While others won’t agree, I think the best part of the Thanksgiving meal is the leftovers. By maximizing “planned-overs” you can reduce food waste and extend your food dollar.
Step 1: Plan meals that use the foods you’ll be serving on Thanksgiving.
• Stews and soups (such as turkey, meat, left-over veggies). Turkey is a very versatile ingredient and can be substituted for other meats such as beef and chicken. Turkey is also low in fat and high in iron and protein. Thanksgiving is also a great time to buy turkey because it can be found on sale.
• Breakfast and dessert (such as pumpkin pancakes with cranberry sauce, bread pudding). Pumpkin is high in vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy skin, teeth, and eyes. Another breakfast option is to make bread pudding with leftover rolls. Bread pudding makes a great dessert as well.
• Mexican-inspired fare (such as tacos, quesadilla). Simply add taco seasoning or a few teaspoons of chili powder to the turkey.
• Shepherd’s pie (such as turkey meat, mashed potatoes, leftover veggies). This hearty meal can be easily frozen and reheated in the oven. To prevent freezer burn, get as much air out of the bag as possible and use bags made for the freezer.
Step 2: Follow safe food handling practices to keep foods safe to reuse.
• Reheat leftovers to 165 degrees.
• Discard any cold or hot foods that have been left out for more than two hours as they may no longer be considered safe.
• Leftovers should not sit at room temperature for more than two hours. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers promptly in shallow containers.
• Refrigerate leftover turkey for 3 to 4 days. Stuffing and gravy should be used within 1 to 2 days. Throw away refrigerated leftovers after four days and freeze those that you don’t plan to use within this period. Use containers or bags intended for the freezer for quality, label and date the food item, and use within two to five months of freezing.
For more information on nutrition and safe food handling contact K-State Research and Extension at 913-299-9300. Be sure to ask about the 2014 Master Food Volunteer Training starting in February.
(Source: Words on Wellness, Iowa State University)
This is a great way to use up extra sweet potatoes. It can be served hot or cold and eaten with fresh fruit, graham crackers or pita chips.
1 15-ounce can sweet potatoes or 1 cup leftover sweet potatoes
½ cup applesauce
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar
1. Drain the liquid off the sweet potatoes (if using canned)
2. Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.
3. Cook in microwave for 1 ½ minutes or until heated through.
4. Stir until smooth.
5. Serve with chips or crackers.
(Nutrition information per serving- 107 calories, 2.7 g total fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 167 mg sodium, 19.6 g total carbohydrates, 1.4 g fiber.0
Source: Words on Wellness, Iowa State University
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Non-stick cooking spray
1 cup day-old whole wheat bread, cut or torn into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups non-fat or low-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Coat an 8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Cut or tear the bread into 1-inch cubes. Place in the bottom of the baking dish.
3. Mix together the eggs, sugar, milk, and cinnamon or nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the raisins or dried fruit.
4. Pour mixture over bread cubes in the baking dish.
5. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean, or microwave in a non-metal baking dish for 9-12 minutes on medium high.
6. Serve either warm or chilled. Refrigerate leftovers.
(Nutrition information per serving…140 calories, 2 g total fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 100 mg sodium, 26 grams total carbohydrates, 6 g protein)
Source: Kids A Cookin’