Friday, November 25, 2011

Myth: There are no new ways to use holiday leftovers.

Thanksgiving foods
Answer: BUSTED!

Consider these ideas for healthy and creative ways to use your holiday food leftovers.

  • Leftover turkey got you down? Make turkey salad – OK, not just any turkey salad. Add diced pears to the mix. Pears add a nice sweetness to the salad. Or try adding ground curry seasoning to the salad for a curry turkey salad. You can also make wraps with turkey. And if you’re making a batch of chili for your next football-viewing event, use turkey in the chili. If you have leftover pieces of sweet potato, add those to the chili too! Making a vegetable stir-fry? Add some turkey pieces for a different flavor. You can also freeze leftover turkey in small portions to use later.

  • Got some extra cranberry sauce and you don’t know what to do with it? Use it as a sandwich spread for a nice ‘kick’ to an everyday sandwich. Baking butternut squash in the oven? Top with cranberry sauce for a different flavor sensation.

  • Lots of leftover veggies like green beans? No problem! Add them to soups - make your own or add to a healthy canned soup to make it even better for you. Add leftover veggies to stews or salads. And, as mentioned above, try adding sweet potato or other leftover veggies to chili.

MU Extension publication Storing foods at home has guidelines on safely storing a variety of foods in the cupboard, refrigerator and freezer.

Contributor: Ellen Schuster, M.S., R.D., Associate State Specialist, University of Missouri Extension,, 573-882-1933

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