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Love for the leftovers

Last Modified: 5/22/2018

Nearly two days have passed since the holiday and if you’re like us, you might just be feeling – dare we say it – turkied out. Parkview Clinical Dietician Sara Bennett shares her favorite inventive ways to cook up some nutritious options with those Thanksgiving leftovers (and clean out your fridge in the process).  

“My mom makes turkey, cranberry and brie panini sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving,” Sara said. “They are pretty amazing.” Her other suggestions for sneaking in some turkey, “Omelets, soups, wraps and sandwiches, pizza and salads.“

Try one from this trio of options this weekend:

Cranberry Salsa*

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2 cups leftover cranberry sauce or 1 14-ounce can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  1. Stir together all ingredients. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 1 week.

*This side would be wonderful served with turkey quesadilla.

Leftover Parmesan Mashed Potato Patties

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Cooking spray
2 large egg whites or 1/4 cup egg beaters
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 2/3 cups cold leftover mashed potatoes

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Add egg whites to a small bowl and whisk well. To a separate bowl, add the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese; mix to combine.
  3. Using a 1/3cup measuring cup, form potatoes into 8 patties. Brush patties with egg whites (or you can use your hands to spread egg on), then dip into breadcrumb mixture. Place patties onto the baking sheet and spray the top with more cooking spray.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the bottom becomes golden brown; flip and cook an additional 10-12 minutes, until golden on both sides.

Serves 8

Recipe adapted from

Oven Baked Turkey Fajitas

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1 pound turkey, cut into strips or shredded
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes or 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
8 corn tortillas or 4 cups cooked rice
Sliced avocados (optional)
Salsa (optional)
Pico de gallo (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place turkey in a greased 13-inch-by-9-inch baking dish.  
  2. In a small bowl, combine the oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic power and dried oregano. Drizzle the spice mixture over the turkey and stir to coat. Add the tomatoes, peppers and onions to the dish and stir to combine.          
  3. Bake, uncovered, 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Serve on tortillas or rice topped with avocado, salsa or pico de gallo.  

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