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Let the Turkey Leftovers Begin!

December 26, 2014

Turkey with all the fixins' is a big thing here in Newfoundland and we all tend to get a bird big enough to feed a small army. There's a good chance you're going to have guests for Christmas Dinner and beyond that, it's nice to have something for stoppers-by to nibble on. Inevitably, there will be lots of turkey leftover and if you're wondering what you can do with all that meat, I've got a few tried and true ideas for you. Yes....I'm more or less repeating the gist of my Thanksgiving blog here but hey? I'm all about recycling, re-using and above all else, managing one's time efficiently!

 

First up, homemade Turkey Vegetable Barley Soup. I actually throw the bones and any scraps of meat right into a soup pot as I'm carving the turkey for Christmas Dinner. As soon as the table is cleared and the groans from over-eating have subsided, (and ok, yes, perhaps a small tryptophan induced nap), I covered what's in the pot with water, season it with a little salt and pepper, add a quartered onion, a few celery stalks, and any leftover pieces of vegetables and bring the works to a boil. I then let it simmer for several hours before straining the broth, salvagaing whatever turkey meat I can and set both aside until I have diced up a turnip, 4 or 5 carrots, a couple of stalks of celery and a medium sized onion. I saute the veg in a little canola oil, add in the salvaged meat, then pour in the broth. I bring it to a low boil, add in a 1/4 c. pearl barley and let it simmer and reduce. Midway, I squeeze in either a tablespoon of tomato or Umami paste. Homemade Turkey Vegetable Barley Soup is perfect for lunch but hearty enough for dinner. It also freezes well - just remember to label the airtight containers with the date of your soup. 

 

 Next up, it's our tradition for the family to get together and have hot turkey sandwiches for dinner on Boxing Day. I cook the fries in my T-Fal Actifry which dramatically reduces the amount of fat but the fries still turn out golden and crisp. 

 

For those who aren't a fan of Hot Turkey Sandwiches, perhaps a cold sandwich with grilled sweet potato, baby cucumber, microgreens, cranberry jelly and whole grain bread spread with a chiopotle aioli? These Grilled Sweet Potato Turkey Saneiwches are absolutely delicious and even those who are tiring of turkey will love this twist on a regular turkey sandwich!

 

 And lastly, we come to my all-time favorite turkey leftover dish: Twisted Turkey Pot Pie! I saute diced onion and celery, add in cream of chicken and cream of celery condensed soup, season with salt, pepper and thyme. I then layer frozen carrot, cauliflower and broccoli, top with diced leftoever turkey, pour the celery/onion/thyme sauce over everything and then cut store bought uncooked crescent rolls into strips and place them in a lattice style on top. Bake until golden and bubbly and enjoy! 

 

Turkey is one of my all time favorite things to cook because I can transform one deal into at least 5 meals. As I write this, the turkey soup is simmering away on the stove and I've got turkey packed up to take to my brother's for Boxing Day Dinner. In my refrigerator are two more containers of leftover turkey....one for Grilled Sweet Potato Turkey Sandwiches and the other for Twisted Turkey Pot Pie. I'm feelin' pretty darn good that meals for my family for the next two days are all sorted out which gives me more time to celebrate the season with family and friends. 

 

I would like to wish all of you the Merriest of Christmases and may 2015 be easy, healthied-up, inexpensive and dellicious for your all!!  

 

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