Repurpose holiday leftovers

Repurpose holiday leftovers in 30 minutes

Repurpose holiday leftovers

Tasty turkey freezer meals make a quick supper on a busy weeknight

Repurpose holiday leftovers

Hi! Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving, the cooking and preparation, the big meal with family. It’s one of my favorite days of the year. What I don’t love is dealing with all the leftovers and unpacking the fridge and cleaning up. ugh. So, as I was procrastinating on the couch Friday I decided to give myself a time limit, just for fun. (I know, that’s a sad kind of fun) My goal, repurpose holiday leftovers in 30 minutes.

Already I knew that I wanted to pack freezer meals. I made a bunch last year for my son and he just loved them! I usually made a soup as well. That will be where I start.

Okay, ready set go!

It was 2:17pm precisely, and I started to unload the tupperware and questionable packs of partially used ingredients from the fridge. First step was to take a survey of what was there. Followed by lining up the leftover dishes and opening them all up. I laid out 4 freezer boxes to make my meals.

Freezer meals a packin’

Start layering the turkey slices as that is the important protein. Next, the mashed potatoes as that is one of TQ’s favorites and he’d be bummed if that wasn’t there. In an effort to make them slightly different I changed up the next few ingredients. A couple of the boxes got GF stuffing and a couple got veggie tots. (TQ said about the tots “these are the bomb Mom! and I can eat them all day!”) Side note: post about the veggie tots coming soon. Every box got some green beans – got have our green veg right!

Repurpose holiday leftovers

Leftover turkey meals ready

Final touches

I purposely layered the turkey in a corner, leaving a little space for the all important cranberry sauce. This is TQ’s most favorite part of Thanksgiving! Every year I ask him what he’d like and this is the first thing out of his mouth. Surprisingly, this heats up really well! I think it’s also a good way to keep the turkey moist when reheating. I do recommend it! Leftover gravy is carefully layered in a little crater I made with a spoon in the potatoes. I also drizzled gravy on the stuffing to keep that moist as well. The final touch is a sprinkling of leftover green herbs for a nice pop of color and freshness. I used green onion tops and parsley. Voila! Finished.

Close up the lids, label and make room in the freezer.

turkey freezer meals

Meals ready for freezer

Because everything was out, I just went ahead and put the turkey in a big stock pot with the extra leftover veggies, herbs, broth and gravy. Turkey soup ready to simmer away. Dinner for later this week? Or perhaps another freezer ready meal.

Mark the time 2:52pm! Woohoo – Just a little over my 30 minute goal but I’m happy with my cleared out reorganized fridge…. Can’t say so much for the dirty dishes… sigh.

Pile O' dishes now waiting

Pile O’ dishes now waiting

Repurpose holiday leftovers

Looks yummy right!


Pesto chicken topped salad

Pesto Chicken 3-Ways

Pesto chicken topped salad

Pesto chicken topped salad

Pesto chicken 3-ways, maybe 4 or 5 or 6……

Hi everyone! I should have named this post herb pesto 3-ways and more. Pesto is so flavorful and versatile, I’m sure you will find other ways to use the leftovers. Actually, I made and egg white omelette this morning and dabbed on a teaspoon – yum! Interestingly, my uber picky eater eats pesto. I certainly won’t complain because I can get good mileage out of a batch and it’s very healthy! But, I find it curious that she will eat pesto, but not something simple as corn…. sigh. Onward!

We grow a lot of herbs and use those those all season in salads and all of my cooking. I’ve convinced the kids that herbs are essential  for making a dish look good and taste good. In addition, herbs are really healthy! I count them as vegetable in our house.

Even my picky eater will eat this - separate, of course

Even my picky eater will eat this – separate, of course

You mentioned healthy?

As mentioned, I treat herbs as a veggie. They are packed with nutritional value. Basil is a good source of vitamin A, C and K and has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Cilantro has much of the same vitamins but also boosts a few more minerals and helps lower bad cholesterol. Fresh oregano is a good source of minerals like potassium, iron and calcium is great for digestive health. Parsley is considered a “super food”. It packs a punch with vitamins A, C and K and minerals iron, magnesium, and potassium like the others but also supports kidney, urinary tract health and fights cancer. Most herbs are good sources of fiber and are low in calories, anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense. Pesto sauce is concentrating all those great properties into a meal.

 What’s in the pesto?

