Get Stuffed.

Nothing Left Leftovers – Thanksgiving Special

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and all our refrigerators are filled with yesterday’s leftovers. If your family is like mine, those leftovers will sit in the fridge for ages and eventually go to waste. If there is one thing I hate, it’s waste. But this year, I’m going to show you two great ways to take your Thanksgiving castaways and turn them into meals you and your family will be craving come next Holiday season.

Dish One : The Classic Turkey Sandwich
Leftovers You’ll Need:
1.  Bread
2. Cranberry Sauce
3. Mixed Nuts/Nature Mix
4. Salad  – mixed greens
5. Turkey
6 Cheese *optional addition

We all know there are few items left behind at every holiday meal. Usually those items include remnants of bread and that well intentioned salad no one touched. Here is a great way to utilize those items so that they don’t end up in the trash.

Only one slice of the bread needs to be coated.
My, that turkey is going to have a lovey rest on that bed of mixed greens.

Start out with your bread. Those holiday rolls work best for taste, but any type of bread you have left will do the job. Instead of using mayo or mustard as the base of your post-Turkey Day sandwich, spread on a layer of that leftover cranberry sauce. Remember to reserve at least a spoonful for our next dish. To add something extra special to this meal, grab a handful of those mixed nuts that didn’t get polished off the night before. If you have the kind with dried cranberries already in them, you’ll add an extra umph of flavor and texture. Press the nuts/nature mix down so that they cling to the cranberry sauce. This will help with spillage. Next, fetch all that cut up lettuce you have socked away in your mother’s 1950’s Tupperware bowl. You know, the one with the stay fresh lid. Begin layering on the leaves until you have a good amount of cushioning for the star of this dish: the turkey. Breast meat works the best as there is usually so much left of it – being the largest part of the bird – but if you are a fan of dark meat and that’s all you’ve got, toss it on top. Make sure you get your layer of turkey as flat and even as possible. This may be more challenging if your bird was hacked to pieces, but with some care, and choice meat arrangement, you’ll be just fine. Now for the finishing touches. This part is totally optional as cheese may not have been a part of your feast, but I think it’s a great way to add a new element to last night’s flavors. Top the sandwich off, cut in half and you’re done! Simple, quick and easy way to make six leftover items disappear in an enjoyable and cost savings manner.

Fresh Sliced Turkey used for out of season preparation.
I Love Cheese, Can’t You Tell?
A Classic Turkey Sandwich to rave about.

For those of you who may prefer a carb free option, or you just have so much left, here is an additional dish you can prepare using almost the same leftovers as the Classic Turkey Sandwich, minus a few ingredients. This is the best way to utilize that well intentioned, yet untouched salad from last night.  

Dish Two: Turkey Salad with Cranberry, Balsamic Vinaigrette
Leftovers You’ll Need:
1. Cranberry Sauce
2. Mixed Nuts/Nature Mix
3. Salad – lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, etc. 
4. Turkey
5. Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Salt & Pepper

For this dish, start off by adding some Balsamic Vinegar into a large mixing bowl. The amount of vinegar you use will depend on the amount of lettuce you have. You want enough to coat, but not drown the salad. Add the Olive Oil next. Remember that the best way to get your salad dressing to come together is to always start the base off with the vinegar. Here is where you want to add salt and pepper to taste. Start whisking the dressing. You’ll see the liquid begin to thicken. This is when you’ll want to add the leftover cranberry sauce. Continue to whisk until combined. If you feel the dressing has become too thick, you can add extra olive oil until you’ve reached desired consistency. Add your leftover salad into the bowl. If you have salad that included items such as tomatoes, cumbers, olives, etc., you don’t need to add any additional standards. If you are working with just cut up lettuce or mixed greens, throw in your favorite add-ons to really boost this salad up. Begin to toss the salad until dressing coats. At this point you’ll want to toss in the mixed nuts/nature mix and toss again. End by adding chunks of cut up turkey. I prefer white meat in my salad, but you can add dark if it is your favorite or the only meat you have left. Give the whole salad one final toss and you’re done. A healthy and hearty way to to take those great Thanksgiving flavors and use them in a new, fresh dish guaranteed to be a hit.