Meals on Wheels & Stuffing
Thanksgiving dinner is a meal we all look forward to each year. Its a meal we get to enjoy with the people we love and to appreciate the blessings over the past year. Unfortunately, there are those who are not afforded this luxury. This is our fourth year as a family, were we take a few hours on Thanksgiving morning to deliver Thanksgiving meals to the elderly and those unable to purchase or prepare there own meals. Meals on wheels and Volunteers of America are exceptional organizations that have allowed my family the valuable opportunity to serve others on such an iconic American holiday.
The first year we delivered meals to Denver elderly residents, my daughter was 4 years old. She was so eager to hand out hot meals and the milk cartons, ran straight to each door and then shyly hid behind me when they answered. One elderly gentleman stood out to me on this day in particular. This sweet elderly man greeted us at the door, the meal was too hot to hand him and I offered to take it in and set it on his table. His apartment was small and the walls were covered in old photos of a life well lived. In talking to him, I learned his wife had passed away the previous year, he had no family close by and was unable to travel. He spoke with a cheerful voice and reminded me of my own grandfather who had passed away more then a decade before. He appreciated the company, conversation, the joy of a little person who made him smile while setting his table for one with hand drawn placemats. It was beyond a humbling experience and an eye opener. We all take advantage of the loved ones in our corner. The family and friends there for us in celebration, lift our spirits when we are down and offer an ear anytime we need to talk. Not everyone is fortunate to have a loving group of people surrounding them, and it was an honor to serve those who needed a simple human interaction on a holiday meant to be spent with others. Although our interaction was brief, the experience will be in my heart for a lifetime. This year I requested the same route and I hope we get the pleasure of visiting with him again.
If you are interested in Volunteering 45 minutes to an hour of your Thanksgiving morning, or any day, please contact your local Meals on Wheels chapter and they will be happy to set you up on route of your own. If you choose to volunteer, I know you will be providing a great service to others, but also a great service to yourself. It's also a great activity to do with your children.
Here is my take on a traditional gluten free thanksgiving cornbread stuffing recipe. Its hard for me to break away from traditional flavors because I love the nostalgia I get from the smell of sage and cornbread. I added kale, so I wouldn't feel so guilty when I graciously ate half a pan of stuffing. I know Im not the only one, right?
Caramelized Onion and Kale Stuffing
- 2 boxes, Glutino gluten free cornbread mix, prepared
- 2 T Olive Oil
- 2 Large yellow onions, chopped
- 1 T Fresh Sage
- 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup Kale, finely chopped
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 cup almond milk
- 3/4 cup vegetable stock
- 2 eggs
- Chicken Sausage, cooked (optional)
Make Your Cornbread. 2 boxes will make 2- 8x8 pans. For the mix I substituted the milk with Almond milk and a table spoon of apple cider vinegar for a dairy free buttermilk effect. I also used coconut sugar instead of white sugar because it's low-glycemic and nutrient rich. Cook according to the box directions. Let cool, cut into 1 inch cubes, and place cubes into a large bowl. I compared this mix to the Bob's Red Mill mix and this one had a much better cornbread flavor and texture.
While your gluten free cornbread is cooling, Carmelize your onions. Add your oil to a medium sauce pan on medium heat. Let cook until the onions have released all their juices and turned a beautiful caramel color. If they start to stick turn the heat down. This process may take about 20 minutes. Add your sage, poultry seasoning, and garlic. Cook for a couple minutes or until fragrant. This is when you would add your cooked chicken sausage and kale. Season with salt and pepper.
In a separate bowl whisk together almond milk, vegetable stock, and eggs until well combined.
Pour your caramelized onion mixture over your cornbread and gentle fold together until combined. Then spread into a greased 9x13 inch pan. Then pour the almond milk mixture evenly over the cornbread mixture. Place in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove and gobble up!
Makes 16 small servings.
Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy this stuffing recipe.
I'd love to hear about your favorite Thanksgiving dishes or your favorite Thanksgiving traditions in the comments section below.
Lots of Love,
Carrie - LettuceBeDifferent