Lightened Up Spring Stuffing

104 comments

IMG 8778   Lightened Up Spring Stuffing

A couple weeks ago, a reader named Cara emailed me with a recipe request for a vegan spring stuffing. Her complaint with traditional stuffing was that it felt too much like autumn instead of spring; it tends to be heavy, instead of light and fresh.

Cara is onto something here, don’t you think?

I love when I get recipe requests because I feel like I have a mission instead of just aimlessly trying to think up recipe ideas all the time. It’s also fun to be presented with a “problem” and then hopefully making someone happy with the end result.

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I got to work rounding up some of my favourite green spring-time vegetables like asparagus, green onions, and peas. I also picked up some fresh parsley and thyme for flavour. This is turning out to be one green spring stuffing!

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I also recommend using a hearty seed & raisin/cranberry bread (from your grocer’s bakery is fine!). The raisins and cranberries in the bread will add just a hint of sweetness, but it won’t overwhelm the stuffing. The seeds will also add texture and the thick crust will prevent the entire thing from turning to mush. I have no idea how this stuffing would turn out with another type of bread.

When you get home, slice the bread and roughly chop it up (or tear it) into 1 inch chunks. I like to leave my pieces a bit large to add texture to the finished product. Place the bread onto a baking sheet and leave out for 10-12 hours to dry out (I put mine in the oven (turned off) because Sketchie loves to steal bread!)

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The next day we can officially begin. Sauté the olive oil, minced garlic, carrots, and asparagus until they are just tender. Be sure not to overcook it as you want the veggies to retain some crispness in the stuffing.

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Now add in the peas and edamame and cook until heated through. Next, is the part that you do not want to skip – season the vegetables very well! I used a generous amount of Herbamare and ground black pepper. The Herbamare was fantastic in this, so if you can pick some up, I highly recommend it.

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Remove from heat and stir in the bread.

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followed by the fresh and dried herbs.

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Finally, gently stir in 1 cup of vegetable broth. Many stuffing recipes tend to call for 2 cups or more of broth, but I didn’t want this one too heavy and saturated so I just used one cup.

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Transfer it to a greased casserole dish, cover, and bake for 27-30 minutes at 400F.

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Remove the lid and allow it to cool for about 5-10 minutes if desired. It stays hot for a loooong time. I went upstairs, did some computer work, and came back 20 minutes later to still find warm stuffing! :)

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What you’ll have is an incredibly light stuffing bursting with spring vegetables. The bread pieces on top remain a bit crusty, while the bread underneath gets really soft, saturated, and doughy.

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Traditional stuffing usually gets a bad reputation for being one of the unhealthiest dishes at your dinner table. Well, now it doesn’t have to be any longer.

It’s actually so healthy, it makes a killer breakfast. I actually made this at 8:30am last week and inhaled a plate for breakfast…just throwing that out there!

IMG 8787   Lightened Up Spring Stuffing

Lightened Up Spring Stuffing

A lightened up stuffing that you can feel good about this spring. Many stuffing recipes tend to call for 2 cups or more broth, but I didn’t want this one too heavy and saturated so I just used one cup. Also, feel free to use frozen peas and edamame like I did. Just be sure to thaw overnight in the fridge and rinse and drain prior to use. I also suggest using a crusty seed & fruit bread from your local grocery or bakery. This type of bread will hold up much better in the recipe, as well as provide a light sweet flavour from the cranberries and raisins.

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Yield: ~5-6 cups (estimate only)

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf crusty seed & cranberry raisin bread, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces (5-6 cups packed)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup peeled & finely chopped carrots
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends broken off and finely chopped
  • 1 cup peas (if using frozen, thaw and drain first)
  • 1 cup edamame (if using frozen, thaw and drain first)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 8-9 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh minced parsley
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • Herbamare (or salt) & ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup veggie broth or more if desired

 

1. Roughly chop (or tear) bread  into 1 inch chunks. Place the bread onto a baking sheet and in the (turned-off) oven overnight or for about 10-12 hours. This lets the bread firm up and get a bit hard so it retains its shape in the stuffing. If using frozen peas and edamame, place in fridge overnight to thaw. Rinse and drain before use.

