Healthy Thanksgiving Alternatives: Wild Rice Shiitake Stuffing

Recipes that cut back on the extra holiday pounds without cutting back on flavor.

Thanksgiving is around the corner.

For so many busy, working families in Forest Hills, this time of year is the only opportunity for relatives to gather in one place, relax and give thanks for the blessings of the past year and for those yet to come.

Food — flavorful, down home, good food — has always been central to Bed-Stuy family gatherings, a tradition that is steadfast and uncomprimising.

However, the health consequences of a growing obesity and diabetes epidemic in the community has created an urgent need to begin changing our relationship with food — the types of foods we choose and how we prepare them.

Check out today's pick for the tastiest and healthiest Thanksgiving recipe alternatives to help you save on the extra holiday pounds without cutting back on flavor!

Recipe #2

Wild rice shiitake stuffing with dried cherries and toasted almonds

Serves 10


  • 2 cups wild rice, rinsed, soaked overnight, drained
  • 6 cups water or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 6 ounces mixed shiitake mushrooms, trimmed, sliced
  • 6 to 8 ounces sliced button mushrooms
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot over high heat, combine rice and water or broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes or until rice is cooked through. Drain off any extra liquid, if present.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender.
  4. Stir in garlic and salt and continue to stir for one minute. Add herbs and cranberries, stirring to combine.
  5. When rice is done, combine vegetable mixture and rice in the prepared baking dish. Add almonds and season with pepper, tossing again to mix well.
  6. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve warm.


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