Cauliflower and Sausage Stuffing

cauliflower stuffing

Thanksgiving is only a couple of weeks away so it’s time to start talking and planning the big meal and side dishes. Do you have anyone you might be serving this Thanksgiving who is gluten free, keto or doing low carb, if so this is a great option.

Last year I made this cauliflower and sausage stuffing for a gluten free family member, not only she enjoyed it but everyone that tried it loved it, it definitely satisfies your stuffing desire.

It’s made similar to my traditional stuffing with all the same flavors going on except cauliflower florets replace the bread, but the nice thing is you’ll still get crispy bits along the edges ( my favorite part), with fresh and dried herbs mingled between the sausage and all the veggies.

low carb stuffing

I’ve always added breakfast sausage to our stuffing, preferably one flavored with extra sage, it’s tradition over here, so that’s what I’ve added in this cauliflower stuffing.

Feel free to add your favorite type of sausage or eliminate it all together. I do however suggest that you add in some mushrooms as I did to punch up the flavor and give it more bulk.

 

gluten free stuffing

There’s a little bit of prep before like browning the sausage and a quick saute of the veggies, but as far as the cauliflower goes you can toss it in raw as long as the florets are in bite size pieces.

Everything then goes into as buttered casserole dish, like a traditional bread stuffing. This can all be prepped a day or two ahead then popped into the oven with the rest of the other sides on the day your serving it.

cauliflower and sausage stuffing

When it comes out it looks like this, crispy and golden. The cauliflower takes on all the traditional flavors of a bread stuffing but without any bread!

A delicious option for all to enjoy!

Cauliflower and Sausage Stuffing
 
A nice option for those who are gluten free and those preferring to eat less carbs.
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Ingredients
  • 1 good size medium cauliflower cut into bite size florets
  • 1 lb. breakfast sausage like Jimmy Dean or Bob Evans, in bulk
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 or 5 celery stalks, diced
  • 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 stick of butter
  • ½ to ¾ cup of chicken stock
  • handful of chopped parsley
  • dried sage, thyme, poultry seasoning (optional) salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh sage leaves for garnish
Instructions
  1. Butter the inside of the casserole role dish you'll be using
  2. In a large skillet place remaining butter until it melts then saute the onions, garlic and celery until soft, then add the sliced mushrooms for a couple of minutes.
  3. Place all the sautéed veggies into a large bowl.
  4. Next brown up the sausage in the pan, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and cooking it until you see no pink.
  5. Drain the sausage on paper towels then toss it into the bowl with the sautéed veggies.
  6. Fold into the bowl the bite size cauliflower, raw. If you think its to big you can toss it into the skillet for a couple of minutes to take the rawness away.
  7. Add in the chopped parsley.
  8. Add in the spices, dried sage and thyme and poultry seasoning if using into the mix. Start with 1 teaspoon each and then taste for your preference, adding more if you like plus the salt and pepper.
  9. Place everything into the buttered casserole dish, then distribute the broth all around.
  10. Top with a few fresh sage leaves for garnish.
  11. At this point it's all prepped and you can refrigerate it 1 to 2 days ahead.
  12. When you’re ready to serve, heat oven to 400 degrees.
  13. lightly foil the dish for 15 minutes then remove the foil and continue roasting until cauliflower is tender, golden, the sausage edges have crispy bits.
  14. Ovens do vary so keep checking every 15 minutes or so, you can also stick it under the broiler for a few minutes at the end to get desired golden look if needed.

 

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Kabocha Squash With Parmesan Cream And Thyme

4 squash

I can’t think of a better side dish to have this fall, one that includes kabocha squash. Have you tried it yet? Kabocha is a rich tasting squash and it tastes like a cross between a sweet potato and pumpkin, it’s vitamin rich and even low in carbs.

This dish is foolproof to make, when the squash is cut into quarters and the seeds scooped out ( which you can roast) it becomes the perfect vessel to hold the parmesan and thyme cream sauce.

This can easily be served during the week or set out on a platter for the holidays.

market squash

You might be intimidated and think how am I going to cut this! Well you definitely have to be safe. One way is you can stick the whole squash in your microwave for a couple of minutes to soften it, doing that will make it much easier to cut.

What I often do is take my knife, make a slit then cover the top of the blade with a tea towel, then take a mallet and pound it until it breaks through, it’s very safe that way and no fingers are involved.

parmesan cream sauce

When parmesan and thyme meet together it’s a match made in heaven, the flavors meld together perfectly!

cream and thyme

Of course this sauce would work with acorn, honey nut and butternut squash as well but if you haven’t tried kabocha, I urge you to give it a try.

