By Maris Callahan
No matter how big your turkey or how tart your cranberry sauce, there are few aromas that say Thanksgiving quite like the aromas of sage and thyme emanating from the stovetop. Usually, that aroma comes from stuffing (or dressing, depending on what part of the country you’re from).
Every family seems to have their own traditional stuffing recipes – cornbread and cranberries, sourdough with chestnuts and oysters, sausage and apples with once-crusty whole wheat bread. But if you keep a gluten-free diet, stuffing is probably not the same for you as it is for the rest of your family.
If you want to eliminate any feelings of stuffing-envy that arrive, uninvited, at your dinner table this year, skip the stuffing altogether, however unimaginable that may be, and instead opt for a side dish that’s naturally gluten-free: quinoa.
Warm Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Sage (Gluten-Free)
Quinoa, pronounced keen-WAH, is a close relative to the leafy greens family that bears resemblance to the grain family. With a light, fluffy texture, quinoa will offer the same forkful of comfort that stuffing would – with many of the same flavors and even more nutrients then you would get from the same amount of white bread.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups cubed sweet potatoes
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped or torn into small pieces
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup slices almonds
Salt, to taste
Step 1: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss cubed sweet potatoes with one tablespoon of olive oil. Bake until potatoes are tender when pricked with a fork, for about 15-20 minutes.
Step 2: Meanwhile, rinse quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. Bring vegetable broth to a boil in a medium saucepan or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and cook until mixture returns to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook over low heat for 8-10 minutes. Remove the lid and add spinach for the last 2 minutes of cooking. Remove pot from heat.
Step 3: Whisk red wine vinegar, oil, thyme, sage, and salt together in a large bowl. Add quinoa mixture, almonds, and toss to combine. Garnish with additional herbs, if desired.
More Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Side Dishes:
- Shells & Cheese with Browned Butter and Swiss Chard
- Curried Pumpkin Soup with Crème Fraiche
- Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Chestnuts
About the Author:
Maris Callahan is the author of In Good Taste, an avid self-taught home cook, and is widely knowledgeable about all things culinary. She is especially passionate about helping new cooks learn how to prepare healthy, delicious meals and snacks, even when life is busy. She believes in Ghirardelli chocolate, farmer’s markets and cooking from scratch when possible. When she is not in the kitchen working on her next recipe, Maris works as a marketing professional in Chicago and in her spare time, contributes to several websites including SheKnows.com, Diets In Review and Shape.com.