Spice up your leftover dishes into fresh new treats

Spice up your leftover dishes into fresh new treats

Everyone knows the feeling of the food coma after Thanksgiving dinner. You sit, slouched back, in your chair chatting with family members from near and far and you’re temporarily motionless, filled with a feast of turkey, mashed potatoes and cornbread. You think about how you can possibly make room for dessert pies– but trust me, it’s possible. The real question you have to ask yourself is what you are going to do with the half filled dishes left on the table.

Thanksgiving is the holiday where we celebrate what we are thankful for, the roof over our heads and the family and friends who surround us. Wasting pounds of food after the dinner seems to be quite hypocritical. Use what you have left from Thursday’s dinner and spice up some leftovers into fresh new dishes.


For the leftover bird, Turkey Chili: Recipe from The Food Network Be resourceful with the extra turkey that you have from the feast and reuse it for a recipe for turkey chili, a perfect dish to warm you up during the following weekend.


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 chipotle chile en adobo, coarsely chopped, with 1 tablespoon sauce

1 pound ground turkey

1 (12-ounce) Mexican lager-style beer

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juice

1 (15 1/2-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Sliced scallions, cilantro sprigs, avocado, sour cream, grated Monterey jack cheese, and/or tortilla chips, for garnish, optional


Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and the chipotle chile and sauce; cook 1 minute more. Add the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the meat loses its raw color, about 3 minutes. Add the beer and simmer until reduced by about half, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes–crushing them through your fingers into the skillet–along with their juices and the beans; bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 10 minutes.


Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with the garnishes of your choice.


When you make a little too much cranberry sauce Apple Crisp with Cranberry Sauce Recipe from All Recipes. Mix together the sauce from the dinner and any extra apples you have from an apple pie recipe to get a new dessert for the following days.


Ingredients (Original recipe makes 8 servings)

4 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced

1 1/2 cups whole berry cranberry sauce

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup rolled oats

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

2/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup butter, melted


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place apple slices in an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish. Spread the cranberry sauce over the apples. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over the apples and cranberry sauce, covering completely.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until apples can be easily pierced with a knife and topping is browned.

If you bought a few too many sweet potatoes in fear of the supermarket running out Sweet potato soup Recipe from Bon Appetite. Especially for dropping temperatures as November turns into December this soup is a new twist on a favorite fall vegetable. Cozy up with a cup of soup by the fire and enjoy a nice break from school and work!


2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

1 cup chopped onion

2 small celery stalks, stalks and leaves chopped separately

1 medium leek, sliced (white and pale green parts only)

1 large garlic clove, chopped

1 1/2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 5 cups)

4 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 1/2 cups half and half

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 5 minutes. Add chopped celery stalks and leek and sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add potatoes, chicken stock, cinnamon, and nutmeg; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove cinnamon stick and discard. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return to pot. Add half and half and maple syrup and stir over medium-low heat to heat through. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool soup slightly. Cover and refrigerate soup and celery leaves separately. Bring soup to simmer before continuing.) Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with celery leaves.