Herbed Cranberry-Squash Vegan Stuffing

I rarely do anything ahead of time.

I promise myself week after week that I’ll make lunches on Sunday night so I will ACTUALLY bring them to work. I always forget, and most days I end up eating peanut butter jelly scoops* for lunch.

My laundry is currently forming a hard shell at the bottom of my hamper, which I will need to break apart with an ice pick. I feel I’m always talking about my laundry, but seriously, I’m just really bad at doing it.

In terms of blogging, I always promise myself I’m going to be better about posting recipes that actually pertain to the upcoming time of year. I end up posting Halloween cookies mid-November and really great summer salad recipes when it’s already too cold to feel any of your digits.

*peanut butter and  jelly eaten straight up on a spoon.

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WELL, NOT THIS YEAR, MY BAES!

I have a Thanksgiving recipe that you can make ahead of time for Thanksgiving Day to share with your family while you talk about what you’re grateful for, watch football, and commemorate the massacre of hundreds of Indians. ‘Merica! Seriously though, Thanksgiving has a seriously messed up history, but in its present incarnation is my favorite holiday (except for all the other ones).

I went to a Friends-giving party this weekend and this was NOT the only vegan stuffing (since when does that happen!?), but it was, in my biased opinion, the tastiest. I mean, cranberries, squash, rosemary, thyme, and sage… it’s just a Thanks-plosion in your mouth. So, in the spirit of getting things done ahead of time, here’s a pre-Thanksgiving recipe. And in the spirit of the holiday, I’d like to say I’m thankful for you all. And chocolate. Very much chocolate.

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Herbed Cranberry-Squash Vegan Stuffing

Seriously, this is the only stuffing recipe you need.

1 loaf crusty sourdough bread (or your favorite), torn into pieces

1 onion, chopped

1 small carrot, chopped finely

1 acorn squash, halved and seeds removed

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup fresh cranberries

2 cups white mushrooms, cleaned and chopped

4 + 1/4 cups vegetable broth

2-3 fresh sprigs of rosemary (go for the fresh! It’s so worth it.)

2-3 fresh sprigs thyme, leaves removed (discard stems)

4-5 fresh sage leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400*

  1. Rub the flesh of the acorn squash with olive oil and salt. Place face up on a lined cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the orange flesh is very tender. Let cool. Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh of one half of the squash into a bowl. Set aside
  2. Spread the torn bread on a cookie sheet and place in the oven at 400*. Bake for 10 minutes or until the bread is golden and crisp. Pour into a large, shallow casserole pan. Set aside.
  3. While the bread/squash are in the oven, heat a large pan with 3 teaspoons of olive oil. Add the onion and cook until they start to brown, about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, and mushrooms. Cook another 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently. If necessary, add another ½ or 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
  4. Add the cranberries and half the fresh herbs and cook for another 3-4 minutes. When the cranberries start to split, add the scoops of squash and ¼ cup vegetable broth. Cook the whole mixture another few minutes and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Reduce the oven temp to 350*
  6. Grab the crusty bread-filled casserole dish and pour the cran-mushroom-squash mixture in. Add the remaining fresh herbs. Pour the vegetable stock over one cup at a time until the mixture seems moist, but not swimming in liquid. Mix well. In necessary, add another ¼ or ½ cup vegetable broth or water. Pat the whole thing down in the dish and place in the oven. Cook at 350* for 20-25 minutes or until the top is nice and crusty. Serve warm!
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