Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tasty, Nutritious & Leftover

I enjoy cooking and I enjoy hosting, especially during the holidays. Those celebrations, coupled with attending various other dinners and lunch parties, can make a body feel bloated and lazy. Plus there are leftovers to keep us in the same comfort-food trap for weeks to come. I like to get creative and see how many nutrients I can add to leftovers. If you mix the fatty food with lots of vegetables or in a salad, you end up with a light and healthy way to use leftovers.

Here are a few ideas:

Make a pasta and mix in leftover veggies from one of your dinners. Veggies such as asparagus or brussel sprouts, even green beans work well with pasta. Drizzle some olive oil over it and add a tablespoon of grated cheese such as Gruyère,  Bemster, or swiss, and a splash of herbed salt. Now you have a light, healthy meal in one dish.

How about Burritos or Enchiladas?

Burritos: Put pieces of leftover turkey in a large frying pan and a little water. Add a can of drained black beans, chopped green chills, and chopped onions. Cook until warm and the onions are softened. Place a large spoonful in a whole grain tortilla and top with your choice of shredded cheddar, sour cream, alfalfa sprouts, avocado, or whatever you enjoy on your burritos.

Enchiladas: Mix shredded or chopped leftover turkey in a bowl with light cream cheese or soft tofu. When combined add a can of drained black beans, and green chills. You can spice it up with a dash of chili powder and/or tabasco sauce. Put a large spoonful in a whole grain tortilla, wrap tightly and place in a backing dish. Top with shredded cheese and some black olives or jalapeños. Smother with green chili enchilada sauce or another enchilada sauce. Be sure to choose an all natural or organic brand.

Soups and salads are great for using up leftovers and providing nutrition. Use the turkey carcass for a great turkey soup. Refrigerate after cooking, then scrape off the fat the next day. Reheat and add vegetables of your choice and wild rice or barley. Of course you can throw anything you have over torn lettuce and you have a meal in a salad bowl. Pieces of turkey meat add protein to the salad. You can also throw on some leftover veggies. Even if they've been cooked, cold vegetables such as green beans and carrots can be chopped up and added to a salad.

One more idea for today. If you've made a healthy pumpkin pie, why not eat it for breakfast? My kids always enjoyed this during the holidays. After all you've got eggs, squash, milk or tofu, spices and a little sweetness to make breakfast a treat. 

Enjoy your holidays without the feeling that you can't get off the couch. 

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