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Crunchy Breadcrumb Dressing with Prunes

Crunchy Breadcrumb Dressing with Prunes

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To make the breadcrumbs, tear up a day-old baguette or some crusty country bread and pulse it in a food processor until the crumbs are coarse. If you end up with more than you need, freeze the surplus in an airtight container.


  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces pancetta or smoked bacon, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 4 cups coarse fresh breadcrumbs made from 8 1/2-inch-thick slices rustic white bread
  • 1 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup pitted prunes (about 5 ounces), quartered

Recipe Preparation

  • Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 3–5 minutes. Add onion and cook until just soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in breadcrumbs, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toast, stirring often, until breadcrumbs are golden, 4–5 minutes. Add prunes and cook, stirring often, until breadcrumbs are deep golden brown and crisp, 3–4 minutes longer. Serve warm.

Recipe by Christopher Hirsheimer, Melissa Hamilton,

Nutritional Content

One serving contains: Calories (kcal) 240 Fat (g) 14 Saturated Fat (g) 2.5 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 28 Dietary Fiber (g) 2 Total Sugars (g) 6 Protein (g) 4 Sodium (mg) 260Reviews Section

Recipe Summary

  • 1 loaf (2 pounds) day-old country bread, crust removed and bread torn into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 12 ounces prunes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 2 bunches hearty leafy greens, such as kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled
  • 5 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Bake bread on a baking sheet in a single layer until dried but not browned, about 15 minutes. Remove bread, and let cool. Raise oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Bring stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add prunes, and let soak for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook greens until tender, about 10 minutes, and transfer to a plate. Let cool. Wipe out skillet.

Heat remaining tablespoon oil in skillet over medium heat. Brown sausage, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through and no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl using a slotted spoon. Add more oil to skillet if needed, and cook celery, carrots, and onions until tender, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Drain prunes, reserving poaching liquid. Add prunes, bread, greens, and vegetable mixture to bowl with sausage. Gradually add reserved poaching liquid (about 2 1/2 cups), stirring to combine. Stir in parsley and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide stuffing between two 9-by-13-inch baking dishes. Dot tops with butter. Bake until browned, about 45 minutes.

So, what foods should a patient eat during chemo (and radiation)?

Well, that&rsquos partially true.

While nutrition is important for overcoming chemo and offering fuel to repair cells, sometimes, a chemo patient simply needs calories.

No shaming folks into what&rsquos good for them, if all they can do is simply get something down.

The time will come again when they can eat nutritionally sound meals until then &ndash whatever it takes to get calories.

Casseroles and huge meals are fine for caregivers and family, but chemo patients need something altogether different.

Both boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs work great in this pulled chicken tacos recipe. The beauty of this dish is how fast and easy it is to prepare. The poaching liquid is spiced with Mexican seasonings and cooked down while you are shredding the chicken.

More bread and breadcrumb ideas

3. Make your own dried breadcrumbs by drying the bread out in a very low oven (about an hour at 150C / gas mark 2. Turn slices so both sides dry evenly. Then I blitz these chunks in a food processor. The dried breadcrumbs are then stored in an airtight container and could, if given the chance, last about three months. They store well in the freezer too. Where recipes call for fresh breadcrumbs rather than dried ones, then I soak my dried crumbs in a little milk or water, or use their dryness to soak up any liquid in things that I am making that are too damp.

4. Savoury breadcrumbs can be made by combining a mixture of dried crumbs with herbs, spices and grated hard cheese such as parmesan or pecorino. The crumbs can then be used to coat chicken or to sprinkle over gratins.

Breadcrumbs appeal to my thrifty heart in one of my favourite frugal but tasty meals of pasta with olive oil and garlic - the perfect case of 'less is more'.

5. How about the Spanish panada - a savoury bread pudding with caramelised onions and cheese. Or Migas - another Spanish dish of stale bread and chorizo.

6. There are tens (possibly hundreds) of traditional British pies and puddings, both sweet and savoury, that use bread as a key ingredient. If you want to read more, then I really can't recommend English Puddings: Sweet and Savoury by Mary Norwak highly enough. One of my favourites is the traditional Manchester tart.

7. Try Exeter pudding - a sort of baked trifle!

8. A sweet topping of sugar and spice (cinnamon or mixed) and breadcrumbs is perfect on puddings or ice cream sundaes. I can also thoroughly recommend Nigel Slater's golden bread and hazelnut ice cream.

9. Summer may be months away, but salads are always welcome, particularly Felicity Cloake's perfect panzanella.

10. How about using breadcrumbs in meatballs, bean burgers or a meatloaf?

11. Romesco, a Spanish red pepper sauce made with breadcrumbs and smoked paprika, should be on everyone's must-try recipe list.

