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Thanksgiving Stuffing

Thanksgiving Stuffing | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipe

Is it safe to say that it’s ~almost~ Thanksgiving? Are we allowed to start talking about The Holidays yet? And yes I’ve capitalized The Holidays because they are definitely a big enough thing to warrant that. Once Halloween is over, the floodgates are open. Although, my mom and I are known to play Christmas music wayyy ahead of the curve (think June). But we’ll just agree that Halloween is the ~*socially acceptable*~ time to start The Holiday Season, okay?!

So, Thanksgiving. An interesting holiday for vegans/vegetarians. By now my family has become accustomed to my dietary choices, and the holidays usually pass smoothly for me in that regard. But I know for a lot of people, holiday dinners can be a source of huge discomfort. There’s nothing like Old Auntie Mabel taking offense that you won’t eat her special turkey casserole. And then, of course, there’s that vegan stereotype that isn’t always unwarranted.

But between you and me, I find that the older generations have a harder time understanding why people wouldn’t want to eat meat or animal products. I’m not saying that every single person older than you is like that. But I know in my own family particularly, my Granny grew up in the Post-Depression era where “Waste Not, Want Not” ruled the day, and you ate whatever was put in front of you on the table. And I’m not saying that vegans are wasteful or ungrateful – on the contrary, veganism is the most green and most compassionate diet out there. But to my Granny, it just seems like I’m being picky with my food. I don’t agree with her, but I get where she’s coming from.

Thanksgiving Stuffing | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipeThanksgiving Stuffing | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipeThanksgiving Stuffing | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipe

But I’m going to tell you something that I desperately wish someone had told me years and years ago – YOU control what goes in your body. If someone offers you something, and you decline it kindly and respectfully, there is no reason you should feel guilty. It took me so long to understand this because I have an inherent guilt complex, but ultimately YOU will be the one affected by what you put in your body, and not anyone else. If someone else takes offense to that, honestly it’s their problem, and you should not let it affect you and your happiness.

If you’ve already come to this realization, then I applaud you. For years I felt like a brat by refusing the food my aunt would make. My Granny would pinch my arm and tell me how skinny I was, and my aunt would make backhanded comments about how she spent sooooo long on this certain dish. “No thank you, I eat vegetarian,” I would say with a smile, trying to ignore the guilt trip.

PSA – you may have well-meaning but slightly crazy aunts and grannies and family members, but DO NOT let them guilt you about your dietary choices! Be strong! And if any of them give you flack, just smile and “No, thank you!”

Thanksgiving Stuffing | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipeThanksgiving Stuffing | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipe

This Thanksgiving, my mom and I are actually planning the menu together for the first time! I’ve been slowly winning her over to my plant-based creations, hehehe. I gave her The China Study as a gift recently, plus another vegan cookbook that I knew she’d love, and I think having these books as resources has helped her realize that veganism isn’t just this weirdo, fringe, tofu diet. You can actually eat ~*real food*~ as a vegan…. like this stuffing.

Now I know stuffing is traditionally supposed to be, um, stuffed into a turkey butt and then cooked (ew), but this version is healthy, cooked in a pot, and then stuffed into a pumpkin. Because stuffing has to be stuffed IN something, right? But maybe we can acheive that without… you know…stuffing it in…well, you get what I’m trying to say.

And this stuffing is so good on its own that it doesn’t really need anything else to buffer it. The base is millet, one of my favorite grains, but you can easily sub quinoa or even cousous. It’s cooked in vegetable stock to add salt and flavor, then mixed with a sauté of earthy mushrooms, garlic, and onions. Finally, fresh herbs are added, which round out the whole thing nicely. Adding in the roasted pumpkin seeds is optional but totally worth it. This stuffing is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

Thanksgiving Stuffing | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipeThanksgiving Stuffing | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipeThanksgiving Stuffing | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipe

Thanksgiving Stuffing | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipe
5 from 3 votes
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Thanksgiving Stuffing

This plant-based Thanksgiving stuffing is full of rich, earthy flavors and fresh herbs, certain to be a crowd-pleaser at your holiday table!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 -6 Servings

Ingredients

Millet

  • 1 Cup Millet should make ~3 1/2 cups cooked, uncooked
  • 2 Cups Vegetable Stock

Vegetables + Things

  • 2 Cups Crimini Mushrooms roughly chopped
  • 10 Cloves Garlic finely minced
  • 2 Medium White Onions diced
  • 1/2 Tbs Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Tsp Dried Thyme

Herbs + Such to Mix in Later

  • 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Parlsey packed
  • 1 Tbs Finely Chopped Fresh Rosemary
  • Salt + Pepper to taste

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1 Medium-small Pumpkin yielding about 1 cup seeds
  • 1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • Pinch Cayenne optional

Instructions

Millet

  1. Start by cooking your millet. Bring a large pot to medium heat. Add your millet, dry, and toast for about 3-5 minutes, or until millet becomes fragrant. Be careful not to let it burn!
  2. Once the millet is done toasting, add the two cups of vegetable stock to the pot. Bring stock and millet to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring only once or twice if needed, until stock is absorbed. (Be careful not to over-stir - this will cause millet to become mushy).
  3. After 15 minutes, remove millet from heat and keep covered for about 10 minutes. This allows the millet to absorb all of the liquid.
  4. Finally, fluff millet with a fork and set aside for later.

