Skillet Cornbread Stuffing with Mushrooms & Herbs (Vegan, Gluten-Free Option) | picklesnhoney.com

Skillet Cornbread Stuffing with Mushrooms & Herbs

Skillet Cornbread Stuffing with Mushrooms & Herbs (Vegan, Gluten-Free Option) | picklesnhoney.com

As we near the end of the year, I feel as though I could sleep for days. I regularly ask myself whether I’m doing enough and almost always think I should be doing more, pushing myself harder and further to reach my full potential or at least get in as much as I possibly can in any given day. I am a self-starter through and through, and when I’ve checked off a bunch of to-dos and plopped myself down on the couch for an episode of whatever show Aaron and I are currently watching at the end of the day, I think about whether I’m pushing hard in the right directions. Is my energy focused where I want it to be and where it should be, are want and should even in alignment?

It’s easy to think in the moment that we’re not doing enough. As I look back on 2014, I realize that we (Aaron and I, and each of us as individuals) pushed ourselves hard, possibly harder than ever, or at least in new ways that’s made it feel harder than ever. There were lots of ups and downs requiring our full attention, and just as one thing would dissipate, another would arise. I went back to school for culinary nutrition, Aaron continued to grow the business he co-founded, we bought a condo to make into a home, I wrote and Aaron designed an SEO for Food Bloggers eBook, and there were many, many smaller happenings along the way. We weren’t great or even good at carving out non-work time. It was the year of “get sh*t done”.

Earlier this week, after a series of long and ongoing conversations about what we hope to make and create, Aaron earnestly asked me, “Do you ever think we’re too ambitious?” My answer was this: whether we are or are not is totally relative. Wanting to do bigger things and forge our own paths—that’s who we are. We’re probably never going to be satisfied. Happy and grateful, hopefully yes. But satisfied enough to stop striving for more than a moment? I’m not sure that’s in the cards.

I’m being conscious of making the remainder of December a more quiet, reflective time. A time to shut out as much of the noise as possible and hone in on the people (and puggles) who matter most. A time to pause to give ourselves the mental space to thoughtfully decide what’s next and what we hope to make happen. Because trying to stifle that desire to do more and push harder is simply not who we are. Instead, our energy is better spent being disciplined in deciphering the few key places where we want to invest our ambition.

Skillet Cornbread Stuffing with Mushrooms & Herbs (Vegan, Gluten-Free Option) | picklesnhoney.com

Skillet Cornbread Stuffing with Mushrooms & Herbs (Vegan, Gluten-Free Option) | picklesnhoney.com

I decided I was long overdue in creating a go-to vegan stuffing recipe. Admittedly, stuffing has never been what most excites me at holiday meals (I reserve that enthusiasm for dessert!). It wasn’t until I had a little moment of clarity that I realized I should use my favorite cornbread recipe in place of store-bought bread. That cornbread was the first recipe I shared on Pickles & Honey more than three years ago, and it’s one of my most popular. If there was ever an opportunity to see just how far Aaron and I have come as a photographer and a writer, it would be re-reading that post. Three years is a long time and a short time.

Skillet Cornbread Stuffing with Mushrooms & Herbs (Vegan, Gluten-Free Option) | picklesnhoney.com

I kept the cornbread stuffing simple, enhancing the coziness factor with homemade vegetable stock, dried sage, and thyme. Cooking it in a skillet is optional, but to me, the heaviness of the pan and the rustic aesthetic feels especially grounding and appropriate this time of year.

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Skillet Cornbread Stuffing with Mushrooms & Herbs

Skillet Cornbread Stuffing with Mushrooms & Herbs (Vegan, Gluten-Free Option) | picklesnhoney.com

Skillet Cornbread Stuffing with Mushrooms & Herbs

Vegan, Gluten Free,

Serves: one 10” cast iron skillet


Cook Time: 45 mins

A simple and warming vegan stuffing that will make your family and friends re-think saving room for dessert. Lightly sweet, easy to prepare cornbread, cozy thyme and sage, and hearty mushrooms and vegetables, all baked in a flavorful vegetable stock.

