Monthly Archives: November 2016

29 Ways to Use Up Holiday Leftovers

When you host holiday dinners, you have more than leftover turkey to deal with! I hate to waste cranberry sauce, vegetables, pie, and other festive foods, so I came up with 29 ways to use leftovers to create simple, delicious meals and snacks. Leave your ways to prevent food waste in the comments!

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Vegetables

• Make a vegetable strata from leftover bread, chopped vegetables, eggs, and cheese, or make quiche.

• Puree cooked broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots and add milk or cream to make soup. Mix butternut squash and sweet potato together for soup, and add coconut milk for a change.

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• Add cooked sweet potato or beets to fruit smoothies.

• Stir plain canned pumpkin or mashed or sweet potatoes into turkey soup for a thicker, more flavorful soup.

• Stuff a cooked baked sweet or white potato with 1/4 cup cooked diced turkey or 1/4 cup black beans, and top with cranberry sauce or salsa.

• Top turkey pot pie with mashed sweet or white potatoes instead of pastry crust.

• Smash (gently!) whole cooked small potatoes, roast in 400˚F oven for 10 minutes, and top with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt and fresh chives.

• Chop cooked veggies and add to omelettes along with leftover cheese or make into a calzone.

• Puree cooked cauliflower and mix with milk or cream and grated Parmesan cheese to the desired consistency for a side dish.

• Prepare potato pancakes with white or sweet potatoes.

Cranberry Sauce/Cranberries

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• Stir into warm oatmeal that’s been microwaved with milk (milk for extra protein, calcium, and other minerals, and vitamins). Top with chopped walnuts or pecans.

• Add a tablespoon or two to fruit smoothies and eliminate sugar or other sweeteners.

• Combine with plain Greek yogurt and make a parfait with whole grain ready-to-eat cereal.

• Warm 2 tablespoons in the microwave for 10 seconds and put it on top of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

• Add to turkey sandwiches as a spread, or use in place of jelly in a peanut butter sandwich.

• Use instead of syrup on French toast, waffles, and pancakes.

How to use up dairy ingredients 

Bread and Rolls:

• Make French toast, pancakes or scones with leftover cream or eggnog.

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• Make croutons from cornbread, rolls, or other leftover bread. Cut into large pieces and roast in oven.

5 Easy Turkey Leftover Recipes

Turkey

• Prepare turkey pot pie with sweet potato, white potato, or stuffing for the topping.

• Add chopped turkey to your favorite macaroni and cheese recipe.

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• Make a white bean and turkey chili and include leftover vegetables.

• Prepare quick quesadillas using whole wheat tortillas, leftover cheese, and sliced turkey. Serve with cranberry sauce for dipping.

Stuffing/Dressing

• Prepare stuffing “pancakes” and top with a fried egg.

• Stir stuffing or dressing into turkey soup.

• Use as a topping on turkey pot pie.

Sweets

•Use eggnog in place of milk when you prepare French toast, vanilla cake mixes, pancakes, waffles, and bread pudding, or in other recipes.

• Combine eggnog and fruit for a delicious smoothie.

• Scoop pumpkin pie out of the crust and combine with plain fat-free Greek yogurt for a creamy pudding, or add some milk to the mixture and make a smoothie.

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Wine:

• Freeze red wine in ice cube trays to use later in stews.

What’s your favorite way to use leftovers?

Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

I love energy bars, but most store-bought varieties are expensive and they don’t always taste great. I thought I could do better, so I came up with these no-bake Peanut Butter Cereal Bars.

No-bake Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

How to Create a Lower-Cost Energy Bar

To keep this recipe cost-effective, I used store brand ingredients whenever possible. Here are some tips:

• I chose peanut butter because it’s the least expensive of nut butter. Chunky peanut butter provides extra crunch in this recipe. If you don’t have chunky peanut butter, use creamy and add 1/3 cup chopped peanuts.

