Monthly Archives: November 2012

On-The-Go: Save time with Thanksgiving leftovers

On-The-Go: Save time with Thanksgiving leftovers

For many, the holiday season officially starts the day after Thanksgiving. There are lights to be hung, sales to shop, and gifts to wrap. All that remains of the Thanksgiving holiday is an endless amount of leftover food that will probably go bad before you can finish it.

But those leftovers don’t have to go to waste this year. They can actually be an important time-saver as things get busy. There’s no need to go to the grocery store or spend a lot of extra time cooking up meals the week after Thanksgiving. Let the leftovers do the work for you! Check out the ideas below to see how easy it is to transform traditional Thanksgiving food into a brand new dish or meal that the whole family will love!

Make soup! Simply dice up some extra turkey breast and let it simmer in some low-sodium broth along with leftover veggies (carrots, broccoli, green beans, potatoes – whatever!). Add in some herbs and whole-wheat noodles too! You can also use brown rice or whole grain barley in place of the noodles. Cover your soup and let it simmer for at least 30 minutes on the stove and you’ll have lunch or dinner for the whole family with very little effort!

Make turkey tacos! Shred and heat leftover turkey meat on the stove with a little bit of taco sauce. Serve it on a whole wheat tortilla with lots of lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa. You can also add a small dollop of plain Greek yogurt, a healthy substitute for sour cream.

Make Thanksgiving sliders! Cut extra dinner rolls in half length-wise. Heat up some turkey meat and serve it on the roll to make a slider. You can also add some shredded cabbage or leftover greens and tomato slices. Instead of mayo, use a bit of barbecue sauce or even some leftover cranberry sauce to add extra flavor!

Leftover salad? Add some turkey, walnuts, and sliced apples to it and you’ll have a complete meal to pack for lunch when you’re on the go. On Thanksgiving Day, serve salads with dressing on the side. That way, your family members have more control over how much they serve themselves and you can save extra greens to eat the next day.

If you’ve got extra stuffing, use it to make stuffed mushrooms or stuffed portabellas. Just be careful of the carbohydrate content… you might want to add some additional lightly sautéed non-starchy veggies to your stuffing like onions, mushrooms, or spinach.

Extra potatoes? Serve leftover mashed potatoes with a totally different entrée. Perhaps you keep some frozen fish filets or frozen chicken on hand in your kitchen. Cook them up and serve the potatoes as a side. Add some leftover non-starchy vegetables or salad too and you’ve got yourself a great meal!

Other ideas for sweet potatoes… You can use mashed sweet potatoes as a spread on toasted whole-wheat English muffins or on a turkey sandwich. If your leftover sweet potatoes aren’t in mashed form, but are diced and roasted, use them to make a sweet potato hash. Lightly sauté some onions and peppers and then add your diced sweet potatoes to heat them up. Season everything with some cumin and chili powder. You can also add some left over turkey to your hash instead of sausage or ham.

There are plenty of creative ways to enjoy traditional Thanksgiving foods after the holiday. Use your leftovers to your advantage – it will save you time and money!


Info from the American Diabetes Association

Veggie Chili

Veggie Chili
Recipe from Healthy Calendar Diabetic Cooking by Lara Rondinelli, RD, LDN, CDE, and Chef Jennifer Bucko

A tip from the authors: The beans and veggies in this dish make it a great source of fiber with 10 grams per cup. The recipe makes 8 servings, so save leftovers for a delicious lunch the next day.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes


1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 carrots, sliced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1, 16-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1, 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1, 15-ounce can tomato sauce
2, 14.5-ounce cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes in juice
Veggie Chili

  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and carrots and sauté 5 minutes. Add green pepper and zucchini and sauté another 2 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds. Add chili powder and all remaining ingredients; bring to a boil.
  4. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30-35 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Serves 8; Serving Size = 1 cup

Nutrition Information
179 Calories
33 g Carbohydrate
9 g Protein
3 g Total Fat
0 g Saturated Fat
0 mg Cholesterol
492 mg Sodium
10 g Dietary Fiber


Info from the American Diabetes Association

Gluten-Free Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies – Quick Recipe

You might be wary of trying a cookie made with quinoa, but these high-fiber cookies are delicious and easy! The texture is a little softer than a traditional cookie, but you can eat these cookies without the guilt!

Prep Time: 10 minutes


Nutritional Facts

Serving Size: 1 cookie

  • Calories55
  • Carbohydrates8 g
  • Protein1 g
  • Fat2 g
  • Saturated Fat0.6 g
  • Cholesterol5 mg
  • Sodium30 mg
  • Dietary Fiber1 g

This Recipe Serves 30


3 tablespoons Smart Balance margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
¼ cup Splenda Sugar Blend
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
½ cup gluten-free baking mix (such as Pamela’s)
¼ cup mini-chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together margarine, vanilla, egg and Splenda. Mix until well blended.
  3. Add oats, quinoa and baking mix to mixture and stir well. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Drop by tablespoon onto baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Cool on wire rack and store in airtight container when cool.

MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Confirm ingredients are gluten-free and this recipe can be made gluten-free.

Info from the American Diabetes Association