Food

Leftover turkey? We’ve got a plan for that!

Creative ideas to make the most of your Thanksgiving leftovers.

Looking forward to eating turkey leftovers in soup and turkey sandwiches?  Well, you’ll want to keep reading for ideas on jazzed up turkey sandwiches to vibrant stir fries – turkey leftovers with a new and delicious twist!

 

Make turkey sandwiches memorable

 

If your go-to turkey sandwich consists of cold turkey breast, a slice of cheese, iceberg lettuce, and subpar sandwich bread, it’s definitely time to rethink the concept of a leftover turkey sandwich altogether. Skinless turkey breast (a ZeroPointTM food to boot!) makes an ideal backdrop for all sorts of big flavours, so take advantage of some serious turkey surplus and have fun with your sandwich.

 

  • It turns out that Ross’ highly coveted “Moist maker” turkey sandwich from a Thanksgiving episode of Friends was actually something you should be aspiring to create. Meaning, leftover turkey sandwiches are always better when they contain flavour-rich, slightly wet condiments. Experiment with chutney, antipasti, guacamole, relishes, hummus, tzatziki, and even salsa (apply just before eating.)
  • Don’t be afraid to use a smaller amount of a very sharp cheese such as aged cheddar or crumbled blue cheese in a turkey sandwich, especially if you’re pairing it with a strong chutney or relish. A good cheese alone can elevate a blah sandwich to something inspired.
  • Pile on all your favourite veggies, leftover coleslaw or slightly soggy leafy salad from the night before. This is where you can really bulk up the sandwich with all your ZeroPoint food  favourites.
  • Serve on toasted rye or whole grain bread, preferably with a pickle or a couple of olives on the side.

 

Transform any grain into a complete meal with turkey

 

By adding leftover turkey to a grain dish you’re upping the protein content, ensuring that you’ll feel fuller, longer (making this a fantastic combo for work lunches.) Both white and dark meat make excellent additions to the following suggestions (keep in mind that dark meat does have SmartPoints: 3 oz without skin is 2 SmartPoints, with skin is 3 SmartPoints).

 

  • Use leftover turkey and leftover, cold rice (or another grain of your choice), veggies or frozen veggies, and some low-sodium soy sauce to make easy turkey fried rice in less than 15 minutes.  
  • Saute ½ cup of diced cooking onions, two cloves of garlic, two bell peppers, and an optional finely diced jalapeño pepper with taco seasoning in a teaspoon of olive oil. Remove from heat and combine with cooked quinoa, shredded turkey and one cup of salsa. Transfer to a casserole dish, sprinkle with cheese and bake in a moderate oven for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese has melted is lightly browned.
  • Try substituting pearl barley for rice next time you’re in the mood for homemade risotto. Add finely diced leftover turkey, fresh thyme, a pinch of sage, sautéed mushrooms, and grated parmesan cheese (if you have any turkey stock, now is the time to use it.)

 

Try these turkey stir-fry tips

 

Making turkey stir-fries is a fantastic way to use up leftovers and practically guarantees you’ll never get bored. There are hundreds of sauce variations and vegetable combinations which means you never have to make the same stir-fry twice.

 

  • Both white and dark meat can be used for stir-frying. Remember that dark meat has a stronger flavour so it takes well to being paired with stronger sauces. Shred or dice turkey meat for best results.
  • Stir-fries are a great way to use up any leftover cooked vegetables you might have kicking around in the fridge still. Cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, and cabbage are particularly delicious with sauces that are heavy on the ginger and garlic.
  • Peanut and nut- or seed-butter stir-fry sauces can be used to liven up even the driest leftover turkey. Add plenty of lime juice, rice wine vinegar, and low-sodium soy sauce to lower the amount of nut or seed butter needed.
  • Garnish leftover turkey stir-fries with pickled onions or cucumber slices, chili sauce, crushed nuts, sliced scallions, toasted sesame seeds, extra lime juice, and fresh mint and cilantro.