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I used to hate leftovers. They would sit in containers at the back of the fridge, and the moment I remembered to move them to the freezer I would notice the moldy friends growing on them.

Eating a food more than once is not what bothers me, it is the leftovers that sit or that I don’t know what to do with that bothers me. Because I also hate throwing away food, I began to PLAN for my leftovers and am sharing some ideas below. Some are in honor of Thanksgiving, which hopefully you don’t still have in your fridge.

Uses for Leftover Turkey(or CHICKEN)

  1. Broccoli Rice Cheesy Turkey Casserole– Mix some rice with some chopped broccoli and chopped turkey, add some shredded cheese and a can o’ cream of mushroom and bake for a half hour. Not precise enough? Click the title for a recipe.
  2. Basil Pesto Turkey Sandwiches Favorite! Take two slices of sourdough or other crusty bread, spread some pesto and provolone or mozzerella, and place some sliced turkey on top. Toast and eat. Excellent alone or with soup & salad at home! Adapted from Emeril’s recipe on ABC a few years back.
  3. Risotto Style Rice and TurkeySaw a version of this on Lidia’s italy and have made it several times. It uses your old root veggies from the fridge and chunks of meat(turkey, chicken thighs or breasts, etc) as well as leftover chicken or turkey broth. Click for My version.Click for Lidia’s version.

Uses for Leftover Cranberry Sauce

  • Use as jam on toast with cream cheese
  • Mix with plain oatmeal for a delightful breakfast
  • Spread on leftover turkey, add slice of jack cheese, greens, and crusty bread for a yummy sandwich
  • Make Cranberry Swirl Muffins-my recipe

Uses for Leftover Chicken (or Turkey)

  • Broccoli Rice Cheesy Chicken Casserole-see above under “Turkey”
  • Risotto Style Rice and Chicken-see above under “Turkey”
  • Chicken Salad Sandwiches-shred leftover chicken and add your favorite ingredients-a little mayo or yogurt, italian dressing or green salsa, and eat on toasted bread
  • Quick Chicken Quesadillas- Place leftover shredded chicken on a tortilla with some cheese. Place a second tortilla on top and grill or microwave until cheese melts. My one year old loves this!

Uses for Leftover Mashed Potatoes

  • Epoxy-like adhesive when dried. Really.
  • You have leftover mashed potatoes? I’ve never had to encounter this problem, so I don’t have any ideas.

Uses for Leftover RICE

  • Broccoli Rice Cheesy Chicken Casserole-see above under “Turkey”
  • Vegetable Stir Fry- Heat 2 T EVOO in a large skillet. Dump about 2 cups rice into the skillet with some onion & garlic (fresh or powder) and heat through. Add veggies of your choice (I usually only have time for a frozen bag of veggies, but chopped zucchini, carrots, broccoli, or whatever you have on hand will work) and saute until cooked. Add soy sauce or other seasonings to taste.

Enjoy! Add your ideas by posting a comment!