Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Extreme Makeover - Thanksgiving Leftovers

I'll be cooking a full Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. For two people. A twelve pound turkey, potatoes, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, pie. For two people.

This is an excessive amount of food, I know. The problem is, I just can't let any of it go. Since moving away from family in Wisconsin, and missing out on most holiday meals, I've wanted to hold on to a least a little bit of tradition and normalcy, even if that means cooking a meal meant to feed 15, for just Alex and myself.

Every year, I'm left with a ridiculous amount of leftover food. Most of it is eventually eaten, but I thought, this year, I'm going to try to think of a few more interesting ways to use up my Turkey Day leftovers.

I started by looking through my cabinets and fridge, taking note of what I already had, things that could work well with turkey or one of the the side dishes. I then started to imagine new ways to use the leftovers using ingredients that would need to be purchased.

Here are the leftover makeovers I've come up with so far:

Turkey Noodle Soup

  • Uses leftover turkey. I already have carrots, onion, celery (from stuffing), egg noodles, broth, and spices. No new ingredients needed. I'll use the recipe linked above, with a little tweaking of the spices, but I'll substitute turkey for chicken.
Turkey, Havarti, and Cranberry panini

  • Uses leftover turkey and cranberry sauce. I just needed havarti cheese to make these sandwiches.
Turkey Pot Pie

  • Uses leftover turkey. I plan to use up veggies that are in the house, make my own gravy base, and top with biscuits that I already have. I could also top this dish with leftover potatoes or stuffing to use more leftovers. I will bake it in the second pie crust that came in the two pack I bought for my pecan pie. 
  • I'm intrigued by this one. I've never tried to makeover sweet potato casserole before, but I might give it a shot.
Reader Response: Do you have a favorite dish made from Thanksgiving leftovers? Please share!

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