Overdo it? Yeah, us too. But just because you know better than to enthusiastically revisit your mother's butter-laden mashed potatoes or your Uncle Herb's bourbon pecan pie, doesn't mean you have to throw everything away. In fact, for many, Thanksgiving leftovers are as much a tradition as the meal itself.
So we at Healthy Living decided to compile a list of leftover recipes that are as healthful as they are delicious and festive. From turkey pot pie to spiced pumpkin seeds, you won't be disappointed by the beautiful use of traditional foods, courtesy of some of the top nutrition minds in the country:
Healthy Pot Pie
One of my favorite things to do with leftover turkey is to make a healthy pot pie. I cube skinless leftover turkey breast and mix it with chopped steamed veggies. Instead of cream sauce, I make a light roux and season it with fresh herbs and then dilute it with broth so it's creamy but low in calories. Then instead of traditional crust I top it off with my low fat mashed or sweet potatoes and bake it until warm and bubbly. -- <em>Karen Ansel</em>
Cranberry Orange Sauce
1 cup water 3/4 cup evaporated cane juice crystals (a low process sugar) 3 cups cranberries 1 orange, chopped fine (a food processor works well for this) generous pinch cinnamon nutmeg, to taste Bring the water and the cane juice crystals to a boil, stirring until the crystals are dissolved. Reduce to a simmer, add the cranberries, orange, and spices. Cover and simmer 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the cranberries pop. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before serving. This sauce is wonderful stirred into oatmeal in the morning for a tangy flavor boost. It's also great baked into quick breads or scones for a delicious snack. -- <em>Mira Dessy, C.N.E.</em>
Turkey curry salad
2 tbsp. slivered almonds 1 tbsp. curry powder 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt 1/3 cup mango chutney 1 tsp. turmeric 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper 2 cups cooked turkey, diced 1/2 cup grapes, diced 1/2 cup diced celery Place over bed of lettuce or 2 slices of wheat bread. -- <em>Jessica Crandall</em>, R.D., C.D.E.
Don't throw out those turkey bones. After you take off all the meat, add the carcass, meat scraps, garlic, onion and whatever veggies you have on hand. Put them in a big soup pot, add water and you can create a wonderful turkey stock that can be frozen into portions for soups, stews and sauces through out the winter months. 1 turkey carcass and all additional bones, bits of meat 2 head of garlic, roughly chopped 2 large yellow onions, roughly chopped into chunks 2 carrots, cut in half 2 celery stalks, cut in half 1handful fresh parsley, leaves and stems, 3 bay leaves 2 sprigs fresh thyme 1 tbsp black pepper 1 tsp Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt Note: If you have other vegetables such as peas, green beans or tomatoes, you can also add to stock pot if you wish. Place all ingredients in a large pot. Cover with fresh filtered water until all ingredients are covered; adding an additional inch of water past the ingredients. Bring contents to a boil. Cover with a tight fitting lid, reduce heat to medium low and continue simmering for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and allow for contents to cool for several hours, as this will draw the nutrients out of the contents and into the broth. Strain contents into another pot keeping the liquid. Discard the contents. Place liquid in the refrigerator overnight; skim off any fat the next day. You can freeze the stock into glass jars for several months and allow a day to defrost. Turkey stock is great for soups, stews and sautee through out the winter months. -- <em>Karen Langston</em>, Certified Holistic Nutritionist specialising in Crohn's Disease
Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
Make sure to get the most of the leftovers from your Thanksgiving pumpkin -- which hopefully was roasted and consumed with grass-fed butter and no added sugar! Save the seeds and make a spicy roasted snack that is delicious and makes for a great snack to help balance your blood sugar. Pumpkin seeds are also high in tryptophan and zinc, meaning they are calming -- research shows they help with both social anxiety and sleep. My personal favorite recipe for pumpkin seeds is this one: Soak 2 cups pumpkin seeds overnight (in a bowl of filtered water) and drain. Place in a casserole dish or baking tray with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1tablespoon turmeric and ½ tablespoon ginger with sea salt and pepper to taste. Mix so the pumpkin seeds are coated with oil and spices. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 250 degrees F, stirring once after 5 minutes. Remove as the seeds start to expand and “pop and crackle.” -- <em>Trudy Scott, C.N.E.</em>
2 cups cranberries 2 sweet red bell peppers, deseeded 3 spring onions, minced 1/4 cup evaporated cane juice crystals 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine juice of one lime generous pinch sea salt 1 tsp crushed red pepper Put cranberries and bell peppers into a food processor and chop until fine. Place the mixture into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well and let sit at least two hours before serving so flavors blend. Our family relocated from Connecticut four years ago. Now that we live in Texas we decided that we needed to do something zippier with our cranberry sauce and actually have two versions on the table. Our second sauce is this cranberry salsa, which is a great way to add a touch of spice to the table. This is also excellent after Thanksgiving. Simply blend 1/4 cup into 8 ounces of organic cream cheese. This pairs well with crackers. It can also be used as the basis for a layered dip, which is a familiar appetizer here in Texas. One layer of spicy beans, topped with the cranberry salsa cheese mix, topped with guacamole, topped with sour cream and chopped olives, topped with lettuce, tomato and shredded cheese. -- <em>Dessy</em>
Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup
1 tbsp. butter or coconut oil 1 cup red lentils, rinsed 5 cups vegetable stock 2 leftover sweet potatoes or yams 2 chopped onions 1 chopped green pepper 2 chopped garlic cloves 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar 1 tsp. ground coriander 1 tsp. ground cumin ½ tsp. chilli powder (optional) 1tbsp. chopped fresh ginger Chopped cilantro 2 tomatoes or 1 can tomatoes Heat the butter and sauté the garlic, ginger and onion. Add the spices (coriander, chilli, cumin). Stir in stock and lentils, tomatoes, sweet potatoes (or leftover pumpkin) and bring to boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. Blend in a food processor until smooth. Add vinegar and stir well. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve. Enjoy! The lentils in this dish are a great source of protein and will help keep blood sugar levels stable if you are prone to low blood sugar. Lentils are also quick and easy to prepare since they don’t require soaking.
Use leftover turkey, add some avocado and toasted pumpkin seeds and toss with seasoned rice vinegar. I like to mix cranberry sauce with a little coconut yogurt and put a dollop of it on fresh fruit. -- <em>Judy Caplan</em>
Then there's always the question of what to do with all that leftover cranberry sauce. It makes a really healthful topping for whole wheat pancakes or french toast, or stirred into oatmeal or non-fat plain Greek yogurt. -- <em>Ansel</em>
1 yellow onion, small diced 1 red pepper, diced 1 green pepper, diced 1 can black beans 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 fresh jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (optional) 1 tbsp. chili powder ½ tbsp. cumin Place the above ingredients in a pan and sauté, then add them to 6-inch whole grain tortillas or hard taco shells. Top with reduced fat shredded cheese, shredded lettuce and salsa. -- <em>Jessica Crandall</em>