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Inspired Thanksgiving Leftovers

What'll be in your refrigerator on November 29? Whether you hosted a Thanksgiving feast at your house or brought home leftovers from family or friends, it's likely you'll be looking at an abundance of food. To get beyond recreating the same meal you ate on Thanksgiving (wonderful as it was), you need some leftover inspiration. Yes, potpies and soups are classic. But what's new? And what will you do with all that cranberry sauce and all those dinner rolls?

Here are some creative ideas for using up every last morsel of Thanksgiving leftovers:

Cranberry Sauce

* Use leftover cranberry sauce to fill baked apples. Add little pieces of crystallized ginger, too.

* Add cranberry sauce to pancake or waffle batter. (Use in place of milk or water, then add more milk or water if needed for desired consistency.)

* Layer cranberry sauce with Greek yogurt, maple syrup, and chopped walnuts in a parfait dish. Sprinkle lightly with cardamom.

* Combine cranberry sauce with equal parts barbecue sauce and use for grilling meats or veggies or for dipping appetizers such as meatballs or tempeh sticks.

* Fold cranberry sauce into softened, whipped cream cheese. Season with cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or cardamom and sweeten with agave syrup or honey. Use as a fruit dip.

* Blend with orange juice and vodka for a cranberry Screwdriver. Or blend with lemonade for a really pink lemonade!


* Mix mashed potatoes with sautéed onions and a sprinkling of rosemary, salt, and black pepper. Form into patties, coat in breadcrumbs, and bake or fry. If you're lucky enough to have leftover turnips, you can mash them and do the same.

* Use leftover vegetables to make a frittata. Warm a cup of leftover veggies in a large cast iron frying pan. Add your egg mixture, plus a little Frontier Veggie Pepper and salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cook until bottom is lightly browned and top is almost set. Transfer to oven, under broiler, until top is lightly browned (just a few minutes).

* Combine cooked green beans with pecans, blue cheese, dill weed, and a favorite natural salad dressing. Or combine with crumbled feta, sliced black olives, red onion slices, Simply Organic Mediterranean seasoning, and an oil and vinegar dressing for a Greek option.

* Mash leftover sweet potatoes and add to risotto after the rice has absorbed all of the broth. Season with parsley, nutmeg, and garlic. (Add a glug of white wine to the broth, too.)

* Fill wonton skins with mashed sweet potatoes seasoned with Frontier Balti Curry Seasoning. (Seal with a finger dipped in water.) Sauté until golden and serve with plain yogurt and/or wasabi sauce.

* Make vegetable tempura (batter-fried veggies). Not the healthiest way to serve veggies, but a fun indulgence—maybe a new après-Thanksgiving tradition? Season your veggies with chili or curry powder and serve with soy sauce.

Breads and Stuffings

* Place stuffing in greased custard cups. Use a spoon to make an indentation in the middle of the stuffing. Crack an egg into each indentation and sprinkle with coarse black pepper and a pinch of garlic salt. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven until eggs are set, about 15 minutes.

* Break dinner rolls or other breads into chunks and use them to make bread pudding. Place about 3 cups of bread in a buttered 9x13-inch pan. Pour your custard mixture over the bread and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake in a 350-degree preheated oven until set, about 45 minutes.

* Use stuffing to make stuffed bell peppers. Include sautéed turkey pieces, too, and sprinkle the tops with grated cheese before baking, if you like.

* Make croutons out of leftover bread and rolls. Cut the bread into cubes and toss with olive oil, garlic powder, and a handful of your favorite seasonings (oregano, basil, crushed red peppers, etc.). Spread in a single layer in a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, until nicely browned.

* Make breadcrumbs for topping pasta and gratins. Cube the bread and toast in a 250-degree oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, until very lightly browned and dry. Pulse lightly in a food processor or blender. Add seasons such as oregano, basil, and garlic powder.

* Using egg as a binder (one egg per about 2 to 3 cups of stuffing), roll leftover stuffing into balls and bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 8 to 10 minutes. Include grated carrots, corn, cheddar cheese, and seasonings (depending on what's already in your stuffing).


* Combine leftover cider with Frontier maple syrup powder. Use on pancakes, waffles, and French toast.

* Make a cider vinaigrette by combining leftover cider with half as much olive oil and vinegar, a dash of honey, and salt and pepper to taste.

* Use leftover eggnog to make French toast. Use thick slices of sourdough or French bread and sprinkle generously with Frontier's Snappy Sugar.

* Make an eggnog latte by adding leftover eggnog to your morning cup of joe.

* Use eggnog on your oatmeal. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon and nutmeg.

* Use eggnog instead of milk when making rice pudding.


* Make a turkey-topped pizza. Include pesto, an aioli sauce, and Provolone cheese.

* Shred turkey and combine with beans, cooked corn kernels, and cheese for a burrito or taco filling. Season with Frontier Mexican Seasoning or Simply Organic Taco Seasoning Mix. Serve with guacamole and plain Greek yogurt.

* Making a soup with leftover turkey isn't new. But you can give this leftover tradition a makeover by adding wild rice or quinoa, wild mushrooms or shallots. Season with sage, celery salt, and parsley.

* Combine turkey strips, white beans, and red onion slices. Toss with a lively Dijon vinaigrette.

* Make a Cobb salad by combining turkey chunks with blue cheese, avocado, hard-cooked eggs, tomato, lettuce, onion, and bacon. Serve with a garlic dressing.

Of course, some leftovers may be a coveted tradition at your house. So sure, go ahead and have that cold turkey sandwich with mayo. Unless you'd enjoy it more grilled with apple slices and goat cheese, or bacon and havarti, pear and Brie, or spinach and Gruyere? Inspired!

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