Hy-Vee Dietitian: Thanksgiving Leftovers

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By Nicole Agee

Transforming Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

This is that time of year when you peek into your fridge and become absolutely overwhelmed with the amount of leftovers staring back at you. Before you toss that turkey and those delicious side dishes, why not turn them into something new? The key is to use a variety of flavors and spices to create an entirely different and healthy meal. These three delightful lunch or dinner ideas will keep your family feeling full and satisfied. They may love these leftover ideas more than the original!

Safety note: Make sure the leftovers were not kept out at room temperature longer than two hours. The food temperature “danger zone” is between 40-140 degrees F – meaning that if the food sat at these temperatures for too long, it was at risk of becoming contaminated with bacteria. Split the turkey and side dishes into small, shallow containers for storage in the refrigerator.

Recipe #1:
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadilla
Serves 4

2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 15 oz. cans Hy-Vee black beans, drained
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 TB lemon juice
1 tsp salt
8 Hy-Vee multigrain tortillas
Salsa for topping (I prefer salsa verde)

Method:
1. In a large bowl, combine garlic, cumin, coriander, black beans, cilantro, sweet potatoes, lemon juice and salt. Spread 1 cup filling on 4 of the tortillas. Top filling with the remaining 4 tortillas.
2. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add a quesadilla and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes total. Repeat process with the remaining 3 quesadillas.
3. Cut each quesadilla into 4 pieces, top with salsa and serve.

Nutrition information (1 quesadilla, 2 TB salsa): Calories 430, Total fat 4g, Saturated fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 1150mg, Carbohydrate 84g, Dietary fiber 17g, Protein 18g

Recipe #2:
Turkey Reuben
Serves 4

Sandwich:
Cooking spray
8 slices rye bread (or choose your favorite kind)
4 slices Hy-Vee Swiss cheese
8 thick slices roasted turkey
1 cup sauerkraut, squeezed, drained and chopped
¼ cup Russian dressing (see below)

Dressing (combine in a small bowl)
¼ cup low fat mayo
1 TB ketchup
1 TB pickle relish
1 TB lemon juice
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce


Method:
1. Lightly coat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Turn heat to medium.
2. Top one slice of bread with 1 slice cheese, 2 slices turkey, ¼ cup sauerkraut and 1 TB dressing. Top with other slice of bread.
3. Heat 2-4 minutes on each side until golden. Repeat the same process with the remaining 3 sandwiches.
Nutrition information: Calories 420, Total fat 14g, Saturated fat 6g, Cholesterol 85mg, Sodium 1160mg, Cholesterol 37g, Fiber 5g, Protein 36g

Recipe #3:
Curry Turkey Salad
Serves 4

2 ½ cups cooked turkey, diced
1 stalk celery, sliced thin
½ onion, diced small
¼ cup golden raisins
1/3 cup grapes, halved (seedless red or green)
¼ cup Hy-Vee chopped pecans, toasted
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp curry powder
¾ cup Hy-Vee nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Method:
1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Adjust seasoning as needed.
Serve over a bed of lettuce or with whole grain crackers.

Nutrition information: Calories 270, Total 9g, Saturated fat 1.5g, Cholesterol 70mg, Sodium 90mg, Carbohydrate 15g, Fiber 2g, Protein 31g
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