• Honey is often less expensive than pure maple syrup, but it’s not vegan. Maple syrup works just as well as a sweetener and to hold the other ingredients together.

• Store-brand raisins supply sweetness without added sugar, and they are likely to be the least expensive dried fruit. (Learn how to cut back on sugar here.)

• If you substitute a higher-fiber whole grain ready-to-eat cereal for what I use in the recipe, the cost may go up, and it could increase the calorie count.

• Use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free bar.

Using parchment paper makes clean up a snap!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

These delicious bars supply 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, use 5 ingredients and take 5 minutes to put together! 
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time49 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: peanut butter cereal bars
Servings: 12
Calories: 302kcal
Author: ewardrd

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter Use no added sugar peanut butter, if desired.
  • 1/2 cup California raisins
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 2 cups quick oats, uncooked
  • 2 cups plain Cheerios, or store-brand equivalent

Instructions

  • Coat a 8″ x 8″ baking pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
    Combine all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
    Press the bar mixture evenly into the pan. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
    Cut into 12 squares. Keep refrigerated.

Nutrition Information: Per serving: 302 calories; 17 grams fat (3 grams saturated fat); 0 cholesterol; 191 milligrams sodium; 31 grams carbohydrate; 5 grams fiber; 10 grams protein.

    Need a chocolate fix? Toss 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips into the bar mixture. Using mini chips better distributes the chocolate flavor, so you use less and it costs less!

    Serving suggestion: Pair with eight ounces of dairy milk or a carton of Greek yogurt and a banana. You’ll get a serving each of fruit, dairy, and whole grains, as well as at least 20 grams of protein, the minimum amount of protein you should have at every meal.

    8 Easy to Make, Better Than Store-bought Foods

    There are a few everyday foods I don’t buy anymore, including cranberry sauce, salad dressing, and almond butter, because they are easy to make at home, and they taste better.  On the flip side, there are several so-called convenience foods I can’t do without. I asked a few of my foodie friends about the foods they absolutely must make from scratch (and for the recipes!), as well as their “processed food” picks that get healthy meals on the table fast.

    Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN, Nutritioulicious

    Must-have homemade food: Peanut sauce

    Why: “Most packaged peanut sauces are really high in sodium and sugar, so I’d rather make my own using natural, unsweetened peanut butter and adding my own amount of sweetener. I also add other flavor boosters like freshly grated ginger and sriracha, which packaged peanut sauces don’t have. Give it a whirl in the blender or food processor and it’s easy as can be!”

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    Favorite convenience food: Canned beans

    Why: “I love adding beans to salads, pasta dishes, sauces, and grain side dishes, but I would not use them as frequently as I do if I had to soak and cook them on my own. Time is of the essence when I’m trying to get dinner on the table in my house! A lot of people are hesitant to buy canned beans because of the sodium content, so I recommend buying the no-salt-added canned beans if you can find them and always drain and rinse the beans before adding to a dish.”

    Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RDN, JaniceCooks

    Must-have homemade food: Sweet and Hearty Beef Stew

    Why: “It tastes better than the canned kind, and it’s better for you. My beef stew has half the sodium, twice the protein, and four times the fiber and vitamin A as the canned variety. It takes just minutes to toss the ingredients into the slow cooker and a hearty, tasty dinner is ready to serve a few hours later.”

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    Favorite convenience food: Canned pumpkin.

    Why: “I tried cooking and mashing fresh pumpkin once and decided that it would be the last time. Canned pure pumpkin is so convenient and nutritious that I stock up every fall to be sure I can use it year round. I use it in muffins, pancakes, smoothies, even chili  and enchiladas! ”

    Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, Nutrition Starring You

    Must-have homemade food: Vegan ice cream

    Why: “I don’t like the taste of store-bought vegan ice cream. It’s always high in added sugar and not nearly as high in protein as my version.”

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    Favorite convenience food: Bagged salad.

