Fresh Meal Planning (9/18 – 9/24)

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Guilt-Free Thanksgiving Leftovers

Guilt-Free Thanksgiving Leftover - - Fun with Family with Rebecca

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

Turkey-and-Gruyère Radicchio Cups -

Turkey-and-Gruyère Radicchio Cups
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Light and crunchy, this refreshing dish features leftover turkey, creamy cheese and fresh apples and jicama.
  • 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
  1. Stir together mayo, vinegar and mustard in a medium bowl. Add cheese and next 4 ingredients (through turkey), and toss to combine.
  2. Spoon the mixture evenly into the radicchio leaves. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.

Brie and Cranberry Pizza

Brie and Cranberry Pizza -

Brie and Cranberry Pizza
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Decadent flavors of creamy Brie cheese and tart cranberry sauce top a light crust for a grown-up pizza with flair.
  • 1 whole wheat thin crust 12” premade pizza crust
  • 8 ounces cubed Brie cheese
  • ¾ cup whole berry cranberry sauce
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place pizza crust on a pan, then sprinkle with cubes of cheese.
  3. Spoon the cranberry sauce over the cheese and top with pecans.
  4. 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

Harvest Pumpkin Soup -

Harvest Pumpkin Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Any time you need freshly pureed pumpkin, there are always leftovers. This soup turns 2 cups of pumpkin puree into the ultimate comfort food that's brimming with Vitamin E.
  • 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
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp. sour cream for garnish (optional)
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. 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!

Communications Manager
Click here for more articles written by Rebecca. - Fun with Family with Rebecca

Long Live Leftovers!

This is the best part! Turkey on Thanksgiving is great, but leftovers are even better. Everyone loves a good turkey sandwich at work after Thanksgiving, but with a big stash of cooked, sliced (or shredded) turkey at your fingertips, it’s a chance to branch out. Here are a few killer recipes to keep your family happy and well-fed. You’ve already done the hard work of preparing the bird and taking all the roasted turkey off the bones, so first, split it up into what you can use right now and freeze the rest in manageable portions–1 or 2 cups per freezer bag is usually good, depending on your family size. Each of these recipes works equally well with the immediate leftovers or as a quick weeknight meal during the busy holiday month ahead.

Turkey a la king

Layered Leftover Thanksgiving Casserole

To make use of the most leftovers, this is one of our flexible, go-to solutions. Not only will you use up some turkey, but this recipe also requires gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and green bean casserole. It tastes like one big bite of Thanksgiving dinner, but hot and fresh all over again. We recommend making this either immediately after Thanksgiving when you’re still craving some of the flavors, or as long afterward as you can, when you’re already starting to miss all your favorite holiday staples.

Turkey, Brie, and Apple Butter Sandwich

If this sounds fussy, just tell yourself it’s a glorified grilled cheese. Not to mention how much better it will taste than your fourth plain turkey sandwich of the week. Butter the pan-side of the bread and start building your sandwich from there. Once your bread is down and you’ve started grilling it, put apple butter on the insides of the bread. On top of the apple butter, put your turkey leftovers and slices of Brie cheese. Once you’ve stacked each piece of bread and they’re nearly browned on the grill, put your sandwich together and rest a brick on top to really get the turkey, cheese, and apple butter to melt together. Really easy and really yum.

Turkey a la King

This one’s a family pleaser. Not only can you repurpose a lot of turkey in this recipe, but you can also utilize many of those extra vegetables that survived the Thanksgiving buffet. A la King is one of those recipes that you can throw a little bit of whatever you have into it and it will still come out tasting wonderful. So, if you’ve got green beans, carrots, mushrooms, peas, or most other vegetables, just throw them in there.

Turkey Tacos

If the flavors are starting to get a little stale, use the Thanksgiving flavors but lose some of the Thanksgiving taste. The cilantro and lettuce combined with the Mexican spices give these tacos a kick that will hopefully finish off the last of your turkey.

We’d love to know what your favorite Thanksgiving leftover recipes are. What do you make?

Cooking & Safety Tips for Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is upon us. For most of us that means there will be a lot of cooking on Thursday. Kim, one of our registered dietitians here at Coborn’s and our food safety coordinator, tells us some important food safety practices to incorporate into our turkey preparation.

Kim Kockler
Coborn’s Inc. Registered Dietitian
Food Safety Coordinator

Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips from Kim

1. Keep the raw turkey separate from any prepared or ready to eat foods. Make it easy on yourself and designate sections of your kitchen for raw foods and prepared foods.

2. Store the turkey on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator. If the turkey begins to leak, you do not have to worry about it dripping on your other foods and contaminating them.

3. Cook the turkey to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F, measured with a food thermometer. Check multiple areas of the bird, inner part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.

4. It is recommended to cook stuffing separately. If stuffing the turkey, place stuffing in the cavity loosely and ensure the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 165°F, measured with a food thermometer.


We hope these tips from Kim help you and your family enjoy a healthy Thanksgiving meal.
Now, the Coborn’s Executive Chef, Todd, AKA. ‘Chef Todd’ will share a few tips on properly serving turkey.

Turkey Tips from Chef Todd

Chef Todd
Coborn’s Inc. Executive Chef

1. Let your turkey sit for 15 minutes after it comes out of the oven. Once the 15 minutes is up you can feel free to cut into your turkey, this will help retain all of those delicious and natural juices.

2. For a tender turkey breast, remember to cut the breast off the bone, turn it sideways and cut. This is cutting cross grain.

3. Leftovers are just as delicious. When making your turkey sandwich, try adding on the cranberry relish as well, you will be glad you did.