Friday, November 26, 2010

Holy Crap- What do I do with all this leftover turkey?!?!!

Ok Thanksgiving Day is done and everyone is back from the craziness of Black Friday crack of dawn shopping. The troops are hungry and asking for sustenance. As you open the fridge you realize that maybe buying that 25 pound bird for 5 people was over kill. What to do with all the leftover turkey???  Turkey sandwiches for the next week and a half doesn't sound very appealing, so why don't you try out some of these great leftover ideas? They are a bit different than the standard pot pie and really take advantage of the cooked turkey.

This dish it an awesome Weight Watchers recipe that will really break up the monotony of thanksgiving leftovers!

Italian Turkey and Spaghetti Squash Pie

POINTS® Value: 3

Servings: 6

• 1 medium raw spaghetti squash
• 1 1/2 cup chopped cooked turkey
• 2 tsp olive oil
• 1 small onion(s), chopped
• 1 medium garlic clove(s), minced
• 29 oz canned diced tomatoes, undrained
• 1 tsp Italian seasoning, dried
• 6 oz fat-free ricotta cheese
• 1 large egg(s)
• 1 sprays cooking spray, nonstick
• 1/2 cup shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese


• Preheat oven to 350ºF. Halve squash lengthwise; scoop out seeds. Place squash, cut sides down, in a large baking dish and prick skin all over with a fork. Bake until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.

• In skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and stir-fry until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes and Italian seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; add cooked turkey and simmer, stirring often, until desired consistency, about 5 minutes.

• Place ricotta cheese and egg in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.

• Coat a 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray. Remove squash from oven and increase oven temperature to 375ºF.

• Using a fork, carefully rake stringy squash pulp from shell, separating it into strands that look like spaghetti. Arrange spaghetti squash strands in bottom and up sides of pie plate to form a crust.

• Add ricotta cheese mixture and gently spread over squash. Pour tomato-turkey sauce over cheese mixture and sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before slicing into 6 pieces.

This recipe was introduced to me by my great friend Michelle. This is definitely a crowd favorite and can be assembled and frozen for later. It is an awesome dish to pull out on those busy holiday evenings after a day of Christmas craziness.

Turkey Tetrazinni

10 oz. mushrooms, sliced thin about 4 cups
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 3/4 c. milk
2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. dry white wine
10 oz. spaghetti
3 c. coarsely chopped cooked turkey
1 c. cooked peas
2/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1/3 c. fine fresh bread crumbs

In a large heavy saucepan cook the mushrooms in 1/4 cup of butter over moderate heat, stirring until most of the liquid they give off has evaporated. Stir in the flour and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring for 3 minutes. Add in a stream (that is pour slowly) of milk, the broth, the wine, stirring bring the mixture to a boil, stirring and simmer the sauce for 5 minutes. In a pot of boiling, salted water cook the spaghetti until it is al dente (cooked) and drain it well. In a large bowl combine well spaghetti, the mushroom sauce, the chicken, the peas, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 1/3 cup of the Parmesan, and transfer the mixture to a buttered shallow 3-quart casserole. In a small bowl combine the remaining 1/3 cup of Parmesan, the bread crumbs and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the mixture over the tetrazzini and dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, cut it into bits.

To eat now: Bake in 375 degrees F. oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

To freeze and eat later: Cool completely and cover tightly before freezing. Thaw completely, uncover and bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes.

This is a great one if you have a leg leftover. There is nothing like a healthy bowl of soup to help you fight the after Thanksgiving battle of the bulge. Plus its a slow cooker dish and super easy!!
Slow Cooker Black Bean and Turkey Chili

2 red onions, halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium carrots, cut into large chunks
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 pound dried black turtle beans, picked over, rinsed and drained - SOAK OVERNIGHT
1 smoked turkey drumstick (1 3/4 to 2 pounds)
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Sour cream and/or lime wedges, for garnish (optional)


Set aside half an onion and chop the rest. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions, carrots and garlic; sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, until slightly browned, 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water and scrape up any browned bits from the pan. Transfer the vegetables and cooking liquid to a slow cooker. Add the drained beans, turkey drumstick,  red pepper flakes and 8 cups water. Cover and cook on low 6 hours.

Remove the drumstick and shred the meat; keep warm. Remove about 2 cups beans from the cooker and blend until smooth (or partially blend with an immersion blender). Return the beans and turkey meat to the soup. Season with salt and pepper.

Mince the reserved 1/2 onion. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the cilantro and minced onion. Garnish with sour cream and lime, if desired.

Per serving: Calories 487; Fat 12 g (Saturated 3 g); Cholesterol 64 mg; Sodium 936 mg; Carbohydrate 57 g; Fiber 20 g; Protein 8 g

Definitely soak the beans overnight to make sure they get soft. If you don't have the time or forget like I often do, you can do a quick soak method of bringing a large pot of beans and water to a boil for 3 minutes and then removing from the heat. Let the beans sit for at least an hour. Check softness by seeing if you can crush a bean between your fingers.

Hopefully a couple of these will help you weed through the maze in your fridge. Let me know what you think of them!

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