2. The next day, preheat oven to 400F and grease a 2.3 L/2.5 qt. casserole dish. Heat a large skillet or wok with 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add in the garlic, carrots, and asparagus and sauté until just tender, about 8 minutes or so. Season well.

3. Now, add in the (drained) peas, edamame, fresh lemon juice, and green onions and sauté until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the herbs and season again with Herbamare & pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

4. Gently, stir in the cup of broth, being careful not to overmix the bread. Transfer to prepared dish, cover, and bake for 28-30 minutes. Carefully remove lid and allow to cool for 5 mins or so before serving.

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Here’s little behind the scenes action for you, using my homemade photography board, diffuser, and props (herbs, burlap, and napkins). I’m also still loving Helene’s book. I highly recommend Plate to Pixel if you are getting serious about food photography. I’m trying to practice a ton in hopes that I will feel comfortable shooting all of my cookbook photography.

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If you are looking for a main dish to serve the stuffing with, I suggest trying the amazing Lentil Walnut Loaf. I’ve also updated my featured recipes in recipage to reflect some of my fav holiday dinner side dishes like balsamic green beans and high protein mashed potatoes.

Coming up, a mini & portable chocolate peanut butter dessert that will blow ya mind.

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{ 104 comments… read them below or add one }

The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh April 2, 2012

Gasp…you mean I can eat stuffing in the spring!?!? Seriously, why are there foods that we feel like we can only eat seasonally? I’m a stuffing FREAK and now I’m going to make this and enjoy every bite…even if it feels a little naughty. Even better!

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Sharon April 2, 2012

First:)

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Jacqueline April 2, 2012

I love this recipe! My roommate and I were just looking the other day for delicious recipes to go along with our vegan Easter feast and I’ve got a hunch that this one will make the list. Not shocking, but the rest of the dinner menu is filled with your recipes, too!!

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Angela April 2, 2012

That is so nice to hear. Enjoy your meal!

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Grace - Love Your Healthy Life April 2, 2012

Oh my goodness, yum! Thank you for sharing this Angela! Find a good vegan stuffing is such a challenge.

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Jeanelle @ Glocal Girl April 2, 2012

This looks delicious! One thing I love about living in Holland are the many different bakeries and variations of bread.. the Dutch looove their carbs! I will definitely try this lightened up version. Thank you!

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Yellow Haired Girl April 2, 2012

I’ve never thought about the fact that traditional stuffing is “fallish” – but it’s true! This recipe looks awesome! Makes me want Easter to be RIGHT NOW.

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Willow April 2, 2012

Beautiful recipe and photos, as always, Angela. I’m in awe of all that natural light – so jealous!

I had never even considered stuffing in spring (because it is so heavy) but this looks like such a lovely recipe. And I love the use of hearty bread, here… what a great idea!

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Alex @ Raw Recovery April 2, 2012

I never thought about a spring stuffing but that’s a cool idea! I’d have to have some cranberry relish to go with it though. Gotta have my cranberries.

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Cait's Plate April 2, 2012

This looks AWESOME Angela!! I love this idea actually…I never think of stuffing for anything other than Thanksgiving but it would be such a great side dish year round!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table April 2, 2012

What a neat idea! I am a stuffing-lover so this is right up my alley. I bet it would be great with some fresh mint as well. Love peas and mint. :)

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat April 2, 2012

Wow Ange, I’ve never had stuffing at Easter but this sounds fantastic! And like you said, I could probably even eat it for brekkie! My kitchen has been booming with asparagus creations lately… must be this spring sunshine hey? So glad the weather seems to finally be turning around. Your photos look so so lovely in these shots. I’ve heard of Plate to Pixel, and it’s definitely on my list of ones to read. Right now, I’m working on getting through Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots which I ordered a while ago but haven’t had time to delve into. I’m actually really looking forward to playing with my camera this weekend… might need an expert lesson from you soon! ;) Have a fab day!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks April 2, 2012

This looks wonderful, Angela, and when I saw the pics, the first thing I thought was THAT is Helene’s look! Beautiful job on the photos and congrats on shooting your whole book, on your own. Not only writing and developing the recipes, but also photographing them, jack of all trades. Wow..CONGRATS!

