What Can You Do With Leftover Turkey, and More Recipes From DVO

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Thanksgiving Leftovers and What to Do with Them

Hooray for Thanksgiving! The best day of the year to eat. And sometimes after Thanksgiving we still eat, and eat, and eat… By about day 4 or 5 of Thanksgiving leftovers, we are ready for something new. Here are some fun ideas to creatively use up those Thanksgiving leftovers.

Turkey – Turkey is probably the easiest leftover to use. Turkey meat can be used in soups, casseroles, pot pies, salads, and even tacos. Or you can try my delicious and super easy Barbeque Turkey Sandwiches (recipe at the end). 😉

Cranberry Sauce – Cranberry sauce is one of my favorite Thanksgiving leftovers. I love to spread cranberry sauce on deli meat sandwiches; especially with a little cream cheese. You can also add cranberry sauce to yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, or even as a topping for vanilla ice cream. A little cranberry sauce added to homemade whipped cream can make a fun, festive topping for hot cocoa, cider, pie, etc.


Mashed Potatoes – Shepherd’s Pie, anyone? That is the first thing I get excited to make with leftover mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes make a yummy topping on meatloaf as well as other casseroles. There are many bread, roll, doughnut, and other pastry recipes that use mashed potatoes. In my Internet searching, I came across several recipes for potato dumplings that looked intriguing and yummy.

Sweet Potatoes – Like mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes can be added to many bread and pastry recipes. You can make sweet potato pancakes by mixing an egg or two with some leftover, mashed sweet potatoes and then frying them on the gridle. Sweet potatoes can be added to thicken chilis or stews. Sweet potatoes can also be used in burritos, quesadillas, and other Mexican-inspired dishes.

Stuffing – Stuffing is, in my opinion, the most difficult leftover to work with. But believe it or not, there are some great recipes and ideas for using up stuffing too. Apparently, stuffing can be used to stuff more than just birds. You can make stuffing-stuffed peppers, mushrooms, and meatballs. Stuffing can be turned into breakfast foods like breakfast hash and stuffing baked eggs. Stuffing also can be delicious on top of some casseroles and dishes like chicken cordon bleu.

I am now looking forward to using my Thanksgiving leftovers this year! How about you? What else do you do with Thanksgiving leftovers?

Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

As Promised…

“Leftover” BBQ Turkey Sandwiches (Yields 4 Sandwiches)

Ingredients

1-2 lb of leftover turkey meat
12 oz of barbeque sauce
4 hoagie sandwich rolls
4 slices of provolone cheese
4 slices of turkey bacon, cooked
1 avocado, sliced
Small red onion, sliced

Directions

Mix turkey leftovers with barbeque sauce in a pan on the stove. Heat over medium heat until the turkey is warmed through. While turkey is heating, turn on the oven broiler to high. Place the hoagie sandwich rolls, open-faced, on a baking sheet. Put a slice of cheese on each roll. Put the rolls in the broiler for 2-3 minutes until toasted… (Make sure you check the rolls regularly to prevent them from burning). Put some of the barbequed turkey mixture on each roll. Top with a slice of turkey bacon, avocado and red onion slices. Eat and enjoy!

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More Delicious Recipes

Turkey Salad with Strawberry-Pepper Vinaigrette

Serves: 4

Ingredients

6 cups torn romaine
2 cups torn curly endive, chicory, or escarole
2 1/2 cups (12 oz) cooked turkey or chicken, julienne
2 cups kiwifruit, peeled, sliced (or star fruit)
1 1/2 cups (3 oz) enoki mushrooms
1 cup red cherry tomatoes and/or yellow baby pear tomatoes, halved

Strawberry-Pepper Vinaigrette

1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen (thawed), cut-up
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Directions

Mix lettuce and greens together and divide among four plates. Top each pile with turkey strips, kiwi, mushrooms, and tomatoes. In a blender container or food processor bowl, combine ingredients for vinaigrette. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad and pass around a fresh pepper grinder for a garnish.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Serving size: 12 == Calories per serving: 255

Ingredients

12 Oreo cookies
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 pinch cloves
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions

Put one Oreo into each cupcake slot in a lined cupcake pan. Mix remaining ingredients together with an electric mixer. Pour over crust. Bake 35-40 minutes at 350°. Cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.