Kabocha Squash With Parmesan Cream And Thyme
 
The perfect fall side dish
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Ingredients
  • 1 kabocha squash cut into quarters, scooping out the seeds and pulp. Follow instructions on blog post above for a safe way to cut it.
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup of grated parmesan
  • 12 sprigs of thyme
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut the squash into quarters then drizzle all sections with olive oil and sprinkling of salt and pepper. Place squash cut side down onto a parchment lined baking sheet and roast at 375F oven. When you see a rich golden color on the outer edge flip the squash over.
  2. In the meantime mix together the heavy cream, the parmesan and some thyme leaves.
  3. Then I like to transfer the squash into a baking dish where they fit somewhat tightly together, right side up, then gently spoon the cream sauce into the cavities.
  4. Place thyme sprigs all over each filled quarter.
  5. Place back into the oven until cream thickens and squash is tender.
  6. Depending on the size of your squash time varies , keep checking it.
  7. You made have leftover cream sauce or not enough again according to the size of your squash.
  8. Scoop and enjoy!

 

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How To Make A Star Shaped Stuffed Crusted Pizza

star pizza

Impress your friends and family my making this star shaped pizza. This pizza is shaped into an eight pointed star and each point is stuffed individually with a mix of cheese hidden inside, not only is it visually striking it’s the ultimate stuffed crusted pizza as well!

star pizza

Don’t be intimidated, this pizza is easy to make, just take your time and go over my tips and instructions a couple of times.

cut dough

You’ll need a half a pound of pizza dough to make one pizza, that will result in the look of a nicely shaped star, so just think from one pound you can make two of these beauties!

You’ll want to actually roll this dough out with a rolling pin, no pressing down with your fingers like a traditional pizza. The dough has to be flat all the way to the end for best results with the stars tips.

stuffed star points

Aim for a ten to twelve inch circle, I like rolling my dough circle on parchment, then I just plop it over onto my lightly oiled and slightly dusted with cornmeal, pizza pan.

Then using a sharp knife make eight two inch slits from the end of the circle towards the center, be careful not to go more than two inches, it won’t look as nice, plus you need room in the center for your toppings as well.

So again you want eight cuts all together like the marks on a clock.

Within those eight sections is where you’ll place your cheese for the crust. I used a mix of shredded mozzarella and ricotta. Keep in mind cheese when melted spreads, so less is more to protect it from breaking open and oozing out all over.

stuffed crust pizza

Here’s where you can get creative, use whatever mix of cheese you want as well as the toppings you prefer in the center.

pizza

This pizza was a simple margarita style with tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella in the center with a nice drizzle from my stash of basil pesto that I have in my freezer.

corner piece pizza

A fun pizza to make and eat, just grab an end and share it with the people you love!

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How To Make A Star Shaped Stuffed Crusted Pizza
 
Margarita style star shaped pizza
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ lb. of prepared pizza dough, room temperature
  • ½ cup ricotta and ½ cup of shredded mozzarella mixed together with salt and pepper to taste
  • tomato sauce for center of pizza, a cup or so
  • 2 or 3 slices of fresh mozzarella, torn up
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons basil pesto or fresh torn basil
  • olive oil
  • dusting of cornmeal or polenta for pan preparation
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 500F.
  2. Prepare your pan by drizzling olive oil all over and a dusting of cornmeal or polenta for a crispy crust.
  3. Roll your dough out on parchment into a 10 or 12 inch circle, flat all the way to the ends.
  4. Then pick up your parchment and plop the dough round onto prepared pan, straightening it out if need be.
  5. With a sharp knife make an incision 2 inches long 8 times, like the marks on a clock face, be careful to not go over 2 inches.
  6. Within those 8 sections place a scant teaspoon of the ricotta and shredded mozzarella mixture, be careful not to overstuff because it will be hard to seal each point. ( see post for visual )
  7. Then pick up the corners of each section that is filled and start pinching the dough together from the point to the center to form a triangle. The edge of the triangle shape should point outwards, and as you continue doing it you'll create an 8 pointed star shape all around.
  8. Then fill the center with your sauce and fresh mozzarella and a quick drizzle of olive oil on top.
  9. Place into the hot oven for around 15 minutes.
  10. Garnish the pizza with basil pesto or fresh torn basil.
  11. Pull apart and share!

 

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