My pesto recipe is really a basic pesto recipe. I do not add garlic as that is not acceptable for TQ’s fructose malabsorption. Honestly, I don’t miss it. But, if you are a garlic fan, then certainly add a clove or two. Sometimes, I use garlic flavored olive oil to get that hint of garlic and it is quite tasty.  Otherwise, the key players are the 3 cup of freshly packed herbs. The herbs I use most are basil (traditional), parsley, cilantro, and oregano. My daughter is especially a big oregano fan. I also use 3-4 green onion tops. I think that rounds out the flavor and since we don’t use garlic it adds a little kick.

This recipe couldn’t be any simpler. I used my blender to pack in the herbs, olive oil, parmesan, juice of half of a lemon and salt and pepper to taste. I used 1/4 cup of pine nuts, but before you add them to the blender toast them in a pan for a few minutes. Place the pine nuts to a dry skillet over medium heat until they are fragrant,  toasty and slightly brown, Turn off the heat once they start browning, so they don’t burn. Add them to the blender. Blend all of the ingredients, start with a pulse of two to incorporate. Once blended, you are left with a lusciously beautiful green sauce that can be use in endless ways.

Luscious, vitamin packed pretty herb pesto

Luscious, vitamin packed pretty herb pesto

Let’s talk versatility…

I used about 3/4 cup of the prepared pesto to a zip bag along with 1 pound of chicken tenders. The chicken marinated in the bag (in the fridge) for several hours.  Make the pesto the night before and prep the chicken, and marinate so it will be ready when you get home in the evening. I cooked a large batch of chicken for leftovers possibilities. Our first evening meal was gluten free pasta tossed with pesto and the marinated chicken.

Pesto chicken tossed with pasta

Pesto chicken tossed with pasta

I made myself a salad topped with the chicken and drizzled a little touch of pesto as my dressing along with a few crumbles of goat cheese which I highly recommend. Our second meal included make your own sandwiches. Toppings included grilled red pepper, green lettuce, goat cheese and little extra pesto for the bread. They can be eaten warm or cold. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal!

Pesto chicken and veggie sandwich

Pesto chicken and veggie sandwich

I had mentioned topping my egg whites with the pesto but I also think this would be a really delicious topped on cubes of baked tofu, or combined to make a pesto tofu salad or wrap. I may try that and report back. It could be spread as a condiment on any sandwich veggie, turkey or grilled cheese. What ideas do you have? What should I do with my next batch?

Pesto chicken pasta artfully designed by my son :)

Pesto chicken pasta artfully designed by my son 🙂

Herb Pesto - low FODMAP style
Serves 16
Luscious, vitamin packed, pretty herb pesto versatile in many ways from a marinade for chicken, pasta sauce or topping for potatoes and veggies.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
92 calories
3 g
2 g
9 g
2 g
1 g
24 g
186 g
0 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
24g
Servings
16
Amount Per Serving
Calories 92
Calories from Fat 78
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 1g
7%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 2mg
1%
Sodium 186mg
8%
Total Carbohydrates 3g
1%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
21%
Calcium
6%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups Fresh herbs (basil, parsley,cilantro, oregano, chervil)
  2. 1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1/4 cup Pine nuts - toasted
  4. 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  5. 3-4 Green onion tops
  6. 2 TB fresh lemon juice (half of a lemon)
  7. 1 tsp Salt (or to taste)
  8. Pepper to taste
  9. Optional garlic clove - but not low FODMAP
Instructions
  1. Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  2. Place herbs, lemon juice, green onions (and garlic, if using) in bowl of food processor or blender.
  3. Pulse a few times and scrape the sides with a spatula to make sure all is blending.
  4. Add parmesan cheese and pine nuts, pulse a few more times.
  5. Add olive oil in slow stream to allow sauce to emulsify.
  6. Enjoy endless ways: Marinate chicken or tofu, toss in pasta, serve on eggs, over potato, mix in veggies, serve on sandwiches, top on fish or seafood.......
Notes
  1. Gluten free
  2. Low FODMAP
  3. Low sugar
beta
calories
92
fat
9g
protein
2g
carbs
3g
more
karinakappelonline.com http://karinakappelonline.com/

Scrumptious and quick to make chicken lettuce wrap

Scrumptious lettuce wraps (GF)

Scrumptious and quick to make chicken lettuce wrap

Scrumptious and quick to make chicken lettuce wrap

Hi everyone! This quick and healthy recipe is a family favorite. Not only that, it really is so versatile for so many, low fat, low carb, naturally gluten free, nutritious and safe for fructose malabsorption – a winner. These are my scrumptious chicken lettuce wraps. Mamas like me won’t even feel guilty over indulging on this dinner! The best part, you can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less.