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Carrie April 2, 2012

Yum looks so good! Perfect for spring!

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Maria G. April 2, 2012

Wow, this looks incredible! I LOVE stuffing, but have never thought about it outside of fall/winter holidays. Definitely going to pick up some of the ingredients I don’t have on hand and make this soon! The second picture with the herbs and burlap is gorgeous by the way!

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katie@ KatieDid April 2, 2012

love this idea! and i like how you keep the bread chunks big as opposed to chopping them up small, which is usually typical. Love all the greens and herbs, they really make for gorgeous photos.

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char eats greens April 2, 2012

Love the behind the scenes camera work because honestly, even though I want to get into photography more, it’s hard for me to sometimes understand – and a visual reeeeally helps. I’m hoping once I’m done this semester, I’ll actually be able to read books for ENJOYMENT (vs. to learn – even though I guess getting a photography book is technically learning, too haha). I can’t wait for April 20th to come and go because it signals freedom!

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Anon April 2, 2012

Great recipe! Your lentil loaf looks awesome as well. (typo in lentil recipe: celery stalk, not stock)

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Angela April 2, 2012

well, that’s a typo for sure. Thanks, it’s fixed.

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Destini April 2, 2012

Beautiful stuffing! I will make this to bring to my in-laws Easter dinner. Vegan and healthy.

Love seeing behind the scenes photos. I also own that book and its wonderful. One day I will get it :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 2, 2012

I find I learn something new every time I flip through it. It’s def. a book that needs to be read 100 times over. :)

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Sarah April 2, 2012

That looks unreal! I can’t wait to try it out this weekend :) But even more so I can’t wait for the nest post to get this recipe for a chocolate peanut butter dessert!!! YUM

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Debbie April 2, 2012

WOW! I will eat almost anything for breakfast but I never contemplated stuffing. I can’t wait to make this. BTW, I am in love with the photo of the rectangular dish on the wood – so beautiful! :-)

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Angela April 2, 2012

Thank you Debbie!

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Anna April 2, 2012

I love this recipe! We have a huge feast after Easter, and while it’s generally meat dominated, I have a feeling this will please everyone there — and give me something delicious to eat!

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Nadine Veroba April 2, 2012

Looks absolutely delicious! I loooove stuffing… so this is perfect and will make me feel way less guilty for eating it :) Thanks Angela!
And your photography looks absolutely amazing!

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helen April 2, 2012

Yum yum, get in my mouth!!!

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Katie April 2, 2012

I think your photos have a very distinct look and it just wouldn’t be your cookbook if you weren’t also the photographer. I can’t wait to see the result!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 2, 2012

Thank you, you are too kind! I’m practicing a lot lately, trying to improve technique. It’s really fun though and I love it the more I practice.

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Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers April 2, 2012

I’ve only made stuffing once, and it was the easy boxed variety. I’d really like to make a more grown-up version.

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Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) April 2, 2012

Yum! That looks and sounds amazing! I can’t wait to try it! Also, thanks for suggesting a main dish to serve it with! :)

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Jasper @ crunchylittlebites April 2, 2012

thanks for more “behind the shot scenes” love love LOVE your creativity Angela. Also, what happened to your rosemary and other herbs that were in the garage at the old place? :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 2, 2012

the potted rosemary went to a neighbour I think! Although I do hope to plant some of my own this spring.

