Thanksgiving is my all time favorite holiday. Growing up in Northern California with a hot air balloon pilot as a father meant many Thanksgivings spent leisurely floating over valleys in wine country then going home and eating massive amount of turkey and pumpkin pie. I haven’t been ballooning in a long time, but I still look forward to the fall crispness and abundance of all my favorite seasonal foods.
Why do you think it is that the best foods are orange? Pumpkin, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, golden beets, mandarin oranges, turmeric, saffron, apricots, peaches…the best!
Anyways, now that Halloween is out of the way (not my favorite), it’s time for serious fall cooking. Let’s do this.
I’ve made this stuffing substitute for several Thanksgivings now and I love it. Even my non-Paleo-abiding friends love it. Confession: I just made this last night and it’s only November 5. I’m not even sorry. One thing I really like about it is that it does well in the fridge overnight. You can make it the night before and just pop it back in the oven covered in foil for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees. That’s the perfect amount of time to let your turkey rest and start to cut it. Boom.
Paleo Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Stuffing
2 large sweet potatoes / garnet yams, diced into 1/2″ cubes
1 large yellow onion, diced
5 celery stalks, trimmed and roughly chopped
1.5 pounds ground pork
12-15 whole mushrooms (crimini or button or similar), roughly chopped
1.5 teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup raisins (golden or regular)
salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Toss the diced sweet potatoes in ~1 tablespoon of olive oil and some salt & pepper. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake the potato cubes for 20-25 minutes or until they are soft but not falling apart. You should be able to easily pierce them with a fork but they should hold their shape (not mash) if you stir them in a bowl, which you’re going to do. Turn the oven down to 375.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring, until the onion is becoming transparent — about five minutes.
Add the ground pork. Cook and stir until the pork is cooked through — about 10 minutes. Add the thyme and sage.
Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are starting to lose water — about 3 minutes. Then add the wine and keep cooking and stirring until it all evaporates.
Dump the meat mixture into a large mixing bowl with the baked sweet potato cubes, add the raisins, and let it all sit until it’s not crazy hot. You’re going to add the eggs to the bowl next, and you don’t want them to turn into scrambled eggs in the bowl. Once it’s cool enough to add the eggs safely, do that. Add some salt and pepper — about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and ten or so turns of a pepper grinder. Then stir until everything is well combined and dump it into an oiled 9×11″ glass baking dish. Cover with foil.
Make sure you actually turned your oven down to 375 degrees. Pop the dish in there and bake for 35-40 minutes, remove the foil, then bake for another 5-10 minutes.
Either pop it in the fridge for the next day or eat it hot out of the oven.
Forgive the terrible photography. It’s getting dark at 6pm. Also, I was hungry.