12. I came across a recipe for something called Strata, which I was completely unfamiliar with. It is a popular American dish made with layers of bread, egg and cheese - a sort of bread frittata and perfect for breakfast or lunch.

13. Moving to French cuisine, one of my favourite ways of using up stale bread is in a simple Gascon soup, Garbure, made with layers of bread and cabbage, flavoured with ham, beans and vegetables. Cookery writer Kate Hill's recipe is gorgeous.

14. Ivan Day's medieval gyngerbrede recipe made with real bread - this is less like a cake and more like a thick paste, which can be moulded into sweets.

15. Spanish breadcrumb fritters in honey sauce traditionally served at Easter, which dates back to medieval times - they are very like doughnuts!

16. A classic Apple Charlotte from James Martin.

17. A bit early in the season to be thinking of summer pudding, but it is always better to be hopeful! (I have made this successfully with a bag of frozen fruits.)

18. Felicity Cloake's perfect sweet and sticky treacle tart.

20. Another soup recipe is Nigel Slater's take on the classic Tuscan Ribollita - the perfect marriage of bread and beans.

Have we missed anything? Share your favourite tips for using leftover bread and crusts below.

Rachel Kelly is the Guardian home cook of the year 2013. Read more on her website or follow her on Twitter @MarmadukeS.

Interested in finding out more about how you can live better? Take a look at this month's Live Better Challenge here.

The Live Better Challenge is funded by Unilever its focus is sustainable living. All content is editorially independent except for pieces labelled advertisement feature. Find out more here.

The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

Chicken and pasta come together in a spicy Buffalo chicken mac and cheese recipe. Hot sauce is added to both the shredded chicken and the cheese sauce, but the cheese tames the heat perfectly. Baked with macaroni and bread crumbs, it's a fun dish for dinners, parties, and potlucks.

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For this salad, a cauliflower is tossed in aromatic spices along with   scrubbed   potatoes, boiled and cut small. Sultanas add a little sweetness. Serve as part of a bigger meal, or simply with a piece of grilled fish placed on top, with a squeeze of lemon and a dollop of yoghurt.

Roast Florets Recipe with Two   Cheeses
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Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Bacon & Prawns
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Cauliflower Pies Recipe with Sour Cream Pastry
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Whether you're looking for a smaller recipe or just want an overall simplified method, this air fryer sausage stuffing checks all the boxes. We went super classic, using sliced white bread (that's even toasted in the air fryer!), celery, garlic and fresh herbs like sage and thyme. The entire dish comes together in less than hour, making this the perfect stuffing for a low-key Thanksgiving gathering.

Herb Stuffing with Dried Fruit

This bread stuffing with mixed dried fruit, sage, thyme and parsley makes a great accompaniment for roast turkey.

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Earthy wild mushrooms, as well as dried sage and thyme, give Bobby's dressing a deep, rustic flavor.

Caramelized Onion and Cornbread Stuffing

Tyler uses sweet corn muffins to make this stuffing, mixing it with caramelized onions and fresh sage.

Cranberry-Pecan Wild Rice Stuffing

Mix dried apricots and dried cranberries into this thyme-scented stuffing with crunchy pecans.

The Best Stuffing

There's something for everyone in our festive stuffing. It's filled with satisfying ingredients like sausage and mushrooms, plus classic Thanksgiving flavors like onion, celery and lots of chopped herbs. We like it best when baked in a casserole dish and served alongside the turkey. This is also the safest way to prepare it.

Pretzel Stuffing

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Sausage Cornbread Stuffing

Don't add the chopped garlic to the hot pan at the same time as your vegetables or it will burn. Instead, add it in with the sausage once the vegetables have been cooked and the heat has been lowered &mdash you'll still get all the same wonderful aromatics in your stuffing.

Crunchy Breadcrumb Dressing with Prunes - Recipes

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Coping with Eating Problems from Cancer Treatment

Cancer can be overwhelming. There are so many questions, issues, and concerns that can come up. It is important to talk to your health care team about your questions and concerns.

A way to be an active partner with your health care team is to keep a food and symptom journal. It will help you track what you eat and your side effects. (Scroll down to "Resources" to download and print copies of our daily food and symptom journal). Show this journal to your health care team often so they can address and manage any issues. It will help your team manage your treatment and recommend the healthiest diet for you.

Side effects, like being tired, having nausea, diarrhea or constipation, are normal during treatment. Most often, these issues go away after treatment ends. We offer hints and tips of how to cope with common eating problems caused by cancer treatment below.

