For ease of preparation, the bread can be crumbled in a food processor, then placed in a large mixing bowl. Next, the onion, celery, and apple can also be quickly chopped in the food processor, and then transferred to a skillet. Finally, the cashews, cherries, and cooked vegetarian sausage patties can be coarsely chopped by pulsing several times in the food processor.
6 frozen (Morningstar Farms or other brand) sausage patties, thawed and crumbled (optional)
1 lb loaf whole grain bread (I like to use a combination of light and dark colored breads)
2 Tbsp trans fat-free margarine-type spread or olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
½ large (or 1 small) Granny Smith Apple, cored and finely chopped
1 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
½ cup roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
¼ cup dried cherries, halved (optional)
1 cup + 2 tablespoons water
2 Tbsp Bill’s Best Chik’Nish seasoning
2 Tbsp Nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp Bacon hickory or any smoke-style seasoning drops
1-1/2 tsp poultry seasoning (like McKay’s)
1 tsp no-salt garlic and herb seasoning blend
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crumbled (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a shallow 2 1/2-quart baking dish with no-stick cooking spray. Crumble the breads, or cut in small cubes, whichever you prefer, and then place in a large mixing bowl. (See note above)
In a skillet, melt the margarine-type spread over medium-high heat. Saut√© the onion, celery, and apple in the hot margarine-type spread for 4 to 6 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Stir in the garlic and continue saut√©ing for 2 minutes, then transfer to the large mixing bowl with the bread. Stir in the cashews, cherries and crumbled vegetarian sausage patties (if using).
In a bowl, whisk the broth ingredients until well mixed, pour over the bread mixture, then stir gently to combine. Spread the mixture evenly into the baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for 30 minutes, or until the stuffing is browned and crisp on the top.