You’ve prepared the meal, feasted with your family and made it through the inevitable turkey coma.
But the day after Thanksgiving your refrigerator is probably overflowing with leftover turkey, sweet potatoes and stuffing.
Sure, you can always throw a couple of pieces of turkey on bread but, you can only eat so many turkey sandwiches before getting bored with them. However, there are ways to spice up your leftovers by turning them into a entirely different dishes.
• Leftover white or brown rice
• Olive oil
• Soy sauce
• 1 egg, scrambled
• Leftover turkey slices
• Any leftover vegetables you’d like to throw in
Turkey fried rice, a spin on traditional Chinese chicken fried rice, is about as easy as it gets when it comes to preparing a meal and, aside from a few sauces and spices, can be made entirely with your leftovers.
Fried rice tastes best when you use day-old rice and what a perfect excuse to leave a bowl of your white or brown rice out after a day of gluttony.
Now that your rice has dried, take a skillet, coat it lightly with some olive oil, grate some ginger onto the steaming surface and then dump in your rice.
Then comes the fun part. Open your refrigerator, pick out leftover veggies, such as carrots, string beans, peas, onions, peppers or corn; take 1 scrambled egg and throw it into the skillet with the rice. Let the dish warm and pour a generous amount of soy sauce on top of the rice and mix throughout. Lastly, add leftover pieces of turkey to fill the dish out.
Cover the top and within 20 minutes you have an amazing dish that required minimal cooking.
If you are looking to get a bit more fancy and creative in recycling your trimmings, you can take your leftover mashed potatoes and turn them into a hearty soup.
Though it does take an added amount of effort and ingredients compared to the fried rice, mashed potato soup is a great way to fight the bitter cold.
• 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
• 6 slices of chopped bacon
• 4 tablespoons of butter
• 4 tablespoons of flour
• 1 medium-sized chopped onion
• 1 quart of chicken stock
• 2 cups of leftover mashed potatoes
• 8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese
In a pot, melt the butter and add the onion and cook for about five minutes. Sprinkle flour into the pot and cook for one minute. Then whisk in the stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until it thickens.
Whisk in mashed potatoes and stir in the cheese and cook until the potatoes are hot and the cheese has melted.
Transfer into a serving bowl and garnish with the chopped bacon.
If you haven’t had enough dessert, you can transform that bowl of cranberry sauce into a delicious pie using minimal ingredients. While this recipe is fairly rich, feel free to substitute creams and other ingredients with their reduced-fat counterparts for a slightly healthier version.
• 1 cup of cranberry juice
• 1 package of strawberry gelatin
• 1 cup of cranberry sauce
• 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream
• 1 prepared graham cracker pie crust
• 1/2 cup of heavy cream
• 1/4 cup white sugar
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Heat the juice in a saucepan over a low heat and stir in the gelatin until dissolved.
Cook until thickened or for 15 minutes then remove from heat. Then transfer to a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer or whisk until fluffy.
Place the cranberry sauce, the gelatin mix and vanilla ice cream into a blender or food processor and chop until smooth.
Transfer the blended mixture to the graham cracker crust and let it chill in the refrigerator for two to three hours.
In a medium bowl, whip together the heavy cream, white sugar and vanilla extract — Cool Whip can be substituted. Pour over the chilled pie before serving.
Of course, if you’d like to keep it simple, you can always throw spoonfuls of your food onto a plate, zap it in the microwave and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal all over again.