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Jasper @ crunchylittlebites April 2, 2012

you WILL plant…those pictures on your blog of you summer gardening are SO PRETTY ! and you look like you have so much fun in the garden

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kris April 2, 2012

mmm looks delicious! stuffing is one of my favorite thanksgiving dishes. Now i can have it in the spring time too :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 2, 2012

Enjoy Kris :)

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Heather (Heather's Dish) April 2, 2012

i just love all of the bright colors! totally makes the dish :)

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Mae April 2, 2012

This looks great! I’d imagine you could adapt it to just about any veg combo you prefer as well, making it a good way to “use up” whatever’s hanging in the fridge waiting to be forgotten about… I’m going to have to play with the bread though, as my husband can’t do whole cranberries/oats/some seeds (crohn’s) Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 2, 2012

Yes it can certainly be adapted…great idea

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Stephanie @ Legally Blinde April 2, 2012

Your photos look gorgeous – I have no doubt that you would do an amazing job shooting your own photography for your cookbook! I absolutely love the distressed wood board.

PS I made your lentil walnut loaf last weekend and am a big fan!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 2, 2012

Thank you Stephanie!

Glad to hear you enjoyed the loaf. :)

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The Clean Eating Mama April 2, 2012

And she does it again… looks amazing, Ange!!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 2, 2012

Thank you :)

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ali janine @ This Ninja Eats Broccoli April 2, 2012

I made your lentil walnut loaf last week and I couldn’t get over how much it tasted like my mom’s regular meatloaf, which I haven’t had in over a year. So good! and so good on sandwiches the next day :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 2, 2012

haha crazy stuff! Glad to hear you enjoyed it. :)

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Anna @ The Guiltless Life April 2, 2012

I LOVE stuffing – and you’re right, it doesn’t need to be relegated to fall. What I love is including fruit in my stuffing – traditionally apples – so perhaps I could also make it more springlike by including a spring fruit in my spring stuffing! Also, I’m very excited for this pb and chocolate dessert :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 2, 2012

Fruit was on my mind too…although I was too chicken to try it out. Maybe next time! Enjoy if you make it.

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Hailey April 2, 2012

Mmmmm this looks absolutely delicious! I love the addition of the edamame too – this has enough protein to be a main dish served by itself ( major bonus in my book!!).

Do you think adding mushrooms would ruin the spring vibe to the dish?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 2, 2012

Im sure it would taste delicious…I also debated putting mushrooms in but didnt want the ingredients to get too much longer. Enjoy!

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape April 2, 2012

This looks super delicious!! Great recipe! And thanks to Cara for requesting it!! lol

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Earthy Nicole April 2, 2012

This recipe sounds amazing and I admit I don’t think of stuffing outside of big holiday meals because it is so ‘heavy’. I’ll have to give this recipe a try!

Before you even mentioned the cookbook photography, I was thinking to myself that your food photography has really come a long way and is quite impressive. I love that you’re self-taught and that the food is real! Can’t wait for the book!

xx

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 2, 2012

Thank you Nicole, that is so nice of you to say! I appreciate it.

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Brittany April 2, 2012

Oh, Angela, it look sooo good!

Can’t wait to try it!

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Kristy April 2, 2012

This looks so delicious! And I love your photos- there’s so much texture and color. Thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 2, 2012

Thank you Kristy!

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Mandy Jo April 2, 2012

OH MY GOODNESS! This looks amazing! I was just thinking “hmmm what should I make for Easter that everyone will enjoy and I’ll actually eat!” You have answered my question for me! thank you!
I’m curious, why no microwave?? After I read The Kind Diet I have been trying harder not to use mine and just wondered what made you not want one.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 2, 2012

I hope you enjoy the stuffing!

Re: microwave- I’ve heard a lot of negative things about how it depletes nutrients in food so I figured it was time to try kickin it old school for a while. I hope to steam things on the stove top as much as I can. so far im not missing it as much as I thought and Im getting used to reheating things on the stovetop now.

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Mandy Jo April 3, 2012

Yeah, I’ve heard that too :( My brother doesn’t have a microwave and I always gave him a bad time about it….Hmmmm karma? ha.
What about a toaster oven? I’ve heard you can re-heat in those on the “broil” setting? Wonder if that depletes the nutrients?
Let me know how it goes!

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