How to Make the Most of Your Thanksgiving Leftovers
‘Twas the day after Thanksgiving, when all through the house,
no one wanted to eat leftovers, so they just ate out.
Okay, so that isn’t an official holiday poem, but it’s a scenario that plays out in many homes throughout our country. Maybe families leave their leftovers in the fridge because the thought of gorging on the same food two days in a row is repellant to them. Or, perhaps a different type of cuisine sounds more appealing.
There’s another possibility – maybe some don’t realize they can jazz up their leftovers.
If you need some ideas for how to make Thanksgiving leftovers more palatable to your family, check out these quick and easy meal options that can turn ho-hum into want some…
6 Creative & Healthy Ways to Liven Up Your Thanksgiving Leftovers
1. Turkey Salad
If you live in the typical American home, you probably have plenty of leftover salad from the Thanksgiving meal. You probably also have tons of leftover turkey. I think you see where I’m going with this.
Lay strips of turkey on top of a salad and say presto! (That last part is optional.) If you want to take it a step further, add leftover vegetables like carrots or Brussels sprouts to your salad. You can even use your cranberry sauce as a dressing…but only if you like cranberries.
2. Turkey Soup
If turkey can work for a salad, why not for soup? There are plenty of ways to customize turkey soup. To a broth base, add shredded, pulled or cubed turkey. Feel free to toss in any leftover vegetables as well (from the veggie tray nobody touched). Add carrots, mushrooms, onions, celery or other vegetables to your soup. Then, if preferred, add brown or wild rice to thicken the stock. Add spices to your liking and you’ll have a mighty fine turkey soup.
3. Turkey Tacos
I know what you’re thinking – how can you make a healthy taco? It all starts with the shell. But I’m not talking made with processed corn or flour. I’m talking made by nature.
Separate and wash several leaves of lettuce (organic romaine hearts, butter lettuce or green chard all work great) and position them on a plate or tray so that they form a bowl shape (my coworker calls them “boats”). Scoop shredded turkey, black beans, brown or wild rice, avocado or any other healthy topping you choose into the leaves. Then, pick up the loaded leaves and eat them like a taco. Your family will gobble them up.
4. Turkey-Sweet Potato Pie
You’ve heard of shepherd’s pie? Well, give the shepherd the day off. For a healthier version of shepherd’s pie, throw leftover turkey, green beans and other vegetables into the bottom of a casserole dish. Then, layer on mashed sweet potatoes. You can sprinkle some cheese on top but go easy. Bake in the oven. Wa-lah!
5. Turkey Chili
There are many ways to make chili. Some are healthy and some aren’t. To a low salt broth, add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, diced onions, kidney or black beans and other vegetables as desired. Oops, I forgot the star of the show…shredded or ground turkey. For slow-simmer goodness, make your turkey chili in a crockpot.
6. Turkey Sandwich
Forget the thin-sliced, processed turkey from the deli at your local grocery store. Carve up slices of real turkey from your leftover bird. Traditional turkey sandwiches, which include stuffing and cranberry sauce, can really crank up the calories. For a healthy alternative, add avocado, sprouts, onion, tomato, leaf lettuce, and a slice of low-fat cheese to your turkey. Bread can be one of the least healthy parts of a sandwich, so use whole wheat sandwich thins to reduce calories. Lightly spreading Vegenaise on your whole wheat thins can help bring your whole turkey sandwich together.
You’ll find more holiday, and every day, recipes in The Brain Warrior’s Way Cookbook.
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