What To Do With Holiday Leftovers??

As a kid a hated leftovers!! I wanted something new every night, but as I became an adult I now realize leftovers are a lifesaver!! Leftovers

Here we are at Thanksgiving, when you may have more leftovers than you know what to with. At my house we have at least 20 people for dinner and even after we sent people home with food there LEFTOVERS!!!  SO.. what do you do with them.

With a little bit of prep time and some imagination, you can create new ways to enjoy your holiday favorites. Let’s take a look at some creative ideas to use your holiday leftovers.

Soup Sensations
Remove all the meat from the bird and cook it down for turkey stock. Once you have your stock, you have the beginnings for meals that don’t resemble a sandwich in the least. I’m not a big fan of sandwiches. Once you have the stock done you can make a simple turkey soup by dicing up some of the leftover turkey, then add to the stock with vegetables and noodles or rice for a hearty meal. You can include other leftovers in your turkey soup.  You can add sweet potatoes or butter nut squash as a chunk or puree them and to the turkey stock to give it a nice flavor.

Because we had so many at our Thanksgiving table, we have not only turkey but ham. If your family is like mine, you can make a wonderful minestrone soup or split pea soup. I’m a sucker for some split pea soup!!  Make your ham stock and stir in leftover mashed potatoes for an wonderful potato and ham chowder. Have left over veggies, you can puree those up to make a delicious veggie based soup. You can use the turkey or ham stock as part of the base.

Salad Without Limits
Simply cutting up leftover turkey, ham, or other meat and topping a big lettuce salad can be a treat. Now look at your other leftovers. Are there still radishes, carrot sticks, celery stalks, olives, and cheese left from the holiday meal? Throw them on the green salad. And don’t stop there. Are those nuts I see on the buffet? Perfect topping for your salad. You can even whisk together a little leftover cranberry sauce or cranberry and orange relish with balsamic vinegar and create a unique dressing for your turkey and greens salad.

Of course, you can expand your salad beyond the lettuce with topping style. Cut up your leftover meats and mix in a vinaigrette or salad dressing, stir in leftover corn, celery, radishes, onion, carrots, or even fruit and nuts. Serve in a bowl or over a bed of crunchy lettuce or cabbage. Don’t limit yourself to one temperature, either. Go ahead and serve heated or roasted leftover meat or vegetables over greens. Drizzle with olive oil and vinaigrette for a nice combination of hot and cold, sweet and tangy. Toss in leftover cranberry sauce, too, hot or cold.

You don’t have to be satisfied with eating the same holiday meal over and over again until your leftovers are gone. Be creative and unique. Use your leftover ingredients to make something new that your family will love and won’t recognize!

Do you have any holiday leftover recipes you want to share??


Easy Three Step Broccoli Cranberry Slaw

2 (12 oz each) bags broccoli coleslaw mix
1/2 to 1 cup (more or less) prepared dressing, your choice (I used Ken’s Balsamic Vinegar)
1 (8 oz) package dried sweetened cranberries
2 cups pistachio nuts, chopped slightly
salt and pepper

Put both bags of broccoli slaw in a large salad bowl, add some of the dressing, and stir to coat well.  Taste and add more dressing if desired and stir again.

Add the dried sweetened cranberries and pistachio nuts, toss to combine, taste and salt and pepper as needed.

Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so flavors blend.

Serve cold.

Will serve 4 to 6 people.


Nutty Roasted Brussels Sprouts

2 lbs fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (frozen will work as well)
1 cup pecans, rough chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss well to combine and coat well with the oil.

Arrange evenly on a large baking sheet.

Put in preheated oven and bake until Brussels sprouts are fork tender and slightly browned, about 20 to 30 minutes, turning the Brussels sprouts with a spatula at least once during the baking time.

Remove and serve hot.

Serves 4 to 6.


Turkey Crudite Stir Fry

Now that the holidays are over, you’re bound to have some leftovers. Here is what you do with your turkey and veggie platter. This will work with any time of protein.

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups leftover raw crudite vegetables, any assortment
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 cups leftover cooked turkey
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

optional: sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds for topping

In a large wok or frying pan over high heat add the oil and heat over medium-high heat until sizzling.

Toss in the leftover fresh vegetables from your crudite tray, including onions, green and red peppers, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, and anything else you want.

Add garlic and ginger, quickly stirring to combine.

Cook stirring constantly just until garlic is fragrant and vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add turkey, broth, and soy sauce and cook quickly, stirring once, until mixture is heated through, about 3 or 4 minutes.

Remove from heat and drizzle in sesame oil, mixing in.