Dinner in a Pumpkin

Serving size: 5 == Calories per serving: 301

Ingredients

1 sugar pumpkin
1 small onion, diced
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup mushrooms
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups white rice (uncooked)

Directions

Cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin and clean it out. Put rice and water in a microwave safe dish and cook on high until rice is tender (or use a rice cooker).

Brown ground beef in a large frying pan and add onions to saute.

When ground beef is no longer pink, add the rest of the ingredients and stir until completely mixed. Mix ground beef mixture and rice together and pour into pumpkin. Put the top back on the pumpkin and bake at 350° for 1 hour.

Be sure to scoop out part of pumpkin when serving.

Turkey Soup

Ingredients

1 turkey carcass
12 cubes chicken bouillon
5 large potatoes, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
6 cups carrots
2 15-ounce cans corn
2 14 1/2-ounce cans stewed tomatoes
2 cups elbow macaroni
Salt & pepper as needed

Directions

1. Fill a stock pot half to three quarters full of water and boil it.
2. Add bouillon cubes and the turkey carcass and let it boil for about 45 minutes to an hour.
3. While the carcass is boiling, chop up the rest of the vegetables.
4. Use a slotted spoon to remove the turkey bones from the boiling water.
5. Add all the vegetables and while they’re cooking, remove the meat from the turkey carcass.
6. Chop the turkey meat into bite sized chunks and add to stock pot.
7. When vegetables are nearly ready, add the elbow macaroni.
8. Season well with salt and pepper (it takes a lot of salt!).
9. Enjoy!

Note: Add more water as needed until the consistency is the way you prefer it.

Turkey Marinade

Ingredients

1 cup soy sauce
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sprite
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tablespoons horseradish

Directions

Mix and add up to 5 pounds cubed turkey breast–marinate overnight and grill.

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Make Lunch Fast – Fun & Healthy For Your Kids! – For Grandmothers Too!

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School Lunches Made Easy

Saving Money Cooking for a Group

portioncontrol

This of course applies to grandparents as well. 😉

As a parent, I know just how much kids, especially teens, can eat. It seems like they are forever standing in front of the refrigerator and moaning about how there is ‘nothing’ to eat. After many years of trying to please them and always having snacks on hand, I realized something. All this snacking was wasting a lot of money and made them less likely to eat the meals we prepared for dinner.

While a snack every once in a while is fine, eating snacks all day long can get expensive fast. That is why my family has decided to limit snacks and focus on eating healthy home cooked meals. However as the economy has struggled so has my family. We are all trying to stretch the budget in various ways, and one of the ways we have discovered to be very effective is to stretch our dinners.

Here are some of the ways we make our food go further:

Using healthy fillers – Many times when you cook a recipe it can easily be stretched by adding fillers. Fillers are cheaper foods that can be added to a recipe without affected the flavor. Things like rice, potatoes, oatmeal, bread crumbs, beans, tofu, and even some vegetables can be added to dishes to make the meal go further. When I cook hamburgers, for example, I often make the meat go further by adding in some oatmeal. Not only does it give the burgers a great texture but it is also more filling, healthier, and enables me to make more burgers for later use. When I make shepherd’s pie or other casserole dishes I often add nutrition and make it go further by tossing in diced carrots, chopped onions, sliced green beans or peas. I also serve meals with a salad and other healthy and inexpensive side dishes. This allows us to fill up on those things and just eat a small amount of the main dish or meat. Items like baked potatoes and rice are a hit on everyone’s list and are very cheap and easy to make. Even bread can be served alongside meals to fill up hungry teens.

