Did you eat a lot yesterday? I sure did. It’s one of the best meals, in my opinion, and it only happens once a year!! But it’s the day after, and maybe you’ve already had a leftover dinner for lunch, exactly the same way it was last night. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with that. But, if you want to spice up your leftovers, I’ve got a few ideas for you.
Thanksgiving Soup (I’m hoping to make this again this year, if my family will let me! It was really great with my brother-in-law’s sourdough bread!)
Slice leftover rolls or bread about 1/2″ thick. Top with whatever you’d like (suggestions below). Bake at 400F for about 10 minutes, or until bread is crispy, and toppings are warmed and bubbly (if cheese).
Cranberry and Parmesan
Turkey, Cranberry and Parmesan
Olive Oil, Rosemary and Cranberry
Caramelized Onion and Cranberry
Caramelized Onion and Turkey
Sweet Potato and Gruyère
French Toast using the extra rolls or bread from dinner, dip in egg mixture (whisk together egg, milk and cinnamon). Cook until egg is set and toast is crispy. Serve with leftover cranberry sauce, or sauteed apples and maple syrup.
Flatbread Pizza If you have leftover mushrooms from making the stuffing… here you go! Or, top this pizza with Alfredo sauce, turkey, cranberries, some kale or spinach and some parmesan or gruyère, and voila, Turkey Alfredo Pizza.
Turkey Parmesan Dip leftover turkey in egg whites, then into bread crumb mixture in recipe. Cook until heated through and temperature reaches 165F (and outside is crispy). Serve with rice pilaf, wild rice, fettuccine alfredo, pasta with olive oil… or whatever your favorite pasta or rice dish is.
Shepherd’s Pie with Turkey Use leftover turkey (instead of beef) and mashed potatoes mixed with mashed leftover sweet potatoes.
Turkey Pot Pie Cook up some leftover veggies, and potatoes. Add some flour to the oil (at the side of the pan, so the flour doesn’t get all lumpy) and whisk together (30-60 sec). Add some milk or stock (slowly), whisking. Once it’s thick, pour into a pie plate or individual ramekins. Top with leftover pie crust (if you bought it, I think they normally come with two, so if you didn’t make two pies, now you don’t have to take up space in your freezer for that lonely extra one). Bake at 350F or 375F until the pie crust is done, about 30-35 minutes. (You could also top with sliced leftover rolls or bread drizzled with olive oil. Bake at 375F or 400F until bread is toasty.) (Or, you could top with mashed potatoes. If the potatoes are already warmed up, just bake until slightly browned on top… you could even add cheese to the potatoes!) Or, just substitute turkey for the chicken in this Chicken Pot Pie recipe!
Fajitas Saute some green peppers and onions and reheat leftover turkey. Assemble on tortillas with some salsa and Greek yogurt
A few goodies about some of what you’ve been eating
and why you can feel good about Thanksgiving dinner (ahem, most of it, cough, the first helping… not judging here, I’m sure I had at
seconds thirds of something everything on the table).
Cranberries are low in calories, a good source of vitamine C, soluable and insoluable fiber, manganese and copper. They’re high in anti-oxidants. They help prevent urinary-tract infections and kidney stones. (1) They also contain a natural vasodilator which opens up the bronchial tubes (good for the entire breathing apparatus). (2)
Turkey is a good source of protein, selenium, niacin, vitamin B6, zinc and vitamin B12. It’s high in the amino acid tryptophan (which is a building block of the brain compound serotonin, which may help improve sleep quality – after dinner nap anyone?!). (1)
Potatoes are a good source of potassium, vitamines B6 and C, niacin, pantothenic acid and dietary fiber. Potatoes also have a moderate amount of protein (about 2.5 grams in a medium potato). Unlike corn or rice, which have about the same protein content, potatoes contain lysine, an essential amino acid often lacking in grains. Most nutrients, fiber and protein are found in the skin (so scrub well, eat organic if possible and enjoy those skins!). (1)
Yams/Sweet Potatoes (traditionally the orange colored sweet potato) are a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, vitamins B1, B6, C, manganese and carbohydrates. Yams are known to be a superfood for women because of the amount of B vitamines (among other things) they contain. (1)
Green Beans are known to help with rheumatism, and promote the normal function of the liver and pancreas. (2)
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 sm. zucchini (optional), chopped
- 1/4 C green beans, chopped
- 1/2 t ginger (dried)
- 1 t poultry seasoning
- 1/2 t dried thyme, crushed (or 1 t fresh, chopped)
- 1/2 t dried rosemary, crushed (or 1 t fresh, chopped)
- to taste pepper
- to taste salt
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 T balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 C turkey gravy
- 1/2 C mashed yams/sweet potatoes (I used my Roasted Garlic Yams)
- 1 1/2 C leftover turkey, chopped
- 32 oz. turkey stock
- 32 oz. water (or use more stock), plus 1 C or so, if needed
- 1 C rice spaghetti noodles, broken in pieces
- Heat soup pot. When hot, add olive oil. Add onion and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, or until beginning to be translucent. Add zucchini through salt and cook for about 5 minutes over medium low heat, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
- Add balsamic vinegar and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in gravy, yams, and turkey. Then add stock and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-60 minutes.
- Add pasta and cook until noodles are to desired doneness (or according to package's directions).
Sources: (1) Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, 2005, Murray, Michael N.D., Pizzorno, Joseph N.D., and Pizzorno, Lara. (2) Eating for Health, 2008‚ Bauman, Edward M.Ed., Ph.D.
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