The Herald Bulletin

November 22, 2012

Options for Thanksgiving Day leftovers

By Abbey Doyle
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — That 15-pound turkey just didn’t look big enough, so you had to bump it up to 20 pounds. But now you are left with at least half of an untouched turkey, gobs of mashed potatoes and even some green bean casserole.

Don’t worry. You can stretch your food dollar and eliminate waste by using leftovers to create new and tasty dishes including pizza, chili, soup, sandwiches or salad.

Elisha Hernandez of Anderson said it is important to store your food leftovers soon after eating, instead of leaving them sitting out all evening — so the food doesn’t spoil.

“Pack it up before you get all comfortable,” Hernandez said. “If you cook things in throwaway containers, you can wrap them up in the containers they are already in and save time and effort when it comes to doing the dishes.”

Hernandez and her family spend about $300 on the Thanksgiving meal, so stretching the food out over several meals helps save money. She’ll make up several dishes in the days after Thanksgiving, even freezing some for later.

Turkey and noodles is a standard meal each year served with mashed potatoes, something her kids love, Hernandez said. Potato cakes made from the leftover mashed potatoes for breakfast or as a side dish is another go-to post-holiday dish.

Excess ham along with the ham bone is perfect for ham and beans, something Hernandez remembers having after every Thanksgiving when she was a child.

“You can find a way to reuse everything,” she said. “Don’t throw away the food.”

Leftovers from the relish tray can even be helpful for new side items. Boil cauliflower with onions and garlic and mash like potatoes for a healthy spin and richer flavor over mashed potatoes. Other leftover veggies, cut-up pieces of turkey, and gravy and tomato juice can make a great turkey vegetable soup.

The idea that turkey should be reserved for the traditional “turkey day” is a notion from the past.

The National Turkey Federation pointed out that the poultry is no longer just a holiday protein. While in the 1970s half of the year’s consumption was on holidays, today that number is around 30 percent. So options to use the bird are endless.

The organization said last year’s U.S. consumption of turkey was about 5 billion pounds, or 16.1 pounds per person.

Find Abbey Doyle on Facebook and @heraldbulletin on Twitter, or call 640-4805.


Thai Turkey Pizza

Feeds four

u ¼ cup fresh lime juice with pulp

u 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

u 2 tablespoons minced green onion

u 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

u 1 tablespoon crunchy peanut butter

u 1 tablespoon olive oil

u 1 tablespoon brown sugar

u 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root

u ½ Teaspoon grated lime zest

u ¼ Teaspoon red pepper flakes

u 2 cloves garlic, minced

u 2 cups grilled or cooked turkey, shredded

u 1 10-ounce tube refrigerated pizza dough

u Olive oil, as needed

u ½ cup sliced green onion

u 1 medium carrot, cut into match sticks

u ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

u ½ cup grated Mozzarella cheese

Prepare grill for indirect-heat cooking.

Combine lime juice, soy sauce, onion, cilantro, peanut butter, oil, brown sugar, gingerroot, lime zest, red pepper flakes and garlic in a large saucepan. Stir in shredded turkey. Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Unroll pizza dough and pat into a rectangle, approximately 10-by-13 inches. Cut dough into four equal pieces.

Reduce grill heat to low. Brush grill rack with olive oil. Using the indirect grilling method, slide pizza crusts on grill and cook until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes until dough is puffy and lightly browned.

Turn pizza crusts over. Top browned side of pizza crusts with heated turkey mixture. Sprinkle with green onions, carrot sticks and cilantro. Sprinkle pizzas with cheese.

Cover with grill lid or tent with foil. Heat pizzas about five minutes or until crusts are cooked on bottom, cheese melts and pizzas are hot.

Turkey, Mandarin and Poppy Seed Salad

Feeds four

u ¼ cup orange juice

u 1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar

u 1½ teaspoons poppy seeds

u 1½ teaspoons olive oil

u 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

u 5 cups red leaf lettuce, washed, dried, chilled and torn

u 2 cups baby spinach leaves, washed, dried, chilled and torn

u ½ pound cooked turkey breast, cut into ½-inch julienne

u 1 can (10-1/2 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained

u 1 teaspoon orange zest

Dressing: In small bowl, combine orange juice, vinegar, poppy seeds, oil, mustard and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.

Salad: In large bowl, toss together lettuce, spinach, turkey and oranges. Pour dressing over turkey mixture.

Garnish with orange zest and serve immediately.

Turkey Pot Pie

Feeds five

u 1 1-pound package frozen vegetables for stew, cooked according to package directions

u 1 cup frozen peas, cooked according to package directions

u 2 cups cooked turkey, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

u 1 12-oz jar non-fat turkey gravy

u 1 tablespoon dried parsley

u 1 teaspoon dried thyme

u 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

u ½ teaspoon salt

u ¼ teaspoon pepper

u 1 refrigerated pie crust, room temperature

Drain any cooking liquid from stew vegetables and peas.

Add turkey cubes, gravy, herbs, salt and pepper to vegetables in oven-safe 2-quart cooking dish.

Unfold pie crust dough and place on top of dish, trimming edges to approximately 1 inch larger than dish; secure dough edges to dish. Make several 1-inch slits on crust to allow steam to escape.

Bake in preheated 400-degree Fahrenheit oven for 25-30 minutes or until crust is brown and mixture is hot and bubbly.