Lunch Bunch Healthy Ways to Reuse Turkey Leftovers
  • November 26, 2014
  • asweatlife turkey leftovers turkey leftover ideas Healthy Ways to Reuse Turkey Leftovers

    Happy Thanksgiving Eve! As you all are in the midst of prepping, cooking and traveling for (what I hope to be) a joyful Thanksgiving, I wanted to make the Lunch Bunch for next week as effortless as possible. It is easy to get wrapped up in the chaos of the holidays, so let’s take time this week to step back and be mindful of our health and what means most to us.

    To me, Thanksgiving day is about the kitchen party – family and friends gather around the kitchen with our full glasses of wine to talk and talk while getting all the glorious food ready and inevitably, waiting those last two hours for the turkey to be complete. When I say ‘be mindful’ during the holiday, I mean to be both mindful of yourself (sit back and relax! Who realllllyy cares if the brussel sprouts are a bit burnt?) and to also be mindful of your hunger.

    When you gather up your delicious food, stick with one serving size and start with the veggies and protein. After a full plate, you’ll be surprised how that extra dinner roll at the end of the table isn’t as appealing! Set down your fork between bites and be aware when you are no longer enjoying the food and are simply stuffing yourself because it’s a feast! I promise you will feel much better if you still have room to share a bit of pumpkin pie and don’t have to unbutton that top button of your pants!

    After all the hectic shopping, prepping and cooking that goes into multiple Friendsgivings and the holiday season, it is easy to forget about planning for yourself! I want to make sure that everyone has the chance to go into this holiday season excited and encouraged to stay on a healthy track, so let’s make this next week as easy as possible to do so!

    For Lunch Bunch, our grocery store list is simply going to be made up of YOUR Thanksgiving and turkey leftovers! It’s time to hit the fridge and transform your leftover turkey into meals that are both light and new to your palate each day. I’ve also incorporated links to past Lunch Bunch recipes that can be easily recreated with your turkey feast. There is no need to get overwhelmed with new recipes after holiday travel when we can simply transform what we already know into something new! Cheers to five healthy lunches for the work week created from leftovers!

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

    Monday: Skinny Pilgrim Sandwich: For Monday, we are combining all of our leftovers into a healthy twist on a Pilgrim Sandwich. Here is how mine stacks up:

    • Bottom layer: one piece of Ezekiel bread with cranberry spread
    • Middle: Turkey (white meat) and romaine lettuce
    • Top: Cornbread stuffing mashed under second piece of bread
    • Toast in oven and you’ve got a great mix of protein and carbs for a pre or post-workout meal! (You can also make this an open-faced sandwich by making the cornbread stuffing the top layer. This is an easy way to limit the carbs if you don’t have time for a workout that day.)

    Tuesday: Turkey Tacos: I actually got this idea from a wonderful friend at our Thanksgiving last week. I couldn’t believe I haven’t done this before with leftovers!

    • In a skillet, sauté peppers, onions and a jalapeño with EVOO. Stir in shredded turkey near the end. Heat a corn tortilla and top the taco off with fresh salsa and smashed avocado for some hunger-satisfying, healthy fat!

    Wednesday: Turkey Pesto Salad: Substitute your leftover turkey for the chicken here in my Chicken Pesto Salad.

    Thursday: Spinach Salad with Shredded Turkey: Go green with this salad.

    Friday: Turkey Pot Pies! Substitute your leftover turkey for the chicken here in mini pot pies.

    About Patty Duffey

    Patty is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach in the Chicago area. She is Ohio bred and received her bachelor’s degree in dietetics at Miami of Ohio, while continuing on the following year to complete her Dietetic Internship at Mount Carmel Hospitals in Columbus. Upon becoming an RD, Patty made the remarkable decision to work abroad in Australia for one year. She loved the active and healthy culture, and it seemed that most Aussies shared a common view that is was better to be proactive as opposed to reactive when it came to health and wellbeing. She knew that the health and fitness industry was exactly where she wanted to be. Since moving to Chicago three years ago, Patty has gained experience as a dietitian and nutrition coach at both Life Time Fitness and My Fit Foods. Her goal is to continue to build her health coaching skills as a nutrition entrepreneur. She currently works at Lululemon and loves working for a company where she can bring fitness and nutrition together in such an inspiring environment!