Skillet Cornbread Stuffing with Mushrooms & Herbs (Vegan, Gluten-Free Option) | picklesnhoney.com

Skillet Cornbread Stuffing with Mushrooms & Herbs

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Ingredients

Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free Servings: one 10” cast iron skillet

Cook Time: 45 mins

A simple and warming vegan stuffing that will make your family and friends re-think saving room for dessert. Lightly sweet, easy to prepare cornbread, cozy thyme and sage, and hearty mushrooms and vegetables, all baked in a flavorful vegetable stock.

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cube the cornbread into 1” pieces and spread it on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once halfway through, until golden brown and toasted.
  • While the cornbread is toasting, add the olive oil to a deep 10” cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  • When the skillet is hot, add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened.
  • Stir in the mushrooms, sage, thyme, and parsley. Cook for 1-2 more minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  • Add the cornbread croutons to the skillet and gently toss them with the cooked vegetables. Pour in the vegetable stock and gently toss once more.
  • Cover the skillet with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F, then uncover and continue cooking for 5-10 more minutes, until the top is golden brown. Serve immediately, topped with a pour of vegan gravy* if you like!

Notes [2]

This cornbread stuffing pairs perfectly with my 5-Minute Easy Vegan Gravy.

For my skillet, I have a Lodge 3-quart pre-seasoned cast-iron combo cooker.

Copyright © 2019 Amanda Maguire for Pickles & Honey

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  1. Caitlin says

    you can never be too ambitious, i think. i have the same thoughts as you about the need to constantly be productive. relaxing feels like cheating or slacking. but sometimes it’s necessary. i mostly use that time for naps 😉

    1. Amanda says

      I need to learn to take naps. 🙂

  2. I am hoping to savor my few weeks at home for break and really reconnect with myself!
    Cornbread is amazing…as a stuffing…SO GOOD!

    1. Amanda says

      Enjoy your break, Rebecca!

  3. Kait says

    I love how in alignment we always seem to be. Also, I really admire what I know of your relationship with Aaron. Obviously what you share on the blog is only a teensy bit but I get the impression that you don’t shy away from the “hard talks” and thats something we need modeled more often.

    I always feel like I didn’t do enough. When I look back at this year I had some MASSIVE wins. I moved to my dream city, got my “dream” job, got laid off, and decided to go it on my own. In a matter of months I had a small fall tour booked, some steady writing clients, and a number of interviews in major magazines. Everytime I thought I’d have a slow month a new project came across my radar. I hustled like I never hustled before. Its so easy to get caught up in and dredged down by the day-to-day tasks and forget about the bigger picture. I’ve been in fairly deep reflection of the BIG questions for next year and I’m trying to really keep most in mind.

    I’m sure you’re familiar with desire mapping but I am SO damn excited to go through the process in the new year with some close friends. I’m starting to ID my core desired feelings (pleasure is one of them…shocker, huh?) but I’m really trying to be open to HOW they can influence what I do, when I do it, and how much I do each day.

    Enjoy these days of reflection. I give you permission. I know its not my right but sometimes its so incredibly powerful to have someone else offer that space (the concierge in Sedona did it for us and I swear our vacation was better because of it).

    1. Amanda says

      So many awesome things about your comment. <3 Aaron and I definitely challenge each other, in a good way! I also really love what you said about having someone else give you permission--though not necessary, there is something to be said about having another person validate what you feel you need to do or remind you to enjoy yourself.

  4. You should definitely allow yourself time to rest and regroup! Those are some of the most enjoyable times 🙂

    This look gorgeous and so delicious!

    Happy holidays my dear!

    1. Amanda says

      Thanks, Gabby! I’m very much looking forward to some downtime over the holidays. I hope you get a chance to rest and regroup too!

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