Being the planner that I am, I have already begun to think about the things I will create using the leftovers from the big Thanksgiving meal.
Undoubtedly, a turkey sandwich (with all the fixin’s) will soon follow the big day.
In our household, traditional stuffing (made with real butter and fiber-lacking, sodium-rich prepackaged bread stuffs) and cranberry sauce (yes, white sugar, I am looking at you) have their place at the table for certain. This year I wanted to challenge myself to come up with a few post-Thanksgiving dishes that could easily translate to weekday lunches and be one that I could feel good about eating.
First one up: Turkey Soup
This soup base is so simple it’s almost comical. But the beauty in this one pot dish is that it can play host to a variety of ingredients and could even be beefed up (quite literally) to make for a hearty dinner time meal. It could also be paired with a crusty, hearty slice of bread or alongside that infamous leftover-inspired turkey sandwich.
I make this base – or some variation of it – quite often, as a way to fit in my vegetables on days when a salad just won’t cut it. The add-ins are nearly endless.
For protein sources think:
- Left over turkey
- Ground turkey
- Any variety of beans
For a thicker, more stew like consistency add in:
- Pumpkin puree
- Low sodium canned crushed tomatoes
For additional vegetables try:
- Chopped kale or spinach leaves
- Steamed broccoli
- Sauteed leeks
- Roasted potatoes – I like red the best
Other miscellaneous add-ins:
- Cooked pasta noodles or shells
Very basic vegetable soup
1 bunch of celery, about 10 stalks, trimmed and diced, reserve leaves from 1 or 2 of the stalks and chop, setting aside.
7-8 medium-large carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large clove of garlic, diced
1/3 cup water
48 oz fat free, low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp olive oil
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare all vegetables as directed. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once oil is shimmering hot, add garlic and onions and a dash of salt and saute about 3 minutes. Add celery, carrots and water and cook about 5 minutes from the time the water starts to boil. Add in broth and stir well. Add in celery leaves and sprigs of rosemary. Bring to a rolling boil and then turn heat down to a simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, until vegetables are fork tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper as desired.
Add in any combination of the suggested add-in’s or create your own! I’d love to hear any other ideas.