork or vegan breakfast sausage
2-3 carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
2-3 celery ribs, diced (about 1 cup)
1 onion, diced
2 Tbl fresh sage, finley chopped or 2 tsp dried
2 Tbl fresh rosemary, finley chopped or 2 tsp dried
2 Tbl fresh thyme, finley chopped or 2 tsp dried
2 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
1 tsp fresh ground pepper (more or less to taste)
12 Tbl dairy free butter (we like Earth Balance, found at most major grocery chains)
If making your own corn bread, 2-3 days before Thanksgiving, mix corn bread according to directions and spread across a large, oiled (spray oil or rub with Extra Virgin Olive Oil) cookie sheet. Yes… on a cookie sheet. This allows for smaller crusty cubes. Bake according to package directions for muffins.
After allowing it to cool, cut in to ½ inch cubes. Store in gallon freezer till ready to make dressing.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown meet, then set aside. Melt butter in large sauce pan. Add veggies, cook for 5 minutes. Add herbs, salt and pepper and continue cooking till celery and onion are soft & translucent.
Mix all ingredients, cornbread, sausage, veggies, in a large bowl. Place mix in 9×13 inch baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes or till browning on top.
Remove from oven and serve OR cover with foil till everything else is ready. 😉