Healthy Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

Thanksgiving dinner is nearly as celebrated for its leftovers as it is for the meal itself. Some even cook with the goal of having lots of leftovers. Because the foods used for this holiday meal are really basic, Thanksgiving leftovers tend to lend themselves for various uses.

The recipes below take some of the common Turkey Day leftovers and turn them into light, healthy and flavorsome dishes to enjoy as the holiday food season kicks into high gear.

Turkey and Green Bean Salad

Serves 4

1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 cups loosely packed green beans
2 cups chopped. cooked skinless turkey
1/2 cup sweet potato, diced
1/2 cup cranberries
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1. Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Add the remaining ingredients; toss well to combine.
2. Divide the finished salad among four plates and enjoy.

Nutritional Information, per serving:
Calories: 321
Fat: 9.3 g
Saturated fat: 2.7 g
Monounsaturated fat: 7.6 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 2.3 g
Protein: 26.1 g
Carbohydrate: 27 g
Fiber: 3.1 g
Cholesterol: 69 mg
Sodium: 333 mg

Turkey Sweet Potato Chili

Serves 4

3 cups diced, chopped or shredded turkey
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup chopped tomatoes
8 oz can low-sodium tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 bay leaf
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes (butternut squash substitute)
Fresh cilantro, for garnish

1. In a large skillet, brown turkey over medium-high heat and season with cumin and salt.
2. When meat is browned, add onion and garlic; cook 3 minutes over medium heat.
3. Add the tomatoes, sweet potato, tomato sauce, water, chili powder, paprika and bay leaf.
4. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until potatoes are soft and cooked through, about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Nutritional Information, per serving:
Calories: 286
Fat: 6 g
Saturated fat: 1.2 g
Protein: 22.4 g
Carbohydrate: 34.3 g
Fiber: 5.5 g
Cholesterol: 85 mg
Sodium: 435 mg


Chef-Richard-headshot-REVISED-2014-300x241.jpgChef Richard Plasencia, executive chef at South Miami Hospital, joined Baptist Health South Florida in 2011 for the opening of West Kendall Baptist Hospital. He is an award-winning chef who is passionate about creating and sharing fresh local and seasonal recipes seasoned with flavor and good health. In addition to an interest in nutrition, Chef Richard has an extensive history in the hospitality industry. He served as Chef at Town Kitchen & Bar, Jake’s, the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables, the Shore Club, Por Fin, and the Conrad Hotel. He also was part of several teams that received the Mobile 4 and 5 star awards, as well as Cioppino being named to America’s Top 50 restaurants by Esquire Magazine 2005, during his time at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne. Chef Richard Plasencia graduated from Johnson & Wales University with a Bachelor of Science in culinary arts.

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