Healthy Cooking Friday – Thanksgiving Leftover Ideas


thanksgiving leftover recipesIn the midst of yesterday’s holiday of feasting, one thing was for certain; there would be an aftermath to deal with. And in this case, I’m not referring to the negative self-talk which might occur following “too much” enjoying. (I’ll leave my friend Darla to address those issues!)  But these leftovers need to be dealt with, stat. So how can you put them to use?

First the turkey. My husband (a great cook in his own right) suggests the traditional route of mixing your leftover cranberry sauce with a little mayo to make a cranberry aioli. This is a wonderful spread for turkey wraps or turkey sandwiches, maybe on a hearty multi-grain bread (he says “RYE!”).

It may seem obvious to some, but if you didn’t know, roasted turkey freezes pretty well.  I recommend cutting it up into bite-size pieces and portioning it out into an appropriate amount of servings for the size of your household.  Then you can use it later on to make a turkey salad, turkey panini, turkey soup, turkey and cheese wrap, turkey pasta dish, stir fry, or even throw it in a simple sauteed recipe such as my Mushroom-Kale Almond Rice.  My favorite would have to be our Thai Turkey Soup, which is likely very different from what you had for dinner yesterday.

Then, how to recycle the vegetables?  I often plan my Turkey Day veggies with the thought that they will need to be used in leftover form, since many Thanksgiving guests will (sadly) forgo the green stuff to get more turkey and stuffing.  Roasted veggies are wonderful in wraps (maybe with some of that turkey?) with a little bit of cheese; check out our Sweet Potato and Portabella Mushroom blend to get your wheels turning.  Green beans almondine, if not too wet, could work as a finishing to a stir fry depending on your original seasonings, with the addition of some tamari or soy sauce.  Most leftover veggies also would work in a quiche, tart, or frittata.

Speaking of quiche, we do a twice baked potato quiche here at GMFR which could use up some of those veggies as well as some of those mashed potatoes.  Simply press your leftover mashed potatoes in a pie pan, blind bake it until it’s golden brown and delicious, and proceed as you would any other quiche.

And lest we forget, pie freezes well, too.  Cut leftovers into appropriate servings so you can pull out the exact number of portions you need when you need them, to ensure more conscientious enjoyment.

How do you use up your Thanksgiving leftovers?

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