Monday, October 25, 2010

Recipe - Harvest Rice Stuffing

This is a very fragrant and flavorful dish that makes you automatically think of cool autumn days and Thanksgiving as it is cooking. When I made it last night, it had me longing for November and sitting down with my family for Thanksgiving dinner.

Harvest Rice Stuffing
(A low iodine diet recipe)
By Cathy Bernardi

Note about this recipe
My husband and I recently took a day trip to Apple Hill in Placerville, CA to celebrate our anniversary.  While there we purchased an Acorn Squash at one of the farms.  Not knowing exactly how I wanted to prepare the squash, but knowing we wanted it for dinner last night, I came up with this stuffing recipe.

Seasonings may need to be adjusted a bit to your taste preference.  I tend to cook often without measuring, so all seasoning measurements are approximate.

Makes approximately 4-5 cups of stuffing, maybe just a bit more.  Probably about enough to stuff a small turkey, two chickens, or two large Acorn Squash halves, more if you mix ground meat in with the stuffing mix.

This recipe fits the guidelines for a Thyroid cancer patient's low-iodine diet when using the original ingredients as suggest.  For those individuals not needing to watch the iodine in their diet you can use the ingredients in the parentheses.


  • 1/2 C Basmati rice (or other white rice, not quick cooking if not on LID)
  • 1 pk of Herb Ox no sodium beef broth (or one cup of liquid beef broth if not on LID)
  • 1 C of water (eliminate if using the liquid beef broth)
  • olive oil, enough to coat the cooking pans
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 sm onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 sm carrot, chopped
  •  3-4 button mushrooms, chopped, approximately 1/3 c. chopped
  • 1 sm apple, chopped - I suggest one that is more sweet than tart.
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt, or to taste (Salt may need to be adjust as needed, especially if using broth containing sodium.)
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1-2 Tbs no salt Italian Seasoning, adjust to taste (check the label, most brands do not contain salt)
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/4 C dried cranberries
  • 1/4 C raisins
  • 1/4 C chopped toasted pecans, not salted


Chop the following ingredients and set aside in a large bowl: garlic, onion, celery, carrot, mushrooms, and apple.  Heat oil in a small saucepan.  Add rice and a pinch of salt and sauté over medium-high heat until rice starts to turn a light golden brown.  While rice is sautéing add no sodium beef broth to 1 cup of hot water, stir to dissolve (skip this step if using liquid broth).  Once rice is golden mix the broth into the pan and bring back to a simmer.  Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for approximately 15 minutes, until rice is tender and broth is absorbed.  While rice is cooking, heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the chopped garlic, onions, celery, carrot, mushrooms, and apple.  Sauté ingredients for a couple of minutes until the vegetables and apple start to tenderize.  To the sauté pan add salt, black pepper, sage, poultry seasoning, Italian seasoning and cinnamon.  Continue to cook until vegetables are tender.  Remove from heat.  Once the rice is cooked stir the vegetable mixture in to the rice, then add the dried cranberries, raisins, and chopped pecans.  Enjoy!

Serving suggestions

Cool stuffing mix, mix with ground beef and/or ground pork and stuff Acorn Squash, bake in the oven at 425 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until squash is tender and beef cooked through.  I par-bake my squash first for approximately 20-25 minutes so they get really tender.

This would make a great stuffing for Thanksgiving turkey, whole baked chicken, stuffed baked chicken breasts, pork chops, pork loin, or pork roast.  I can just imagine pounding out a pork loin, filling it with this stuffing, rolling and tying it up to cook and then slicing the roast and serving the beautiful slices topped with a touch of  pork gravy as a part of a dinner party meal.

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