Pumpkin + Pumpkin Seeds

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. While millet is cooking, carve out your pumpkin. This can also be done beforehand if you like!
  3. Cut off the top of the pumpkin and scoop out all of the seeds and gooey stuff, being sure to scrape the sides of the pumpkin.
  4. Remove seeds from the pumpkin innards, and rinse off with water. Dry seeds as much as possible.
  5. In a bowl, mix seeds, olive oil, and spices, mixing fully.
  6. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, bake pumpkin seeds for about 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. BE VERY CAREFUL because pumpkin seeds can burn very very easily!!

Vegetables + Things

  1. Bring a sauté pan to medium heat with a little olive oil. Start by adding your mushrooms and onions, cooking for about 5-7 minutes or until onions are slightly caramelized.
  2. Then, add in minced garlic and dried herbs, and sauté for a few more minutes so the ingredients can fully combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

Putting It All Together

  1. Combine millet, sautéed vegetables, and roasted pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Mix in a half cup of chopped fresh parsley, and about a tablespoon of minced fresh rosemary. Salt and season to taste.
  2. Serve stuffing in the pumpkin. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Stuffing | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipeThanksgiving Stuffing | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipe

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36 Comments

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    November 1, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Well this is just the fanciest stuffing! (Stuffing makes the meal!)
    I’m so excited I get to make my famous gf/vegan on again this year (couldn’t last year), but even my gluten-eater non-vegan brother loves it! Haha! It’s the best :P

    • Reply
      Sarah
      November 2, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      Ooh awesome! I’d love to see your recipe ;)

  • Reply
    Kaylee
    November 1, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    MILLET IS GLORIOUS though I feel like a bird eating seed every time I have it.
    Yay for social acceptability!
    My family is in the process of figuring out our menu for Thanksgiving too. What else is on yours?

    • Reply
      Sarah
      November 2, 2015 at 1:14 pm

      Hahaha it is kind of like bird seeds! ;) And in terms of plant-based foods, we’re going to do crispy roasted potatoes (my dad’s favorite), garlicky green beans, olive-oil mashed potatoes, and probably a lovely seasonal salad!

  • Reply
    dixya @ food, pleasure, and health
    November 2, 2015 at 7:03 am

    im so glad to hear that your family is slowly coming together..my brother recently turned vegetarian and its affecting my parents and grand mother a lot. they think it will affect his health in some negative way and i have been trying to explain them that it’s okay and there are other plant protein sources he can eat. its a slow transition but like you said, declining it respectfully is the way to go..

    im not into stuffing or thanksgiving related meal as i didnt grow up eating turkey and casserole, however i like this dish. perfect weeknight meal.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      November 2, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      Glad to hear they’re coming around for your brother :) And yes, this would be great for any weeknight dinner!

  • Reply
    Katrina
    November 2, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Such a wonderful looking stuffing! And in a pumpkin to boot! I love it!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      November 2, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      Thanks Katrina!! :D

  • Reply
    Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet
    November 2, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    I prefer my stuffing not to be cooked inside the turkey actually! Love your recipe! P.S. your dog is adorable!!! <3

    • Reply
      Sarah
      November 2, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      Aww thanks Lauren!! She’s my little kitchen helper ;)

  • Reply
    Dani @ Dani California Cooks
    November 2, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    This is just beautiful!! I’m so happy it’s squash season.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      November 2, 2015 at 6:02 pm

      Thanks Dani! Me too! :D

  • Reply
    Annabelle
    November 3, 2015 at 1:48 am

    I have a ton of sugar pumpkins lying around from Halloween decorating, so I can’t wait to use them when I try your stuffing!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      November 4, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      Awesome! Stuffing always looks better if it’s served in a pumpkin ;)

  • Reply
    Erica
    November 3, 2015 at 6:25 am

    This is STUNNING!! Your photography is so beautiful and this stuffing sounds insanely delicious and herby. Love this!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      November 4, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      Thank you so much Erica!! :D

  • Reply
    Erin
    November 3, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    This is absolutely beautiful and sounds fantastic! Such an earthy seasonal dish.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      November 4, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      Thanks Erin!! :D

  • Reply
    danielle is rooting the sun
    November 3, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    sarah what beautiful photography you have here – so eye-catching and a delicious recipe to join it! love the upcoming holiday season, and i adore your sentiments of staying true to yourself and consuming only what you believe in, and guiltlessly! this stuffing is so wholesome, i love all of the delicious herbs. xo

    • Reply
      Sarah
      November 4, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks Danielle!! Thank you for your kind words about my photography too, I still get so doubtful about my photos so hearing that you like them means a lot!! :D

  • Reply
    Coco Crafty little Coco
    November 4, 2015 at 1:03 am

    Yumm!!! Sarah I was in a complete panic all week and you just solved it! My family asked me if I would make Thanksgiving dinner this year. We are also a no meat family so I was worried about what to make as the center of the meal. I had also thought of a stuffed pumpkin put none of my three attempts turned out right. None of them were filling enough. Thank you for reminding me to add hardy elements like millet and mushrooms. You are a life saver. If I could give you a huge thank you hug right now I would.