Serve over brown rice. Top with onions and sesame seeds if desired.

Serves about 4 to 6 people.


Pumpkin Pumpkin Everywhere

Most of the calories in pumpkin pie comes from the crust and sugar.  Invest in almond flour or wheat flour in your crust and you’ve got a good start.  You can reduce the amount of sweetener that you use and increase the other seasonings.  Many cooks have found that almost half the sugar can be eliminated in a pie filling without affecting the flavor.

If you want to eliminate the crust entirely, choose a pumpkin puree parfait or other lighter fare.  Whip pumpkin puree with a little cream cheese to thicken, then serve in pretty dessert bowls with a sprinkling of nutmeg and crunchy toppings of chopped pecans.


Good Things Come in Small Packages

For some reason, everything seems to be getting super-sized, even appetizers. These little snacks have expanded to almost side-dish portions in recent years. One of the simplest ways to create a healthier appetizer buffet is to create bite-size portions instead of big platters of dips and spreads. You can scale them back down and still make a big splash. Tiny bites, or “tapas” are becoming all the rage, taking the restaurant business by storm. Maybe your own tapas are just what you need to scale down your holiday appetizers to a healthier size.

Instead, make tiny bites using similar ingredients.  By offering smaller, bite sized portions, your guests will not tend to keep dipping and inadvertently fill up on appetizers before they even get a chance to sit down at the table.

Here’s a recipe to give a try.

Roasted Eggplant Spread

  • 1 medium, firm eggplant
  • 1 clove garlic, peel removed
  • pinch of ground allspice
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • drizzle of good olive oil

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. With a small sharp paring knife, cut a couple slits in top of eggplant; this keeps the eggplant from bursting open in the oven.

Put eggplant directly on the oven rack (slit side up) in the middle of the oven and put the other oven rack below on the bottom with a cookie sheet on it to catch any drippings from the eggplant.

Roast the eggplant until it is fork tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.

When tender remove carefully from oven to a cutting board to cool enough to handle.

With your sharp paring knife, cut the skin off and scoop the flesh out, putting it in your food processor bowl.

To the eggplant, add the garlic, allspice, salt, pepper, and parsley.

Pulse until the eggplant becomes paste-like, then with motor running, drizzle in just a touch of olive oil, stopping when the paste turns smoother.

Scoop out into a serving bowl and serve with a variety of breads, crackers, pita points, celery, or other vegetables.  This should be served at room temperature, not cold.

You can easily make bigger batches, just increase each ingredient equally.



Hold The Stuffing!!!!

Maintain Don’t Gain This Holiday Season

Average holiday weight gain can be 1-5 pounds. 

Don’t be a holiday weight gain casualty!  
Let me help you stay on track, this holiday season.

Eat Better. Feel Better. Look Better.

Join me on Sunday, November, 2-4pm

Simply Erinn’s
268 Brookline Street
Cambridge, MA

Please RSVP by Friday, November 2nd  & bring a friend!

Come learn how you can still enjoy your favorite 
holiday treats and all your traditional holiday experiences without blowing your diet.


Lose Weight On Thanksgiving!

The average American will consume up to 3,000 calories during the Thanksgiving weekend. You don’t need to be a statistic. Here are a few weeks to beat the Thanksgiving weight gain. Here are few tips to help you stay on track.

  • Instead of using the ladle to put gravy on your plate, using a soup spoon instead
  • Hold the stuffing and you’ll save over 200 calories.
  • Watch your sugar intake this means baked goods,  both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
  • If someone asks you to bring something how about you bring some nice healthy veggies — sauteed green beans
  • Slow down and eat! Eating too fast doesn’t give your brain a chance to register that you are eating.
  • Fulling full? Take dessert to go or have it late night — give yourself time to digest.

Don’t let this or any holiday be your “exception”. I’m not saying don’t enjoy yourself, but make sure you keeping your eye on your long term goal weight loss.  Having a big meal can easily derail your hard fought progress.

Need some more tips — check out my posts from the last few years.






Just Finished My Thanksgiving Menu

This year my husband and I are cooking Thanksgiving for his family. As I health fried turekyperpetual planner, I needed to get the menu all straight in my head. This is the only way that I can relax and ease into the holiday.  I spent the weekend scouring my cookbooks and old Cooking Light magazines and this is what I’ve come up with.

We are going to deep fry a turkey, I know I said FRIED. Well surprisingly deep fried turkey has only 25 more calories in 3.5 ounces than traditional roasted turkey and only 4 more grams of fat. Instead on focusing on those small caloric difference, I focusing on how much it’s going to free up my oven and not make my house feel like a sauna.  [Read more…]