Lean Leftovers

by Carol Berg Sloan, RD

If you are like most Americans you just ate approximately 4600 calories. Those calories included something like: stuffed celery, sweet pickles, olives, turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, candied yams, rolls and butter, cranberry sauce, buttered peas, two cocktails, two pieces of pie with whipped cream and eggnog. Wow!…….but you waited and planned ahead all year, so I’ll give you a break. But what do you do with all those leftovers?!
Here are some tips and recipes to help you mow through the leftovers without continued added calories.

• Pre-portion leftovers onto small plates, freeze and enjoy as desired.
• Go outside and weed the garden, rake the leaves or go for a walk
• Make a turkey sandwich but, for a healthier edge, use whole-wheat bread, skinless turkey breast and leftover cranberry sauce as a spread instead of mayonnaise.
• Go for a brisk walk
• Make Turkey Papaya Salad

Makes 4 servings

2 papayas, cut in half, rinsed with seeds reserved
2 cups turkey breast, cut into ½-inch squares
¼ cup oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1 teaspoon lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon paprika
8 large strawberries, caps removed
Grape clusters, as needed
1 kiwi, peeled and cut into sections
1. With a spoon, carefully remove papaya from skin; reserve skin along with seeds. Cut papaya into 1/4-inch cubes. In medium bowl, combine papaya and turkey; set aside.
2. In blender or food processor fitted with metal blade, combine oil, sugar, vinegar, onion, lime juice, salt, mustard and paprika; process until smooth. With motor running, add 1 teaspoon papaya seeds and process until seeds are coarsely ground. Fold dressing into turkey mixture. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
To serve, spoon turkey salad into papaya shells. Garnish with strawberries, grape clusters or kiwi slices.

Calories 292
Total fat 15 grams
Carbohydrates 19 grams
Protein 23 grams

Recipe Source: The National Turkey Federation
• Take the dog for a walk around the block.
• Make Southwest Corn and Idaho Potato Cakes

• Cooking spray
• 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes (homemade works best)
• 1/2 cup corn kernels (if frozen, thaw first, then squeeze out excess water)
• 1/3 cup frozen, diced red and green sweet peppers (thaw, then squeeze out excess water)
• 1 egg white
• 1/2 cup shredded taco cheese (cheese blend with added seasonings)
• 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon chili powder
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
• Optional garnish: 1/4 cup shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a baking sheet with a liberal amount of cooking spray; set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well with a fork or wooden spoon, being sure to thoroughly break up the mashed potatoes.
Spray a 1/3-cup measuring cup with cooking spray. Using the cup, scoop up the potato mixture and level it off with your clean hand. Invert the filled cup over the prepared baking sheet to release the potato mixture. Continue to scoop, making 8 portions (you may need to re-spray the cup once or twice to help release the potato mixture). Gently press the portions with your palm to form pancakes about ¾ inch thick. Spray the tops of the pancakes lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes. Using a metal spatula, flip the pancakes and bake another 15 minutes. Transfer pancakes to a serving platter using the spatula, then sprinkle them with additional shredded cheese, if desired. Serve hot.

Leftover mashed potatoes reappear as zesty potato pancakes studded with corn and multi-colored peppers. Skip the butter and skillet, these are baked, not fried, yet they still brown nicely. Serve with a dollop of reduced-fat sour cream if you like.

Recipe source: Idaho Potato COmmission

Now, watch what you eat until the next holiday!

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