Even dieters can have Thanksgiving meal complete with stuffing

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 31, 2003

A Thanksgiving without dressing or stuffing? Down in my neck of the woods, that’s bordering on sacrilege. Thankfully, a dressing-free holiday doesn’t have to be a reality even if you’re on one of the restricted or low-carbohydrate diets like the Atkins, South Beach, or Zone Diet. Visit www.lowcarbluxury.com

or www.atkins.com for more low-carb Thanksgiving recipes.

Meanwhile, if you want stuffing, try this Atkins approved offering:

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Sausage Sage Stuffing

8 slices Atkins Rye bread, toasted until crispy

2 pounds ground pork

one half teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

6 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 half cup chopped celery

1 onion, chopped

4 teaspoons ground sage

1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced sodium chicken broth

3 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut bread into half-inch cubes and transfer to a large bowl. In large skillet over medium heat, brown pork with salt and fennel seeds, drain. Transfer to a large bowl. Clean skillet; melt 3 tablespoons butter, add celery, onion. Cook 5 minutes until vegetables are softened, stir in sage; cook 2 minutes more. Add chicken broth, stir well. Add vegetables to moist bread cubes. Toss gently, pour into buttered casserole dish. Dot top of stuffing with remaining butter. Bake 40 minutes turning once halfway through baking time. From Atkins’ Kitchen at www.atkins.com.

A couple of other recipes from offer some different tastes for the Thanksgiving cook to try. They include using prepared stuffing, cutting a little time from the preparation.

Garlic Sage Stuffing

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

2 small onions, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, diced

5 garlic cloves, chopped

1 14-ounce bag cubed herbed stuffing mix

1 1/2 tablespoons rubbed or ground dried sage

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

2 eggs, beaten to blend

1 cup chicken stock or canned broth

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, celery and garlic and saut for 8 minutes. Combine stuffing mixture, sage, salt, oregano, thyme, pepper and Italian seasoning in large bowl. Stir in onion mixture and eggs. Add stock and mix well. Set aside until time to stuff the turkey or goose.

Zucchini Stuffing

5 zucchinis, chopped

2 carrots, grated

1 onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, seeded, chopped

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 8-ounce container sour cream

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup butter

1 16-ounce package stuffing mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook zucchini in a saucepan in a little water until tender-crisp; drain and stir in carrots, onion, green bell pepper, soup, sour cream and pepper.

Melt butter in a large pan. Add stuffing mix to coat evenly.

Add the vegetable mixture and mix well. Pour into an oblong backing dish and bake for 45 minutes. Serves 10.

&045;Tara Hayes