Last night was a pretend Thanksgiving in the Paleo Comfort Foods household.

Pretend meaning just us, not on Thanksgiving itself…though we sure do have a lot to be thankful for: the paleo community and your support of Paleo Comfort Foods,dear friends near and far, our families, our health, our dogs (even the one that breaks out of his pen in the backyard to try and terrorize cats), and much more.

So Sunday night became our little home cooked paleo Thanksgiving!

Because we’re heading out of town to go spend Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania, which likely means us not getting leftovers, we figured there is no earthly reason that we should have only one Thanksgiving meal! So we did it up in full: turkey, oven roasted delicata squash, mashed cauliflower, gravy AND…paleo stuffing! (p.s. – most of these recipes are in the book, and you can find some of these recipes in the most recent edition of Paleo Magazine – featuring our turkey on the cover!). 

This post is all about that one side dish: Stuffing. Dressing. Call it what you will, but this side is a staple on pretty much everyone’s Thanksgiving dinner table and for those living a paleo lifestyle, is one that most say “no thanks” too, or pay the gluten-bomb price! It’s definitely one of those dishes that is usually made but once a year (which is quite unfortunate!) and is also one of those dishes that – when made “differently” – can cause many a discussion/heated debate.

And by differently I mean that just about everyone I know grew up with their own family’s recipe for stuffing, and that’s what they preferred. When it came time to go to a friend’s for Thanksgiving, or trying out the in-laws’ dressing, or out to a restaurant for the Thanksgiving buffet, no one’s stuffing was quite like the one you grew up with (“oysters in stuffing?” “cornbread dressing?” “Pepperidge Farm?!”). The great thing about stuffing in my opinion is that there are SO many ways to make it your own. You can make up some paleo bread or biscuits, and crumble those up like you would bread crumbs/cubes. You can use some oven roasted cauliflower for a more dense stuffing. Oysters, ground beef instead of sausage, take some of those family traditions, and start a new one of your own that is perfect for everyone – not only those on the paleo path!Paleo Comfort Foods - Thanksgiving Stuffing

1 pound ground pork
2 teaspoons fresh sage leaves, freshly chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
¼ teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
3 cups celery, chopped
2 cups onion, chopped
3 granny smith apples, cored and chopped
1 pound mushrooms, chopped
1-2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs
¼ cup turkey stock or drippings from turkey

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large skillet, brown pork along with sage, thyme, rosemary, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. Mix well and remove to bowl when cooked through.
3. In the same skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add in celery, onion, apples and mushrooms, and cook until onions are translucent and celery and mushrooms somewhat softened. Mix in the poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.
4.  In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and turkey stock. Set aside.
5. Combine the pork with the sautéed vegetables in a large baking dish, and pour the egg/stock mixture over.
6. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, uncovering for last 10 minutes to brown the stuffing on top.
(you can – if preferred – stuff your turkey with some of this goodness as well!)

Yields about 6 cups cooked stuffing

We have NOT forgotten all those awesome photos in our photo contest! We’ve just been busy overhauling our index and Table of Contents for the soon-to-be-printed 3rd edition of Paleo Comfort Foods! And YES, we will be making both available online for anyone and everyone to see. So stay tuned! Contest winners will be announced tomorrow!

If you don’t swing by here prior to Thanksgiving, hope you all have a wonderful Thansgiving, and our friends outside of the US eat some turkey anyways!

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