It's the time of year when turkey leftovers are plentiful and cooks are creatively challenged. How many turkey sandwiches can one family eat? Fortunately, there are many alternatives. Turkey can be used in stir frys, added to a vegetable casserole, made into a salad, turned into soup, ground into burgers or stuffed into pita pockets with onions and tomatoes.
If you're reheating leftover turkey, make sure to take it off the bone. Legs and wings may be left whole, but breast meat should be sliced. No perishable foods should be left unrefrigerated for more than two hours. Leftover turkey can be refrigerated in shallow containers for up to 4 days. Turkey slices can be frozen for up to four months.
Turkey is not just for Thanksgiving. Turkey is low in fat - especially the white meat - and high in protein. It is an inexpensive source of iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and B vitamins.
Americans have recognized the good taste and nutritional value of turkey year round. In 1970, 50 percent of all turkey consumed in 1970 was during the holidays, according to the National Turkey Federation. Today that number is only 32 percent. Turkey consumption has increased 180 percent since 1975.
Whether it serves as a reminder of Thanksgiving a few days later or is served up any other time of the year, leftover turkey can be used in a stew with other Thanksgiving star players - cranberries and sweet potatoes.
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Sweet Potato Apple Stew with Turkey
Yield: Makes 6 servings.
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, cut in 3/4-inch slices
- 1 rib celery, cut in 3/4-inch slices
- 1 small rutabaga, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1-1/2 cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 Crispin or Red Delicious apples, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces
- 2 medium sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut in 1-inch half-moon slices
- 2 cups diced cooked turkey breast
- 1/2 cup fresh, frozen or dried cranberries
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup chopped toasted almonds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In small Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion. Saute until tender, about 4 minutes. Add carrot, celery and rutabaga. Cover tightly and cook over medium-low heat 10 minutes. Add broth and bay leaf. Cover.
- Transfer stew to oven. Bake 10 minutes. Add apples and sweet potatoes, turkey, cranberries and thyme. Cover and bake until vegetables are tender and turkey is heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with almonds, if desired. Serve over brown rice or noodles.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
4 g. total fat (<1 g. saturated fat),
32 g. carbohydrate,
17 g. protein,
5 g. dietary fiber,
98 g. sodium