1 24-oz. loaf sliced 100% whole wheat bread, one day old
2 cups dried cranberries, or mix of dried cranberries, cherries and golden raisins
2 tsp. canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bunch scallions (green onions), trimmed and finely chopped
2 tsp. dried thyme, or to taste
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 1/2 cups (about) canned non-fat, reduced-sodium chicken broth, heated until hot
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Arrange bread slices on oven rack and leave in oven until very dry but not brown, about 30 minutes. Shut off oven and allow bread to cool until easily handled. Transfer bread to large bowl. Turn oven back on and preheat to 325 degrees.
Meanwhile, place dried fruit in large, heat-proof bowl and cover with very hot water. Let stand until water is lukewarm. Drain and set fruit aside in large bowl.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat until very hot. Place oil in pan and heat until very hot. Add onion and sauté, stirring constantly, until onion is translucent and golden. Stir in scallions and thyme. With slotted spoon, transfer mixture to bowl containing drained fruit.
In a large bowl break bread into coarse crumbs. Mix in dried fruit and sautéed onions. Mix in walnuts, parsley and chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Tossing gently so stuffing does not get compacted, and constantly so liquid is evenly distributed, add enough hot broth until mixture is moist but not wet. (Depending on type of bread used, additional broth may be needed.) Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, adding salt, pepper and thyme, if desired. If mixture seems dry, add additional hot broth, as desired. To bake stuffing, lightly coat a shallow baking pan with canola oil spray and transfer stuffing to 9x13" pan. Using canola oil spray, lightly coat the dull side of a sheet of foil large enough to seal pan. Cover and seal baking pan with foil (shiny side out) and bake about 1 hour. If less moist stuffing with a slightly crisp top is desired, remove foil halfway through baking time.
Serve immediately or store, tightly covered, in refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat chilled stuffing before serving.
Makes 18 ½ cup servings.
Per serving: 175 calories, 4 g. total fat (<1 g. saturated fat), 28 g. carbohydrate, 6 g. protein, 4 g. dietary fiber, 293 g. sodium.
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