The quinoa stuffing experiments continued today with this delicious Sweet Potato & Cranberry Quinoa Stuffing concoction that was so successful, it’s absolutely going to be made for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner this year.
Yesterday’s experiment with a more standard, traditional flavor blend can be found here. While that came out amazing too, it has more of a full-on savory flavor to it and since I’m more of a sweet and savory kind of gal, for me this stuffing is perfection.
The first time I tried this sweet potato and cranberry quinoa stuffing today, I put celery salt in by mistake instead of ground coriander. The end result tasted good but I could tell something tasted a bit wrong given the ingredients I thought had gone into it. Ultimately, I realized the unmarked spice container I scooped out of was celery salt (which, btw, looks remarkably similar to ground coriander). That’s what I get for using one of those spice bottle holder things where the containers aren’t labeled! It all worked out, though, since my husband volunteered happily to keep that batch for himself so I could remake the recipe with the intended ingredient.
Let me tell you, while that first batch was good, the second batch (being the recipe below) was out of this world! I would never guess that it was a healthy or digestion-friendly recipe; it’s simply fantastic. There’s a hint of sweetness from the sweet potato and dried cranberries, plus some savory flavors from the poultry seasoning and then a light freshness to it from the coriander.
Coriander has become my substitute ingredient whenever I would like to use lemon juice but can’t because lemon juice makes my insides revolt, or as a substitute for cumin powder (though usually if I’m substituting for cumin powder, I do a mix of ground coriander and ground cardamom). I love the lightness coriander brings to a dish. It’s difficult to explain the flavor, except to say it makes whatever food it’s in have a kind of freshness to it.
The only other herb used in this is poultry seasoning, and for that I used my homemade variety, which contains no common GERD/Acid Reflux or IBS trigger ingredients. You can find the recipe for that seasoning mix here.
I have a couple of other ideas to try out for gluten free, digestion-friendly stuffing alternatives, so stay tuned for those. Please let me know what you think of this recipe if you try it and let me know of any ingredients/flavors you’d love to see included.
Sweet Potato & Cranberry Quinoa Stuffing
- 3/4 cup (135g) quinoa (white variety)
- 3/4 cup (135g) quinoa (red variety)
- 3 cups water (divided)
- 1+1/2 tsp. salt (divided)
- ~3 cups sweet potatoes (peeled and diced) - For IBS, total weight must not be more than 560g. I used 420g. Also, see my post here for the difference between sweet potatoes and yams
- 1 Tbsp. garlic-infused olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. chives (fresh, chopped)
- 1+1/4 tsp. ground coriander
- 1+1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning (for GERD/Acid Reflux, use a variety that doesn't contain black pepper or nutmeg. See my recipe for a safe poultry seasoning blend here)
- 1/2 cup cranberries (dried) - for IBS, total weight must be no more than 78g
- ~1 cup (90g) pecans (halved)
- 1 Tbsp. parsley (fresh, chopped - optional, for garnish only)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a small baking sheet with foil, place pecans on it and cook in the preheated oven for ~5 minutes, just until you start to smell the pecans. Be careful not to burn. Pecans are very easily scorched.
- When the pecans are done, remove from the oven, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees F and lightly grease a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Toss the sweet potato chunks with the oil and 1/4 tsp. of the salt until the sweet potato is thoroughly coated.
- Spread the sweet potato chunks out on the prepared baking sheets in a single layer and roast in the preheated 375 degrees F oven for 20 minutes (you don't want them overcooked, since they'll be cooking more in the quinoa later). While the sweet potato is cooking, make your quinoa.
Note: When the sweet potato is done, leave the oven on, still at 375 degrees F, as you'll need it again.
- Place the quinoa, 1 cup of the water and 1/4 tsp. of the salt in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as it starts boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, then turn the burner off and leave the covered pan on the burner for 10 minutes (DO NOT lift the lid at all during this time). When the 10 minutes sitting time is done, remove the cover and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
- When the quinoa is done, remove the cover and add in the sweet potato, chives, coriander, poultry seasoning, dried cranberries, pecans, remaining 3/4 tsp. of salt and remaining 1+1/2 cups water and stir gently until everything is combined
Note: The mixture will be liquidy. It's supposed to be, because the quinoa continues to cook in it in the oven, plus the dried cranberries and pecans soak up moisture during baking.
- Place the stuffing mixture into a baking dish that has been lightly greased with nonstick cooking spray (I used a 1.5 quart oval baking dish). Bake on rack in the center of the preheated 375 degrees F oven for 10 minutes. Then, remove the stuffing from the oven, increase oven temperature to 500 degrees F and move the rack up to the top of the oven. Stir up the stuffing a bit, then place back in the oven and continue to cook for ~8-10 minutes more until the top of the stuffing becomes golden brown and slightly crisp.
- Remove from oven and allow to sit for a few minutes, then garnish with some chopped fresh parsley, if desired, and serve (or serve as is).
*Information above is based on the specific brands/types of ingredients I used. Values vary if using any other brands/types of ingredients.*
*The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.*