Appetite Changes (Not Hungry, or Full Too Quickly)

If you don’t feel hungry or feel full too quickly:

  • Eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day, instead of 3 big meals.
  • Eat with friends or family or watch television while eating to take your mind off your lack of appetite.
  • Keep an eating and drinking schedule and set an alarm to remind you to eat.
  • Keep snacks next to you during chemotherapy or while in bed.
  • Make mealtime as pleasant as possible. One idea is to set the table, use nice plates, and have flowers as a centerpiece.

Appetite Changes (Over-Eating, or More Hungry than Usual)

If you have an increased appetite, or feel more hungry than usual:

  • Eat small frequent meals throughout the day instead of 3 big meals.
  • Limit high calorie foods such as pizza, fried foods, foods made with cheese or cream, desserts.
  • Choose lower calorie foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, baked or grilled poultry and fish, and beans.
  • Eat higher fiber foods such as such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans to help you feel more full.
  • Include small portions of healthy fats from avocado (1⁄8 slice), nuts (¼ cup), or nut butters (2 tbsp) to help you feel more full.
  • Be aware of the right portions. For example, a portion of meat is about the size of a deck of cards, a piece of fruit or a serving of vegetables is the size of a baseball, a serving of grains is the size of a light bulb, a serving of nuts is the size of a golf ball.
  • Drink a glass of water before meals to fill up and avoid overeating.

Changes in Taste and Smell

Foods may taste or smell different every day. You may find it helpful to keep trying different foods to find what appeals to you.

If everything tastes bland or has no taste:

  • Add stronger flavors onto foods. Pickles, condiments, sauces, dressings, vinegar, or citrus juices may help. (You may need to avoid these if you have mouth or throat sores).
  • Add spices and seasonings to enhance the flavor of your food.
  • Marinate meats for a stronger flavor.
  • Suck on sugar free tart candies before or after a meal.
  • Clean your mouth with homemade baking soda rinse.

If everything tastes metallic or bitter:

  • Add sweeteners such as honey or pure maple syrup onto foods to offset the bitter taste.
  • Choose other protein sources (such as fish, chicken, or beans) if red meat tastes metallic.
  • Use plastic utensils instead of silverware.
  • Avoid cooking on iron skillets.

If the smell of food makes you not want to eat:

  • Avoid being in the kitchen when food is being made.
  • Choose cold or room-temperature foods instead of hot foods, which can smell stronger.
  • Light a scented candle or essential oil diffuser to remove unpleasant or offensive odors.
  • Open a window or turn on a fan to minimize the smells.

Try these recipes if you are having trouble with changes in taste and smells:

Problems Chewing or Swallowing

Choose foods that are easier to chew and swallow:

  • Soft foods, such as scrambled eggs, oatmeal, soft pasta, potatoes, soups, and stews
  • Softer protein sources such as fish, ground meats, eggs, beans, and creamy nut butters
  • High calorie drinks, such as smoothies, milkshakes, or nutritional supplements. (Be sure to discuss all nutritional supplements with your health care team first.)

Stay away from foods that could cause chewing or swallowing pain:

  • Hard foods, such as crackers, crusty breads, raw vegetables, and crunchy cereals
  • Tough meats, such as steak, pork chops, turkey, or chicken breast
  • Acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus fruits

Make foods easier to chew and swallow by:

  • Adding dressing, sauces, or gravy to meats and other dishes
  • Pureeing foods in the blender
  • Thickening foods as needed with cornstarch, baby cereal, potato flakes, gelatin, or commercial thickeners

If you have trouble opening and closing your mouth to chew foods, talk to your health care team. You may need to meet with your physical therapist for exercises to help you. If you regularly cough or bring food back up after eating, be sure to tell your health care team. You may need to meet with a speech-language pathologist to assess how well you swallow.

If you have difficulty chewing or swallowing, try these recipes:


Food tips for constipation:

  • Increase foods that can help promote a bowel movement:
    • Choose high fiber foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans.
    • Try prunes and other dried fruits and juices, such as prune or apple juice.
    • Drink hot beverages, such as herbal tea and decaffeinated coffee.

    Non-food tips for constipation:

    • Move more if you are able - walk, stretch, or do yoga.
    • Talk to your health care team about drugs or other tips that can help with constipation.
    • Drink hydrating fluids with electrolytes, such as coconut water, broth, electrolyte drinks, and diluted fruit juices. Carry a water bottle to stay hydrated.
    • Eat probiotics from food such as yogurt, kefir, and fermented foods. Talk to your health care team before taking any probiotic supplements.

