Today, I’m excited to participate in the Collectively Creative link up – Thankful Edition, organized by the lovely Kelly from Cobwebs, Cupcakes and Crayons. I’m so happy to be sharing with you what I’m thankful for and a healthy recipe for your Thanksgiving celebration. Please check out the links at the bottom for all the other blog’s creative “Thankful” posts!
My absolute favorite dish on Thanksgiving is stuffing…hands down. This Thanksgiving, I wanted to create a healthy version that still had the same level of comfort and flavor as the original. This stuffing is filled with sweet apples, chicken sausage, and savory herbs – thyme and sage. It starts with some day old or toasted french bread. I baked some bread over the weekend, and let it get dry so it would soak up all these delicious flavors. You can also use regular french bread and toast it in a 300 F oven for 10-15 minutes, until nice and dry.
Then, saute some onions and celery in butter until softened, adding some minced garlic at the end so it doesn’t burn. Transfer to a separate bowl. Is there anything better than the smell of onions and celery cooking in butter? Well, I guess you can think of lots of other things, but call me crazy, I like the smell of butter and onions 🙂 In the same skillet, cook up your chicken sausage and apples. I used this apple chicken sausage and it was delicious!
Transfer to the bowl. Add in your bread cubes. Then, stir in your herbs – sage, and thyme. I forgot how much I love thyme! It ranks right up there with basil and cilantro as one of my favorite herbs.
Stir in your egg, salt and pepper. Then add chicken broth until all the bread pieces are moistened. Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes covered, then uncovered for another 30 minutes. The smells coming out of the kitchen just made me think of the holidays 🙂 A normal stuffing recipe usually contains a stick of butter, this recipe uses only 2 T, but you won’t miss it at all! It’s so hearty and satisfying, and I loved the sweet apple pieces to contrast the salty chicken sausage. We had a mini-Thanksgiving at my parent’s house this past weekend, and everyone enjoyed it!
Healthy Chicken Sausage and Apple Stuffing
16 oz French bread, cubed and dried
2 T butter
1 large onion, diced
2 cups (5 stalks), diced celery
1 garlic clove, minced
6 oz chicken sausage (preferably apple), diced
1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 T fresh thyme, chopped
1 T fresh sage, chopped
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9×13 pan.
Saute onion, celery and garlic in butter, until just softened. Transfer to a bowl. Then, add the chopped chicken sausage and apple to pan and sauté until just browned. Add to the bowl. Stir in your bread, egg, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Add in broth until everything is moistened. Transfer stuffing to your pan and bake for 30 minutes covered with foil, then uncovered for another 30 minutes.
As Thanksgiving gets closer, I’m starting to reflect on all the things I’m thankful for. Several things happened recently that have caused me to slow down and reflect on what is really important in life. A friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer…she is my age and has a young child (she just had surgery and is recovering). My dad has been suffering from headaches in the same spot for several months (he had an MRI recently, which came back normal!) We pass a car accident on the freeway, or follow the footage of natural disasters, and it all reminds me of how fragile life is. More than that, it reminds me to let my friends and family know how much I love and care for them, and how thankful I am to have them in my life! It reminds me to make that phone call, write that letter, give that hug and a kiss, say that prayer, or just a simple “I love you”.
What are you thankful for this year?
Please check out the links below for some creative posts on thankfulness!
Our Family’s Thankful Journal (Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons)
Mrs. Hetherington’s Thanksgiving Pageant (Pillows A-La-Mode)
Creating a Thankfulness Photo Album (Organizing Living Essentials)