    Why: “I couldn’t live without pre-washed greens, especially the cabbage blends because they are super filling and don’t get soggy so you can enjoy them for several meals. (Close second: rotisserie chicken for fast, easy lunches and dinners.)”

    Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD, Real Mom Nutrition

    Must-have homemade food: Salad dressing

    Why: “Once I started making my own salad dressing, it was impossible to go back to the gloppy bottled kind–especially the ones with preservatives and artificial dyes.”

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    (Need more salad dressing ideas? Here’s 50 of them.)

    Favorite convenience food: Jarred pasta sauce

    Why: “You can’t beat the convenience of it, and jarred sauce plus frozen ravioli is a last resort meal that saves us from ordering pizza or getting other take-out food. Pair that combination with prewashed greens and dinner is ready in 15 minutes!”

    Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, Amy Gorin Nutrition

    Must-have homemade food: Almond Pistachio Cocoa Bites

    Why: “Unlike a lot of store-bought versions of energy bites, balls, and bars, my recipe contains no added sugar. Plus, they’re delicious!”

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    Favorite convenience food: Frozen fruit

    Why: “Unsweetened frozen fruit is great for when I don’t have fresh in the house. It’s also sometimes preferable. When I use it in smoothies, I don’t need to add ice. And when I heat it up and use it as a topping for a bowl of oatmeal or French toast, it creates a nice liquid that can replace other toppings like syrup or brown sugar.”

    Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RD, Shaw’s Simple Swaps

    Must-have homemade food: Jam

    Why: “I love to make homemade jam not only because I can control the added sugar content, but also because I load it with wholesome, nutrient-rich ingredients, like omega-3 chia seeds, fiber-filled figs and other seasonal fresh fruit. The possibilities are endless!”

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    Favorite convenience food: Whole grain bread

    Why: “I can’t live without whole grain bread! Sure, I can make my own, but there’s nothing like a nice, fresh loaf of 100% whole grain bread with seeds from the store that you can simply take out of the bag and place in the toaster for a quick avocado toast lunch!”

    Katie Sullivan Morford, MS, RD, Mom’s Kitchen Handbook

    Must-have homemade food: Chocolate syrup

    Why: “This beautifully glossy chocolate syrup is a tasty alternative to what you’ll find in the supermarket, products that often have artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, and mystery ingredients.”

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    Favorite convenience food: Frozen fruits and vegetables (among so many others!).

    Why: “A bag of frozen spinach within reach is a quick way to up the health benefits of everything from stews to smoothies, and frozen spinach is great in smoothies along with frozen fruit. The nutrient values of frozen fruits and vegetables stay largely intact when produce is put under the deep freeze.”

    Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RDN 

    Must-have homemade food: Granola

    Why: “Most store-bought granola is loaded with added sugar and fat. My version has sugar and fat, too, but the fat is the heart-healthy unsaturated kind from nuts, and I add just enough pure maple syrup for a touch of sweetness. Allspice or Chinese five spice powder provides added sweetness without sugar. For variety, I add 1/4 cup dried wild blueberries or unsweetened coconut during the last few minutes of baking. Add whatever you like to make it your own recipe.”

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    Kathleen Zelman’s Granola

    3 ½ cups old fashioned oats
    2 cups finely chopped nuts of your choice (I love to mix pistachios, almonds, walnuts and pecans)
    ¼ cup sunflower seeds
    ½ cup pure maple syrup
    Pinch of salt
    1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice Powder

    Preheat oven to 325˚F. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients, stirring well to combine.
    Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

    Transfer the granola to the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 30-40 minutes, turning once, or until golden brown. Higher heat burns the nuts.

    Favorite convenience food: Canned petite diced tomatoes.

    Why: “These little gems are the perfect addition to so many recipes. They add color, flavor, texture, fiber, and other nutrients. I put them in egg dishes, soups, sauces, stews, guacamole, chili, salsa, spaghetti sauce and anything with a red sauce. You can purchase them fire-roasted, with herbs and spices, and with no added salt.”

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