    These are examples of recipes that are ideal if you are experiencing constipation:


    Foods to AVOID when you have diarrhea:

    • Alcohol and caffeinated drinks
    • Dairy foods (other than cultured dairy like yogurt or kefir)
    • Foods that are high in sugar, such as juices or sweets
    • Greasy and fried foods
    • High fiber and bulky foods, such as raw vegetables, nuts, and whole grains

    Foods to EAT when you have diarrhea:

    • Easy-to-tolerate foods:
    • Apples (without skin) or applesauce
    • Baked chicken, turkey, or fish
    • Bananas
    • Canned fruit (in juice), such as canned peaches or pears
    • Oatmeal, barley, or cream of rice cereal
    • Plain potatoes without skin
    • White rice or pasta
    • Fluids with electrolytes: coconut water, broth, and diluted fruit juices. Carry a water bottle to drink often.

    To help manage diarrhea, try our:

    Dry Mouth

    • Avoid alcohol and limit caffeinated drinks.
    • Increase your saliva by:
      • Sucking on sugar free tart candies prior to eating
      • Chewing on sugar free gum in between meals
      • Moistening foods with sauces and gravies
      • If acidic foods don’t irritate your mouth or throat, you can also try:
        • Adding lemon or lime to water
        • Using citrus fruits or juices in marinades or dressings

        Non-food tips for dry mouth:

        • Apply lip balm or petroleum jelly to protect your lips.
        • Sleep with a humidifier in your room to help moisten your mouth at night. Be sure to clean the humidifier regularly.
        • Use alcohol-free mouthwash daily and/or saliva substitutes.

        These are examples of moist recipes to help with dry mouth:

        Feeling Tired (Fatigue)

        • Ask family and friends to help make meals and assist with other daily tasks.
        • On days that you have more energy, cook soup or stews in bulk to have meals on hand.
        • Increase your physical activity as best you can in order to help fight fatigue.
        • Take it one day at a time and look at each day as a new day.
        • Take breaks throughout the day.
        • Try something you did not do yesterday and try not to let your lack of energy discourage you.
        • Try not to overdo it on higher energy days, so you can conserve your energy.

        Mouth Sores and Mouth Pain

        Food tips for mouth sores and mouth pain:

        • Choose foods that help soothe the mouth, including:
          • Cold foods, such as popsicles, frozen fruit, and ice cream
          • Soft, mild foods, such as cottage cheese, smoothies, and yogurt
          • Well-cooked, soft meals such as potatoes, macaroni and cheese, casseroles, stews, and ground meats
          • Acidic or spicy foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, and vinegar
          • Alcohol and carbonated drinks
          • Crunchy or hard foods, such as crusty bread, pretzels, and chips
          • Hot foods – choose room temperature or cold instead

          Non-food tips for mouth sores and mouth pain:

          • Drink through a straw to avoid sore spots
          • Suck on ice chips when you have mouth pain
          • Use a baking soda rinse before and after meals

          Find these soft, easy-to-chew, and mild recipes to help with mouth pain below:

          Nausea and Vomiting

          Food tips for nausea and/or vomiting:

          • Even though you do not feel like eating, an empty stomach can make nausea worse. Aim to eat a small amount of food every 1-2 hours to prevent nausea.
          • Choose bland foods, such as plain pasta or rice. If dry mouth isn’t a problem, you can also try dry food such as crackers and pretzels.
          • Choose room temperature or cold foods, instead of hot entrees.
          • Drink ginger tea or chew ginger candies when you feel nauseous.
          • Drink hydrating fluids (such as water, 100% juice, coconut water, or chamomile or ginger tea) throughout the day to prevent dehydration.
          • Limit your intake of fried, greasy, or “heavy” foods, as these can make nausea worse.

          Non-food tips for nausea and/or vomiting:

          • If drugs or supplements make you nauseous, talk to your health care team about taking them with food, instead of on an empty stomach.
          • Talk to your health care team about anti-nausea drugs. For the most benefit, take anti-nausea drugs 30-45 minutes prior to a meal. You may also need to take them around the clock, instead of as needed.
          • Try deep breathing, meditation, or guided imagery to help settle your stomach and mind.

          These are examples of recipes to help with nausea:

          Weight Loss

          It is important to prevent weight loss during cancer treatment. To prevent weight loss and add calories to your diet:

          • Add healthy high-calorie additives to the foods you eat regularly:
            • Avocado
            • Olive oil or butter
            • Nuts and seeds
            • Cheese
            • Sauces and gravies
            • Dried fruit
            • Peanut butter, almond butter, or other nut butters
            • Nuts, seeds, and nut butters
            • Beans
            • Meat
            • Fish
            • Poultry
            • Eggs
            • Dairy products

            These are examples of recipes to help with nausea:

            Weight Gain

            Some patients experience weight gain during or after cancer treatment. It can be related to many factors. These can include appetite changes, decreased activity, hormonal treatment, steroids, and for women whether or not they’ve reached menopause. Managing weight gain is all about choosing a healthier lifestyle by eating healthy foods and exercising within your ability