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Healthy Frugal Recipe: Wild Mushroom Stuffing

By Helen Chin Lui of The Healing Place in Medfield, MA 

This is an incredible, delicious stuffing. Yes, it does take time to prepare. If you have a food processor, that will cut down chop time. But it won’t cut the bread (sorry). The texture is very similar to bread pudding. It is rich and again very yummy for you and your loved ones’ belly.

Prep time: 2 hour or more if you make your chicken stock
Cooking Time: 75 minutes
Serves: Approximately 20

6T Smart Balance Buttery Spread
1 ½ pounds mixed or one kind of fresh mushroom including stems, cut into small pieces
4 medium finely chopped shallots. (If you can’t find shallots, use 1 large red onion, chopped)
4 large garlic, minced
2 large celery ribs, finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1T minced fresh thyme or 1t dried thyme
1c dry white wine (drinking wine, please)
5C chicken stock (homemade preferably) or canned low-sodium and fat broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper
¼c hot pepper sauce (optional)
One 1-pound loaf of peasant, or French or Italian bread, cut in ½ inch dice and toasted to dry.**
2 cups of heavy cream (bring to room temp)
½C finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 large eggs, beaten

In a large non-reactive* pan, melt 5T of butter. Add garlic. Sautéed until lightly brown. Add mushrooms & cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned and the water has evaporated somewhat. Stir in shallots, celery, onion, and half of the thyme. Cook until all the vegetables are softened slightly. Stir in wine and simmer until almost evaporated. Add 2C of chicken stock and simmer over moderate heat until the liquid reduces and thickens (about 13 mins.) Season with salt, pepper, hot pepper and transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.

Add toasted bread to the bowl along with the remaining 3C stocks and remaining thyme. Stir in cream and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the eggs and mix well. Let sit for about 15 mins so the bread will absorb the savory custard mixture.

Spoon stuffing into a buttered 9×13″ glass or ceramic baking dish and dot with the remaining butter.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover the stuffing with foil and bake in the middle of the oven for 45 mins. Uncover and bake about 30 mins longer, or until the top is golden and crisp and the stuffing is firm. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead: the stuffing can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temp before baking.

*What is a Non-reactive saucepan?
A non-reactive saucepan is one that is made from Stainless Steel, Glass, or Ceramic materials. They’re called non-reactive because these materials don’t react with acidic ingredients the way copper and aluminum do.
Hard anodized aluminum pans are also non-reactive. The anodizing process creates a thin layer of aluminum oxide.

**To toast bread. Toast in oven – Turn oven on at 350 degrees. Cut bread into small cubes. In a large bowl, put bread in and lightly coat with oil. Pour bread on a cookie sheet in a single layer and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Half way through toasting try to flip bread over so it toasts evenly both sides. You may have to do a couple of batches. Do not overcrowd. Keep an eye, the bread will burn very quickly.

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