I am always on the lookout for ideas to keep grains out of my life. In September I reduced and eventually completely cut grains – since doing so I can really see that my body holds on to inflammation that I link with grain and/or legume intake. When I have cheated (we made gingerbread cookies lately, a Christmas tradition… how could I not have some?!? I am human!) I have noticed flares in my body – my belly feels puffier, my plantar fasciitis worsens, I gain a few pounds overnight. I figure as long as I am able to make delicious food alternatives, I am happy to avoid the grains.
In my Nutrition work, I do a lot of blogging and social media, and I feel a constant pressure to not only have good ideas, but also to create some good food in the hours of the day when I can take some decent pictures. Harder to do in the winter months! I had a day off and the sun was shining, so I took full advantage of the day. I made this stuffing yesterday morning, and my family enjoyed it for dinner. Like, seriously enjoyed it. I loved it so much that I contacted my good friend (who also appreciates healthy, paleo based meals) and offered to bring this dish along to Christmas dinner. More than one person has commented that they couldn’t give up a traditional bread stuffing. I honestly feel that once you make a big dietary change, it is so worth finding a way to make it work. Do I still love bread stuffing? Um, of course. Do I know that eating it will make me feel puffy? I do… not worth it.
This can be made AIP friendly by swapping the cranberries for chopped apple, and avoiding the pepper. Be careful to buy sausage that has no fennel or other seed based spices as well.
This is a yummy stuffing, with a fair amount of chopping. Worth it. It will be a beautiful addition to your Christmas table, I guarantee it.
- 4 lbs sweet potatoes (1/2″ dice) – I didn’t peel mine because they were beautiful, if you need to peel them, go for it.
- 3 tbsp grass fed ghee or avocado oil (divided)
- 1 lb quality sausage (casings removed)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 cups diced onion
- 2 cups diced celery
- 1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, diced
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground savoury
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350, line a large baking sheet with parchment
- Wash and dice (peel if necessary) the sweet potatoes, toss with 1 tbsp melted ghee or avocado oil; place them in a single layer on baking sheet, sprinkle with the rosemary, salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, toss them around and bake another 10-15 minutes – keep an eye on them, you don’t want them burnt.
- Cook the sausage (out of casings, breaking the meat up as you go), until it is nicely browned.
- Add 2 tbsp ghee or avocado oil to a frying pan or medium sauce pan. Warm it up and add three smashed garlic cloves. Once the garlic starts to brown, remove it… you are infusing the flavour into the oil.
- Meanwhile, dice the onion and celery and prepare herbs. Add them to the hot oil, sprinkle with salt and cook with the dried herbs for about 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
- Once your sweet potatoes, sausage and celery/onion combo is complete, combine it all in a baking dish (don’t forget to add the cranberries)
- Cover it with foil and return it to the oven for about 20 minutes.
Some notes: I didn’t add them, but I really feel that adding some diced apple would be a great addition. I also think that pecans would be an awesome addition (probably dry roasted and sprinkled on the top at serving time would be best). I cooked up some torn kale and added that before we chowed down at dinner time. Not necessary, but I felt our dinner was lacking the green factor. Sausage, kale and sweet potatoes are a classic… add in the cranberries… no brainer, it’s gonna be good!
Enjoy every bite!