Easy Vegan/Vegetarian Stuffing

Easy Vegan/Vegetarian Stuffing

One of the most favorite things I cook for Thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas is stuffing or dressing, depending on where in the US you reside.  I love how all of the spices mix together like a marriage of flavors .  And it’s one reason (other than the meat consumption) why I know I could never eat Paleo.  Bread…at least for this stuffing…..is a tradition we <I> cannot miss.photo 3

Every year, my family knows, that it will grace our table.  They wait for it.  I make a ton of it; in fact oftentimes I have to mix in my giant party punch bowl to have a big enough bowl for mixing.

There’s an art to it, but once it’s mastered, it easy peasy.  My mother in law said someone asked her this year what her favorite part of Thanksgiving was and she replied, “My daughter in law’s stuffing!”

*For this recipe I cannot give exact amounts.  It all depends on how much or how little you are cooking.  This was my recipe this year.

photo 5 Vegan Stuffing

-Cubed and dried cornbread.  This year I used about 10 cups

-One and ½ large whole yellow onion

-One whole bunch of celery

2 sticks of butter or 1 cup of Vegan Butter

-One whole bunch FRESH finely chopped Rosemary

-One whole bunch FRESH finely chopped Sage

-3/4 bunch of FRESH finely chopped thyme

-1 bag or about 2 cups of dried cranberries

-1-2 cups walnuts (usually I candy the walnuts)

-Veggie Broth

-Salt and pepper to taste

In large skillet melt butter and toss in onion and celery.  Cook until onions are translucent and celery is a bit soft.  DO NOT over cook.  I like mine a bit crunchy.

When done, mix with cornbread cubes.  With my mortar and pestle, I grind up the Rosemary, Sage & Thyme, then add it to the bread. photo Allow this to mix well together and cool somewhat.  Start adding in veggie broth a little at a time.  This part will be personal preference.  Some like a more mushy texture to their dressing.  I add just enough to coat bread well, and it starts to soften a tiny bit.  I do not like overly mushy stuffing.  After this is all mixed well, I add in the dried cranberries and candied walnuts.  This year, I did regular walnuts.  Add salt and a dash of pepper and mix well.  I really try to “fluff” it more than mix it to give it a lighter texture.

We do not stuff a turkey for Thanksgiving, so after stuffing is made, place into a casserole dish and bake it on 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until heated through.photo 1

Happy Holidays from our kitchen to yours~

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Day 28-Thanksgivng

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I am just thankful for this day.  thanksgiving-quotes5

As we gather around our tables with our family and friends may we remember what’s truly important;  relationships, love, laughter, appreciation, togetherness, those stolen moments when eyes sparkle with pure joy,  our freedom, our health, authenticity, eyes creasing as smiles appear,  loyalty, our faith.

As we prepared for our meal today cooking and baking, my hubs and I stopped mid-kitchen.  How many Thanksgivings have we hosted?  How many times have we prepared this meal together?  Music on, dancing around our kitchen, we laughed out loud remembering past mishaps, pies that didn’t set, recipes that didn’t turn out, the dreadful turkey mishap of 1996.  He looked at me and said, “Baby, it’s all about the stories and the journey we took to get here.” He continued, “When we are old, think of the laughter and merriment we will bring to our kids and grandkids when we recall all of this!”  Time…thats another thing I am thankful for.  It’s something to never be taken for granted.

Thanksgiving-QuoteMy heart swells with joy when my family and friends enter this home.  To bring them in from the brisk, fall air, into the warmth, to a table overflowing with feast, to football, and piano recitals, to playing games…to hear the exultation that is THANKSGIVING is luxury beyond compare to me.  There.  Is.  Noting.  Better.

May God richly bless each and every one of you this Thanksgiving.

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Day 26- Thankful For Home

Unknown-2We have moved a lot!  Since my hubs and I have been together, we have moved from California, to Idaho, to Minnesota and back to Idaho.  Whilst living in these various states, we have moved to different cities, and different homes.  Every one felt like home to us and our children.  It’s interesting to me when I run across people who for some reason are somewhat displaced.  Maybe waiting for a house to be built, and are in a “temp home”  maybe in between moving to a new city…and they say they cannot stand it, because it’s not home.

Greg and I have always had the feeling that Home is Where You Make It.  In all of our moving, every place felt like home…because, it was.  It was never the “dwelling” in which we were living.  It was the people, the family, the friends, the LOVE that made it our home.  I have told hubs that I could live in the plushest of mansions or the minimalist of huts, and it would be home as long as were were there together.  It’s true.  jolby-home-is-where-you-make-it-print-lg

Unknown-1You see, we learned years ago that our “things” are really only things.  Things on loan to us only for a short time.  Nothing we “own” is truly ours.  We know the Source for whom these things belong.  So for us, home is much more than our address and couches.

This week, we learned that our oldest is moving out of the state.  It was only a matter of time before this happened and we knew it.  Our middle is also moving out of the state.  In a few short weeks/months, we will have two children living in two different states.  We are so happy for them.  We knew to grow and to build careers that they wouldn’t stay here long.  So that leaves hubs and I wondering what to do?  Where to go?  We do not need this big house we are living in.  Our cub will graduate in 2.5 years…and then what?  Lot’s of praying is happening in the Nilges house right now.  Transitions will be happening.

UnknownIn talking to our older pups, they were astonished at the fact that we will be considering selling our house….we were met with “NO!” and “We want to bring our families here, eventually!”  “You cannot sell our home.”  Well, dear children, we are not selling our home.  I explained to them, that our house, this dwelling, is not what they think it is.  Coming home to anywhere that our family is, the love we share, the bond that is the NilgeFam5 is what true home is.  I had a friend say yesterday that “we have such a warm and loving home.”  I tend to think that has nothing to do with our address.

So today I am thankful for home.  A home full of love, affection, appreciation, family laughter, friendship, tenderness, messiness, affection, sensitivity, kindness, warmth, hospitality, favor, passion, snuggles, relationships, and appreciation.  I am thankful that we have been blessed with this house for now and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this home will be full of joy forever, wherever we are…even if it’s a tent, because the builder of this home is who makes it what is is.  A house of love, no matter demographics.  There is a difference between a house and home!

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~Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need. -Sarah Ban Breathnach