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Gluten-free Living: Dressing up your stuffing for Thanksgiving

Gluten-Free apple and chorizo stuffing

(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

Gluten-Free apple and chorizo stuffing (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

The booming demand for gluten-free food has made stuffing one of the easiest holiday dishes to reinvent. Supermarket shelves are packed with bread mixes and ready-made loaves of all shapes and sizes, any one of which can stand in for the traditional stuff in your favorite dressing.

But if you’re looking for an excuse to add new textures to your Thanksgiving table, consider using brown rice as a base for your family’s favorite flavors. The stuffing recipe below, which includes apples, chorizo and sage, is everything a good stuffing should be: a little spicy, a little sweet and, if you toss in some walnuts, a little crunchy. The best part? Once the rice is cooked, it comes together in less than 15 minutes.

Another perk for busy holiday cooks: This dish is actually better if it’s made a day or so beforehand. Stir all the ingredients together in a dutch oven, cover and tuck away in the fridge. By the time it’s reheated in either the oven or on the stove top, the chorizo will have mellowed and the rice will have absorbed the other flavors.

Although this is likely one of the simpler dishes you’ll make this holiday season, there are some things to keep in mind for a finished product that’s moist, not mushy. Keep the skin on the apple to prevent the bits of fruit from turning to sauce, and be sure to use a good quality brown rice. White rice may get too sticky or be overpowered by the other ingredients. You could also substitute another sturdy, gluten-free grain, such as quinoa or millet.

As always, be sure any ingredients you add are gluten-free. Processed meat, like chorizo, can contain hidden allergens, so read labels carefully. If you can’t find suitable chorizo, any spicy sausage will do. Also be wary of the broth. Some brands still use wheat flour as a thickening agent.

As for any leftovers, serve a few spoonfuls of the stuffing for breakfast with poached or fried eggs and a dollop of sour cream.

Sweet and spicy brown rice stuffing

2 cups brown rice, dry

4 cups chicken or turkey broth

3 tablespoons butter

1 large red onion, chopped

2 large cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 large apple, washed, cored and chopped

4 links gluten-free chorizo sausage, cut into small pieces

1 large handful fresh sage, minced

1∕2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

salt and pepper

Cook the rice according to package directions, but substitute broth for the water.

While the rice cooks, chop the garlic, onions, apple and sausage. Melt the butter in the bottom of a large dutch oven over medium heat.

Add the garlic and onions and saute until lightly brown. Add the apple and cook until slightly tender.

Stir in the rice and the remaining ingredients.

Heat until warmed through.

Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.

Makes approximately 8 cups.

It's awesome . . . if you have celiac disease. If you don't, then your fad is making it difficult for people who really need gluten free food to find things at the local supermarket because you're buying it all.

this is awesome! I will try it!

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