It’s a well-known time of year for delicious foods and capitalizing on equally delicious leftovers. But most people are looking to be a little more healthy around the big traditional meals, and that’s where utilizing those leftovers becomes difficult. Luckily, turkey is a great source of protein. In fact, a 4 oz. serving has around 32g, and that translates into a lot of amino acids that your body can use (65% of your daily need)! Turkey also includes niacin which helps process fats and vitamin B6 to stabilize blood sugar.
With the recommended daily amount in mind, let’s carve into some of these holiday turkey leftover recipes that give you even more of a nutritious health boost!
- Turkey Turnovers (with Apricots and Almonds)
- Ingredients:½ cup long-grain white rice, ½ cup sliced almonds, 1 tbsp olive oil, large onion (chopped), 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 2 cups leftover turkey (shredded), ½ cup dried apricots (sliced), ½ tsp orange zest, ½ cup cilantro, 2 refrigerated rolled pie crusts, large egg
- Directions: Cook the rice according to package directions. At the same time, roast almonds on a baking sheet until golden brown. Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium heat with onion, salt, and cinnamon. Add the rice, turkey, apricots, and zest after 10 minutes. Fold in the cilantro and almonds. While cooking, roll out pie crusts to 12 inches, and cut into 4 wedges. In a small bowl, beat the egg. Then divide the cooked turkey mixture into the wedges. Brush the edge of the dough with the egg and press the edges together with a fork. Cook on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
- Benefit: Apricots are high in antioxidants and fiber as well as beneficial for heart health, skin health, eye health, and weight loss. Almonds lower bad cholesterol, build strong bones and teeth, and nourish the brain and nervous system.
- Curried Turkey Stew (with Cauliflower)
- Ingredients: ½ head cauliflower (florets), 5 cloves chopped garlic, 1-1/2 tbsp curry powder, 1 cup low-fat salt-free marinara, 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, 1 lb turkey (sliced thin), Nu-Salt, lime juice (from 1 lime), 1 bunch watercress, ½ cup 0% Fage Greek yogurt
- Directions: Heat cauliflower florets on medium-high in a large soup pot with salt until browned. Then add the garlic and curry powder until fragrant. Add marinara and broth until it simmers, before turning heat down. Season and stir in the turkey. Squirt in the lime juice. Then serve with a dollop of yogurt and watercress on top.
- Benefit: Cauliflower and watercress are tasty, decadent additions that pack a healthy punch for weight loss and heart health to digestion and pregnancy.
These recipes are just the tipping point for how to enjoy turkey leftovers and stay healthy this holiday season. Add in your own unique twists and experiment with flavors you enjoy.
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