Let’s get started

I think many of these ingredients are pantry staples. At least, if you are like me, and your family loves this meal, you’ll have these on hand so you can whip up a batch in a pinch. The pantry items are sesame oil, tamari (gluten free soy sauce), rice wine vinegar, a can of water chestnuts and rice vermicelli (optional). Next, chop the other ingredients uniformly and fairly small. That included 4-5 green onion tops, a handful of fresh cilantro (or parsley), 1/2 red pepper (orange or yellow). Freshly grated ginger and a little kimchi (totally optional) rounds out the ingredients.

Prepping the chicken lettuce wrap ingredients

Prepping the chicken lettuce wrap ingredients

Let’s get cooking!

Basically, everything gets thrown into a large saute pan. Begin by heating up a tablespoon of sesame oil until it becomes fragrant. Add the ground chicken, stirring often to break up the pieces and cook until almost all the pink is gone. Next, add the ginger, give it a stir. Add the water chestnuts and red pepper next and allow those the soften a bit. Keep the contents moving and drizzle in the tamari and rice wine vinegar. Toss the cilantro in at the end to keep its nice green color and freshness.

Chicken filling quick to make

Chicken filling quick to make

Serve spoonful on open butter lettuce leaves, fold and enjoy!

Serve spoonful on open butter lettuce leaves, fold and enjoy!

Let’s chat about options

Normally, lettuce wraps would have a hoisin sauce, which is a sticky and sweet/tangy sauce that accompanies many Chinese dishes. Hoisin sauce is not a safe product for our family’s food allergies so it has been avoided in this recipe. I mentioned rice vermicelli. My son loves rice noodles in his wraps so I do soak a handful in boiling water while the chicken is cooking. Personally, I like to add a bit of kimchi to the top of mine for a nice punch of heat and tang. With all of the news lately about adding fermented foods to our diet, this is an easy way to do so!

You said this was healthy?

Nutritionally speaking this is a one pot wonder! I add the red pepper for the added vitamin C, B6 and magnesium.  And the cilantro is rich in vitamin A and antioxidants. The butter lettuce has a good supply of your day’s vitamin K. In addition, this recipe is a good source of lean protein. Healthy all around.

Lettuce wraps with rice vermicelli

Lettuce wraps with rice vermicelli

Healthy, light and delicious lettuce wraps

Healthy, light and delicious lettuce wraps

Addicting chicken lettuce wraps
Serves 4
This quick and healthy recipe is a family favorite. Not only that, it really is so versatile for so many, low fat, low carb, naturally gluten free, nutritious and safe for fructose malabsorption - a winner.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
274 calories
9 g
153 g
13 g
30 g
3 g
247 g
610 g
3 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
247g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 274
Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
20%
Saturated Fat 3g
16%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 153mg
51%
Sodium 610mg
25%
Total Carbohydrates 9g
3%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 3g
Protein 30g
Vitamin A
43%
Vitamin C
49%
Calcium
4%
Iron
15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 Tb Sesame oil
  2. 1 lb Ground chicken thigh
  3. 1 8 oz can Water chestnuts
  4. 4-5 Green onion tops
  5. 2 Tb Low sodium tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  6. 1 Tb Rice wine vinegar
  7. 1 Tb Fresh ginger, finely grated
  8. 1-2 Tb Fresh cilantro
  9. 1/2 cup Red bell pepper finely minced
  10. 1 head Boston leaf lettuce
  11. Optional ingredients: Kimchi and mung bean noodle (or rice vermicelli), siracha
Instructions
  1. Heat sesame oil in a saucepan over medium high heat.
  2. Add ground chicken and cook until almost browned, about 3-5 minutes, breaking up chunks of chicken as it cooks.
  3. Stir in finely ground fresh ginger.
  4. Stir in water chestnuts, red pepper and green onions until tender, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add tamari sauce, rice wine vinegar and toss in cilantro at end. Taste and adjust any seasonings.
  6. To serve, spoon the chicken mixture onto the center of a Boston bib lettuce leaf, fold and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Gluten free
  2. Dairy free
  3. Low fat
  4. Low Carb
beta
calories
274
fat
13g
protein
30g
carbs
9g
more
karinakappelonline.com http://karinakappelonline.com/