This is the third course to serve alongside your turkey this year — a stuffing made with quinoa and pears.
If you haven’t tried this grain yet, find it near the rice in your market. It’s similar in texture but its nutritional value outweighs even brown rice — and the good news is it tastes good, too, and it makes the perfect base for our holiday stuffing.
Tasty but nutritious, quinoa is loaded with amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, and proteins are the building blocks of all tissues in the body. Some amino acids are considered essential as our bodies cannot produce them, we must get them through food.
Quinoa is considered a complete protein source, which means that it provides all nine essential amino acids, and it’s exceptionally high in lysine, which is usually lacking in plants. Further, quinoa is rich in vitamins and minerals — manganese, copper, iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus — all essential for overall good health.
The pears, cranberries, and celery in this recipe make a great addition so please give it a try and enjoy!
QUINOA PEAR STUFFING
1 cup quinoa
2 cups organic vegetable broth or low sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 heaping cup diced celery
1 medium white onion, diced
2 medium pears (chopped), firm, but any kind
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
Small handful of fresh sage, chopped (about 2 tbsp)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground coarse pepper
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Rinse your quinoa, and in a medium-size pot, add vegetable broth. Bring it to a boil, add in the quinoa, bay leaf, salt, and pepper, and stir. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer with a lid on for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off, and have the quinoa steam for another 10 minutes.
In a saute pan over medium low heat, warm the olive oil. Add in the chopped celery and onion. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes. Add the pears and cranberries and cook another 5 minutes.
Increase the heat up to medium and add in the broth, sage, and garlic powder, seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed; simmer for a few additional minutes. Add the veggie mixture to the pot of quinoa and add in a little more broth if needed — and stir. In a greased baking dish, add the stuffing mix and bake for 10 minutes. Broil under a low flame until the top becomes golden brown.
(Candy Work is a certified physician assistant and a registered dietician. She has practiced at Olean Medical Group since 2015.)