Making one pot meals – As I said, I cook a lot of casseroles. I love those meals because you can throw everything together and cook it all at once. You can also clean up very easily. One pot meals are easy to stretch by adding in extra veggies and filler and cutting down on meat. For example, I love to make a Mexican casserole that is full of flavor and yet only uses one pound of hamburger to feed up to eight hungry people. In addition, I add black beans, tortilla strips and veggies to make the meal stretch without having to use extra meat. One pot meals also help our electric bill. Instead of cooking three things on the stove and one in the oven I can just bake everything at once and be done with it. On hot days, I will even use a slow cooker to reduce energy use and heat buildup in the home while cooking. It is very easy to toss everything in before I go to work and have a tasty meal when I get home.

Cooking several meals at a time – Another way to stretch our food we discovered was to cook several meals at once. For example, we often buy a whole chicken, which is much cheaper than just the parts, and cook it. Then we separate the cooked chicken into baggies for separate meals. One can be for chicken enchiladas, the next for chicken salad, and the next for chicken casserole. By cooking and separating the meat ahead of time, we can complete our meals faster and use less meat in the process. We can even mix up two casseroles at once. It is just as easy to double a recipe and then freeze half as it is to make a single batch. Then later on you have a meal ready to go instead of being tired and ordering a pizza.

Reducing portions – Speaking of reducing the amount of meat in a recipe, you also need to keep in mind what proper meal proportions are. The majority of your meal should not be meat. It is not only expensive to eat that way, but it is also unhealthy. Instead focus on filling your plate with fruits, vegetables and healthy grains. Many times we feel like we are not full until we are stuffed. However, that is not a good way to measure satisfaction. Try to limit your family’s portion sizes and it will save you money and keep them healthy. You can also substitute healthy and inexpensive items like fruit or pudding for dessert instead of expensive pastries or fatty ice cream.

Keeping it simple – As you can see, even dessert can be a simple and yet fulfilling experience. By keeping the food you eat every simple you can reduce the amount of fat and sugar that goes into it and also how much it costs. While it may seem fun to cook with exotic ingredients you will find that it is a strain on your budget. Instead, substitute in simple foods that are inexpensive as well. A plain baked potato can be turned into a gourmet meal with just a few healthy additions like green onion. Rice has a variety of ways it can be prepared for a healthy meal. You do not need to have five courses for dinner either. Try to limit the amount of food you serve so that everyone just has enough to be satisfied. It may take some experimentation, but you can find a method that works for your family. This not only reduces the amount of money you spend preparing food, but it also reduces the food you waste through uneaten leftovers.

Eating seasonally – When you think about making your meals and you are looking to reduce your costs you should think about eating seasonally. This means that you plan your meals around the foods that are available in your area at this time. Things like pumpkins are on sale in the fall and strawberries in summer. By planning your meals around what is on sale and what is grown locally, you can save a lot of money and help the environment by reducing transportation costs. Seasonal food also tastes better and is generally fresher and better for you than foods that are shipped half way around the world.

Meal planning – One thing that has been a lifesaver for my family is meal planning. Instead of being tired and hungry when we got home from work and then trying to throw something together, my spouse and I started to plan our meals ahead of time. By looking at what is on sale at the store, what is seasonal, and what our family enjoys we have been able to set up a weekly meal plan. Every week we decide what we want to eat. We look up recipes and write down the items that we will need. This has also limited unnecessary trips to the store.

Spending an hour or two on the weekends chopping and cooking saves us tons of time when preparing meals later in the week. We also do not throw in unhealthy frozen meals or spend money on fast food because we are too tired to think of something to make. We can just come home and have the recipe right there and the ingredients all ready to go.

As you can see there are many benefits to stretching your cooking. It doesn’t matter if you are cooking for two or for eight, the same idea stands. You can make food go much further if you plan ahead and eat in proper proportions.

Author Bio:

Ken holds a master’s in business leadership from Upper Iowa University and multiple bachelor degrees from Grand View College. As president of morningsidenannies.com, Ken’s focus is helping Houston-based parents find the right childcare provider for their family. When he isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his three children and his wife.