Food waste is an astounding problem: more than one-third of our food ends up uneaten. Help end the food waste epidemic by following our series to end food waste by using your leftovers wisely. First up: Turkey.
Turkey, turkey and more turkey. If you’re not sick of it yet, you soon will be. But with these ten creative ways to use up leftover turkey, you can end food waste and save your belly from mediocrity and boredom.
Step one in leftover turkey is freezing the meat you won’t be able to eat before it spoils. Leave enough turkey for whatever you know you’ll eat within four days. Remove the rest from the carcass, portion it out and freeze it.
Don’t toss the carcass! Use it to make healthy, nutrient-dense bone broth. It’s simple. Place the carcass in a large crockpot. Add water to cover, a splash of apple cider vinegar and cook on LOW (or WARM setting if your crock runs hot) for 24 to 48 hours.
Strain the broth, season to taste and add onion, garlic and any other veggies you like. Return to crock and cook on LOW for another 8 hours.
You can freeze your broth or can it to preserve it for later use.
Now, deal with your leftover meat. Variety is the spice of life when it comes to using up leftovers.
1. Thanksgiving Salad: While it just uses up a bit of your meat, adding a bit of turkey to your salads can keep you from getting sick of turkeycentric dishes. I like to add cranberries and walnuts to really up the Thanksgiving flavor.
2. Turkey Mac: This one’s super popular with the kiddos. Make your favorite mac and cheese recipe and add a bit of cubed turkey meat to the mix.
3. Turkey Perfect Sandwiches: I have a confession. I prefer the leftovers to the actual day of Thanksgiving meal. And it’s this sandwich’s fault. Spread leftover mashed potatoes, turkey, cranberry sauce and any other leftovers you wish between some crusty bread slices and enjoy.
4. Turkey Quesadillas: All leftovers can live another day in quesadillas. I like to combine leftover sweet potatoes with turkey and cheese to craft delicious post-Thanksgiving quesadillas. Yum! Or, you can try bacon and ranch seasoning to make a Turkey Bacon Ranch quesadilla.
5. Sub Turkey in Your Favorite Chicken Recipes: I cube the majority of my leftover turkey meat and sub it in to any recipe that calls for cubed, cooked chicken. A few favorites include Chicken Masala, Chicken & Broccoli Rolls, Curry Chicken.
6. Slow Cooker Soup: Much like quesadillas, soup is the perfect vessel for leftovers. Add veggies, noodles and whatever you have left in your crisper to some broth and craft a delicious, warm soup for a cold day.
7. Fried Rice: Clean out the crisper and toss in some cubed turkey to craft a tasty leftover treat with healthy fried brown rice and eggs.
8. Frittatas: A great frittata can be made from your leftover feast. Toss in some cubed turkey, cheese and veggies. And don’t forget the gravy! You can pour a bit on top of your frittata for an extra rich treat.
9. Breakfast Hash: Cube or shred those leftover potatoes, add some eggs and turkey and fry it all up in a breakfast hash.
10. Pot Pie: Sure, chicken pot pie is the popular choice. But you can make an amazing turkey version with some homemade cream of mushroom soup, leftover veggies and cubed turkey.
Whatever recipe you choose, eat those leftovers with gusto and help end food waste.
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