In the spirit of the Thanksgiving, I’d like to share a life hack that will definitely come in handy for the next few days!
Did you know that Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the turkey the National Bird of the United States of America? In America, turkeys are actually native birds. Even though the turkey didn’t end up on our national seal or printed on our currency, the mighty turkey has become a symbol for Thanksgiving and is a staple food for numerous American holidays. For more fun facts about the turkey, click here!
For many, the best part of Thanksgiving is enjoying food and spending time with loved ones. But I think that the next best thing is taking advantage of leftovers. No matter how big the gathering, the turkey never fails to get people fed. After handing out numerous helping for guests to take home, my family always ends up with more than enough food to last us for a good week or two. This Thanksgiving proves to be no exception, wich has inspired me to share different ways to put the turkey to use, so nothing goes to waste!
Sandwich & Wrap
- I think that the most obvious way to use leftover turkey meat is to use it in sandwiches. Take some lettuce from leftover salad, tomatoes, onions, cheese… maybe some pickles, cucumbers, olives, peppers or other vegetables, and make a sandwich! I like to use dressings such as Ranch, Thousand Island, or Honey mustard as a good sauce to add some flavor! The concept of the sandwich can even be taken further, by using tortillas or Pita bread to make a turkey wrap. Click here for turkey sandwich recipes!
- The bones of the turkey can still be utilized to make soup broth. Depending how you like to prepare your soup broth, you can add some garlic, onions, carrots, potatoes, or other vegetables to the broth to add some flavor. Another good idea is to make a broth without any add-ons, which can be refrigerated or frozen for later use. I like to make soup broth plain, adding sauce, spices, vegetables after. Check out these turkey soup recipes!
Salad & Spread
- Add some turkey to leftover salad to give it a meaty boost! Or use turkey to make a sandwich spread, similar to tuna or chicken salad. Mix turkey in with mayonnaise or sour cream and try adding relish, cucumbers, bell peppers, or apples to the spread. I like to add some salad dressing to the salad spread for extra flavor. Salad spreads are convenient whenever you’re in the need of an easy sandwich, or a as a great snack with chips or crackers. Interested in turkey salad recipes? Click here! For turkey spread recipes, click here!
- The leftover grease makes great flavoring for fried rice, which also takes care of using leftover rice. I like to prepare my fried rice with onions and garlic, and add meat. Vegetables that I like to use are carrots, corn, green beans, or other greens, chopped into little pieces. Cracking an egg and mixing it into the fried rice is also a good touch. Here’s a turkey fried rice recipe from Kikkoman USA.
Fajita & Stir-fry
- I’ve learned that depending on how it’s prepared, meat of any kinda can be utilized in many ways. Using spices and vegetables, turkey meat can be used to make fajitas, or added to a vegetable stir-fry. Stir-fries are definitely my go-to food at my apartment. I just saute garlic and onions, then add meat and vegetables with a dash of spices and sauce such as soy sauce or teriyaki sauce. I know that making meat for fajitas works similarly, just with different seasonings. For more ideas on how to make turkey fajitas, check out this recipe, and here are some turkey stir-fry recipes!
Utilizing Thanksgiving leftovers definitely doesn’t stop with the turkey. I’m sure that there are lots of other foods that can be combined to make new dishes. Tale advantage of food that’s already been prepared and make something different. You might end up making something that will be your new favorite food.
May you enjoy good times, with good food, and good people!
- Tantalizing Thursday-Thanksgiving Leftovers Edition (chief187.blogspot.com)
- The Ultimate Thanksgiving Leftover Plan (mensjournal.com)