Tag Archives: #Thanksgiving

Make-Ahead Holiday Side Dishes

Every year, I host two Thanksgiving dinners, one on the actual day and one the Sunday before. I’ve been doing this for a while, but this year, I finally got smart and made nearly all of the sides ahead of time. I was so inspired by the idea of advance food prep that I asked my dietitian friends for their favorite make-ahead holiday meal recipes.  Enjoy!

Thanksgiving stuffing in a bowl with gold spoons

The Best Thanksgiving Mushroom Sausage Stuffing from Tawnie Kroll. I love using mushrooms in stuffing for their meaty, umami flavor.

Easy Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

Genius Butternut Squash Soup from Katie at Mom’s Kitchen Handbook is brilliant, and a real show stopper.

Make Pumpkin Apple Almond Muffins for breakfast or as a side dish for dinner. 

Cauliflower Cranberry Superfood Salad | The Nutrition Adventure

Cauliflower Cranberry Superfood Salad from Karman Meyer can be made up to two days in advance and kept in the refrigerator.

 

 

Easy Pumpkin Soup from Jessica Ivey, MS, RD can be frozen and reheated. It uses canned pumpkin, one of my favorite kitchen staples.

Walnut Stuffed Mushrooms with Cheddar, Apple & Sage | Nutrition Nuptials | Mandy Enright MS RDN RYT

Walnut Stuffed Mushrooms with Walnut, Apple & Sage from Mandy Enright uses walnuts in place of meat for a vegetarian appetizer that’s anything but basic.

Make a double batch of gluten-free No Added Sugar Fruit and Nut Quick Bread and freeze a loaf for later. You’ll be happy you did! 

Pecan Topped, Slightly-Sweet Sweet Potato Casserole via LizsHealthyTable.com #thanksgiving

Liz Weiss’ Pecan Topped Slightly-Sweet Potato Casserole can be frozen and reheated before serving. That’s music to my ears!

This make-ahead kale salad stands up to storage in the fridge, and it's an easy way to get started with meal prep. Keep this winter salad on hand for quick, weekday lunches or as a refreshing side dish for your holiday table.

Make-Ahead Kale Salad from Stephanie McKercher. The name says it all! Super convenient and colorful to boot.

 Butternut Squash, Date and Feta Salad

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Dates & Feta from Edwina Clark. I love the spinach-date-and-feta combo!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Dates, Figs and Pistachios (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Roasted Butternut Squash with Dates, Figs, and Pistachios from Sharon Palmer is vegan and gluten-free. And gorgeous!

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Healthy-ish Maple Cranberry Sauce from Sarah Gold. Maple is one of my favorite fall flavors to combine with cranberries!

Cranberry Relish via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_kitchen

This fresh Cranberry Relish from Julie Harrington is a refreshing departure from store-bought canned and it can easily be made ahead of time.

 Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce with Pears

Leanne Ray’s Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce with Pears is just sweet enough. I don’t own an instant pot, but if I did, I would make this.

homemade turkey stock

I stink at gravy, so I’m grateful for Michelle Dudash’s Best Turkey Gravy, which you make in two steps, one of them a few days ahead of time.

Roasted Vegetable Stock from Chef Catherine Brown can be made up to five days in advance and refrigerated or frozen for up to six months. Homemade stock is about 1,000 times more flavorful than store-bought, so if you get a chance, make this.

A white platter filled with turkey breast that is topped with crispy skin and gravy with a dish of gravy on the side.

The Best Slow Cooker Turkey Breast + Easy Cider Gravy from Whitney Reist. Yes, this post is about side dishes, but I couldn’t resist including this amazing recipe!

Happy holidays!

 

 

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!

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 

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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• 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?

 

 

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