Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Tasty Tuesdays : Battle of the Stuffing

Last week I mentioned that dips were my favorite part of the meal, but stuffing has to be my favorite main/side dish.  I'm not sure if it's because I only get to eat it at Thanksgiving, but I look forward to eating it all year long, and eat A TON during the dinner!

I've never actually made stuffing myself, so I decided to test out two different store-bought brands and see which one was the best!  In today's battle of the Store Bought Stuffing, we have Trader Joes vs. Whole Foods.  (To be honest, I also wanted to try the undisputed heavy weight of the Stuffing world- Stove Top, but all non-chicken-flavored was sold out!)

Let's get to the battle!

Whole Foods 365 Organic Multigrain Stuffing


This was a very easy stuffing to make- boil water and olive oil, then mix in croutons.  Let it sit for a few minutes then fluff.  The seasoning was already mixed in with the bread, so this took about 10 minutes from start to finish!  Doesn't get much more simple than that.


I've never had a crumbly stuffing like this, and the overall texture was a bit mushy.  It kind of reminded me of mashed potatoes!  However, the taste was incredible.  I could have eaten the entire bag in one sitting!

Pros: Taste, super easy and quick to make, vegan
Cons: Not a fan of the texture



Trader Joe's Cornbread Stuffing Mix


This stuffing took a bit more time and effort to cook- melt some butter and water, add in the seasoning and pour it over the croutons.  I decided to cook it in the oven to crisp it up, and it was ready in 35 minutes.


This had a great taste from the seasoning, but wasn't overly salty.  I liked the crunch of some of the stuffing thanks to baking it, while other pieces were softer.  It reminds me of a traditional, home-style stuffing!

Pros: Good taste and texture
Cons: Time consuming, not vegan (the seasoning packet had chicken broth in it..didn't notice until I had it home!)


Overall, I would have to pick the Whole Foods stuffing for the win.  It had a great taste and is perfect for Turkey Day because it takes barely any work or time.  Plain stuffing can seem boring, so if you're looking to upgrade a basic store-bought stuffing and make it seem more homemade, try some of these mix-ins!  Just add before you pop it in the oven, or stir it in while it fluffs up.

Leeks- for a slightly more sophisticated onion taste
Carrots- for a crunch and extra flavor
Pears and walnuts- for a sweet taste that pairs (no pun intended) great with savory stuffing
Dried cranberries- for that winter touch
Celery- for that classic taste


And now on to the vegan gravy!  I am a HUGE fan of gravy.  I completely drown my entire Thanksgiving plate in gravy and would probably drink it if I could.  I've also never made this before, but played around with a recipe and ended up with an amazing, flavorful vegan gravy that took barely any time.  Enjoy!


Vegan Onion Gravy


¼ cup vegan butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (I used "better than bouillon" dissolved in water for extra flavor)

In a pan melt butter over medium heat.
Add onions and spices.  Stir occasionally as onions soften and start to brown.
Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes.
Pour in broth and allow gravy to thicken.


Do you call it stuffing or dressing?
What's your favorite dish to cook for Thanksgiving?


14 comments:

  1. I call it stuffing! Stuffing has always been my favorite Thanksgiving dish--now that I'm GF I will have to find a delicious alternative! Havent found it yet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw tons of GF options at Whole Foods and TJ's!

      Delete
  2. Wow, your gravy recipe looks so simple - I need to try it! I always shy away from making gravy because I think it's more complicated than it is, haha (plus, the Tofurkey brand gravy is soooo good so I usually just buy that.) But I need to give this a try!

    Sarah
    www.thesurznickcommonroom.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was shocked at how easy it was. And now I can't stop eating it ! I think next time I'll add in mushrooms :)

      Delete
  3. We call it stuffing! And it's my FAVOURITE. A lot unhealthier than your version though! I never thought to make gravy vegetarian! That's so awesome! I'd love that too, for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trust me I don't think any of these stuffings are healthy!

      Delete
  4. I love stuffing and I've tried multiple homemade recipes over the years but Stove Top always wins. It seems terrible to use box stuffing when it's SO easy to make from scratch but there's something about stove top that wins out every time. I've had mushroom gravy before but never onion, I bet that would be delicious over mashed potatoes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it's better I would use store bought too! I want to try mushrooms in my gravy next time :)

      Delete
  5. I call it stuffing.

    If you can get your hands on a box of it, the StoveTop Pork flavor is vegan. I don't know why the Pork flavor of all things is the one vegan option, but it is the only one without chicken broth (even the ones that sound veggie like Cornbread or Savory Herb all contain chicken).

    I'll definitely have to try your gravy recipe! It sounds so easy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll look for that! I definitely skipped over it last time.

      Delete
  6. Oh, now I have to try the Whole Foods stuffing... we used to get the one from TJ's all the time and liked it enough to keep going back to it, but if you say that the other one is better... damn! ;)

    ReplyDelete