    Coco
    http://craftylittlecoco.com/

    • Reply
      Sarah
      November 4, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      Aww Coco I’m so glad you like the recipe!! I love millet because it’s so comforting and filling to eat :) I hope you family likes it!! :D

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  • Reply
    Susannah (Lemon and Coconut)
    November 4, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Lovely recipe Sarah. I always feel like people think I’m fussy or picky, especially now there are so many things I can’t eat it just seems over the top and like there’s no other conclusion but mental illness. When in reality, ok, I may be a little crazy, show me someone who isn’t! but I’m really not fussy at all. I think it is about being really confident when having to explain your food choices and needs. I have a tendency to project what I think people are thinking, which is a mistake and confirms what they are thinking if anything. I should just be super confident and self-assured about it. God know what my Granny would make of my dietary restrictions, she wouldn’t know what to feed me. She thought we were all going to die because we were raised veggie! I must also add she that was an amazing woman and I miss her every day but that I had guinea fowl called Lucky, which she killed and ate :)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      November 4, 2015 at 1:42 pm

      Oh my! Your Granny sounds like quite a lady! (And that’s too funny because I call my grandmother Granny too!!) But you should absolutely be confident in standing behind what you eat. If you want my opinion, I don’t think you owe an explanation to anyone in this instance. “I don’t eat animal products” should just be enough! Good luck girl, be strong!!

      • Reply
        Susannah (Lemon and Coconut)
        November 5, 2015 at 3:19 pm

        Yes I totally agree. I would never compromise or be anything but confident in asserting myself as a vegan, I have been a lacto-vegetarian all my life so that side of things is second nature to me. Also I probably wasn’t explaining myself there (slight(ly massive) cringe!) it’s just that I am intolerant to so many foods including many vegetables and so arrive as everyone’s worst nightmare guest! I’m highly intolerant to gluten and lactose and have to be super strict about ingredients and food prep. It can be a challenge explaining it all to people and passing that strict discipline on. I have to stand there and check everything and ask if they’ve reused that spoon etc., which they usually have and so then I can’t eat or drink what they have made and various such scenarios. It can be very awkward as people get quite stressed in kitchens!

        But I think your point is still very applicable to me and to everyone – I don’t actually owe an explanation to people, not one that makes me feel uncomfortable anyway, and I should always be confident. Thanks so much for your reply Sarah :)

  • Reply
    Jessie Snyder | Faring Well
    November 4, 2015 at 10:05 am

    It can be so hard to stick to your guns in a sea of non-related eaters, but its so true that you just have to smile through it and tough it out at times. This stuffing sounds incredible and I’m so excited for you that you get to plan your Thanksgiving with your momma now! How fun to get to introduce some more veg-friendly dishes :). Have so much fun <3

    • Reply
      Sarah
      November 4, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      Thanks Jessie!! I’m so excited to plan the menu with my mom / cook everything together. When my maternal grandmother was alive, she would stay over the night before Thanksgiving and get up really early with my mom to start cooking. I’m so happy that I can keep that tradition going with MY mom :) <3

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  • Reply
    Rosa
    December 2, 2015 at 4:36 am

    Hi!!
    Would it also be possible to put the pumpkin in the oven with the seeds? So that you not only have the decorative part but you could also eat it?
    Thank!
    xx Rosa

    • Reply
      Sarah
      December 3, 2015 at 11:08 am

      Hi Rosa! I wouldn’t recommend cooking the pumpkin with the seeds, because a whole pumpkin can take up to 1 – 1 1/2 hours to cook in the oven. :(

      • Reply
        Rosa
        December 4, 2015 at 12:06 pm

        Just like a turkey right? ;) Thanks for your reply!
        I actually meant the seeds and the pumpkin seperately so you’ll have something edible to put the stuffing in. And the seeds to add to the stuffing ofcourse. Did you ever try baking a small pumpkin as a whole in the oven?

        Thanks! x Rosa

      • Reply
        Rosa
        December 4, 2015 at 12:24 pm

        With as a whole I then mean the pumpkin without the seeds ^^

      • Reply
        Sarah
        December 13, 2015 at 5:59 pm

        Hey Rosa,

        Sorry about the confusion – what I meant was that cooking the whole pumpkin, even with the stuffing in it, could take up to an hour. I personally haven’t tried it so I can’t vouch for it, but I know there are other websites that have recipes for whole stuffed pumpkin if you want to google those :) Sorry I can’t be more help though!

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