Each year, no matter which side of the family we celebrate Thanksgiving with, we are always faced with leftovers from a heavy holiday meal. While some folks love to stuff themselves with stuffing, taters and gravy, turkey, etc., others of us dread the heaviness of the meal. In goes the food, out goes the energy. Add to that the mushy factor (let’s face it, there’s rarely much crunch in a typical Thanksgiving meal), and my kids are starving for the fresher fare within just a few hours of washing the dishes.
Thanksgiving leftovers are inevitable, but it doesn’t mean you have to be confined to the couch for the long weekend. The following three recipes transform your leftover turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin puree into light and delicious favorites that you’re sure to love.
Turkey-and-Gruyère Radicchio Cups
- 1 Tbsp. low-fat mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1.5 oz. Gruyère or Jarlsberg cheese, cut julienne style
- 1 Granny Smith apple, cut julienne style
- 1 peeled jicama, cut julienne style
- 1 small celery stalk, cut julienne style
- 6 ounces cooked cubed turkey
- 8 radicchio leaves (from 1 small head)
- Fresh chives, for garnish
- Stir together mayo, vinegar and mustard in a medium bowl. Add cheese and next 4 ingredients (through turkey), and toss to combine.
- Spoon the mixture evenly into the radicchio leaves. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.
Brie and Cranberry Pizza
- 1 whole wheat thin crust 12” premade pizza crust
- 8 ounces cubed Brie cheese
- ¾ cup whole berry cranberry sauce
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place pizza crust on a pan, then sprinkle with cubes of cheese.
- Spoon the cranberry sauce over the cheese and top with pecans.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown. Cool 5 minutes and cut into wedges or squares.
Harvest Pumpkin Soup
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 large potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4½ cups chicken broth (or 3 cups chicken broth and 1 cup of turkey gravy)
- 2 cups pureed pumpkin
- Freshly ground pepper
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
- 3 Tbsp. sour cream for garnish (optional)
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add potato and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until potato is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Stir in pumpkin. Using an immersion blender, purée mixture until smooth. (Or, use a blender to purée mixture in batches, then return to pot.) Stir in ½ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg.
- Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Stir in cream and heat thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper, if desired and garnish with sour cream. Serve hot.
As you use up your Thanksgiving leftovers in these lighter recipes, you now have room for taste testing for the next season: cookies!
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