Friday, November 16, 2012

How To Use Every Scrap of Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving leftovers?  I know, it's not even Thursday yet, but if I don't have a game plan ready, those leftovers are overwhelming and stuffing them back in the fridge for later can feel pointless.  What am I going to do with it all, anyway?  Using what's left of the annual feast can really save a lot of money.  Besides, it would be a shame to let all that hard work  it took to prepare those dishes go to waste.  Here are ways to actually enjoy what's left:

Let's start with the big one.  There's so much more that can be done besides turkey tetrazzini.
  • Stop!  Don't even throw the carcass out!  Use it to make nourishing stock.  Here is a recipe for chicken stock.  Turkey stock can be made the same way.  You'll enjoy soup for days.
  • Sandwiches & wraps.  My favorite way to whip up a Black Friday lunch is to spread some cream cheese over a tortilla or two pieces of bread (or even leftover rolls!), stack some turkey on there, and spoon some cranberry sauce on top.  Roll up the wrap or put that sandwich together.  Yummers.
  • Get out your favorite chicken soup recipe and use turkey instead.  What a warming thing to slurp after hanging those Christmas lights up outside.  Freeze any leftovers to pull out on a crazy December night.  No need for take-out!
  • Are you just tired of turkey?  Freeze it in one-pound portions to take out for later.  I like to use it in quesadillas, nachos, over a bed or rice with cheese sprinkled on top, or even in a salad.
  • Stay tuned!  Later this week I have a spacial dish to share with you.  It's a delicious home for your turkey.  You will love it.
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Mashed Potatoes
  • Enjoy some potato pancakes the following morning.  This recipe shows you how.  I use coconut flour or arrowroot powder instead of wheat flour and Ghee instead of vegetable oil.
  • Use it in this nourishing potato soup recipe on place of potatoes.  Use 2-3 cups mashed potatoes.
  • Of course, there's always shepherd's pie.  Use leftover turkey meat instead of ground meat and you get double points!  Use fresh mushrooms or omit altogether.  Use arrowroot powder instead of wheat flour.  Omit bullion.  You're good to go.
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Cranberry Sauce
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Sweet Potato (Yam) Casserole
  • The same concept can be used as cranberry sauce!  Use it in place of pumpkin puree for any pumpkin recipe (scones, bread, pancakes...).  The nutty top from the casserole gives it an extra yum factor.
  • Use 1 cup of it instead of persimmons in this smoothie recipe.  Trust me.  It's good.
  • Bonus!  You can also make sweet potato cake with it using an apple cake recipe.  Just use 1 cup sweet potato casserole instead of apples.  It works!
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Green Bean Casserole
  • Here we go, folks.  A triple-point dish.  You know that shepherd's pie recipe mentioned above in the mashed potato section?  Eliminate the milk and arrowroot powder altogether and simple mix leftover turkey with 3 cups leftover green bean casserole and you've got yourself a dinner!
  • Saute 5 cloves garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes in 1 tablespoon olive oil just for a minute.  Then add 1-3 cups green bean casserole to the garlic, stir, and heat through.  Serve over a bed of rice or rice noodles and sprinkle parmesan cheese and freshly-ground pepper on top.
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  • Beat an egg or two, add stuffing (about 1 cup per person), and mix well.  Melt butter or ghee in a skillet, shape the mixture into little cakes and fry like pancakes.  Spoon leftover cranberry sauce on top of cooked stuffing cakes.
  • Mix 2 cups stuffing, 1 beaten egg, 1 cup chopped leafy greens, and 1 cup grated cheese.  Form into 1-inch balls and bake at 350ยบ for 10-15 minutes or until firm.  Use like meatballs.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are ready.  Bring on the leftovers.  We know how to use 'em.  Let's to this thing.

I'm sharing this at Monday Mania, Real Food Wednesday.


  1. Thank-you! This is great to know for my family.

  2. YUM!!!! my mouth just watered a little bit.. hehe

  3. With 4 big boys it is hard to make enough to have any leftovers. But reading through all of these recipes I am determined to make enough to make at least a few of these.
    Thanks for all the wonderful ideas. Have a great thanksgiving.


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