Recipe, Whole 30

3 Healthy Ways to Remix your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving is the meal that keeps on giving, am I right?!  I’m pretty sure I have enough leftovers in my fridge right now to feed my family for a whole week.  And, y’all, as a working mom, leftovers are my jam, but I can only eat Thanksgiving dinner so many times! If you are like me and need to mix things up, I have a few ideas on how you can use what you have on hand in new, healthy ways:  

TURKEY TACO BOWLS

Use your leftover Thanksgiving turkey meat to make these delicious Whole 30 compliant taco bowls.  Filled with cauliflower rice, lettuce and your favorite toppings, no one will be thinking “leftovers”!  

You’ll need:

1-2 Cups of Chopped Leftover Turkey

Taco Seasoning (Make your own — {2 T chili powder, 2 tsps of each: onion powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, oregano + 1 tsp sea salt}

Cauliflower Rice (I always use frozen that I steam in the microwave.  If I have it on hand, I’ll squeeze some lime juice and add some fresh cilantro.)

Extras (get creative and add what you like): 

Shredded lettuce or spinach 

Salsa (Frontera Roasted Tomato is my favorite store bought salsa!)  

Guacamole 

W30 Compliant Ranch…like Tessemae’s (which is what I had on hand today!) 

Black Olives

Cilantro

Directions: 

  1. Season your turkey: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, add turkey and stir to coat with olive oil.  Pour 1-2 teaspoons of the taco seasoning over the turkey.  Allow to heat through. 
  2. Build your bowl: Start with cauliflower rice.  Add turkey next. Then top with any extras: lettuce, salsa, guacamole, ranch… whatever you have on hand!  

TURKEY AVOCADO SALAD

Here’s a spin on my absolute favorite chicken salad!  Use your leftover Thanksgiving turkey meat and cranberries in this fast and delicious salad that can be eaten alone or on top of a salad!  Throw some leftover roasted veggies on the side and it’s a full meal! This is a perfect post-Thanksgiving lunch as it’s light and a change of flavors from yesterday’s big meal.  

You’ll Need:

1-2 cups chopped turkey

1 small avocado, mashed

1 small granny smith apple, unpeeled and chopped into bite size pieces

1/2 cup dried cranberries OR 1/4 cup cranberry sauce (or sub sliced red grapes)

1/2 cup toasted pecans (optional… I had these leftover from my Thanksgiving cooking) 

1/2 tsp curry powder (or any seasoning that you like) 

Salt and pepper to taste.

Directions: 

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix.  Eat immediately.  This can be made ahead of time by squeezing lime juice over the avocado.  

TURKEY BONE BROTH

If you haven’t made your own bone broth yet, you haven’t lived. Ok that may be a little dramatic, but seriously, making your own broth is the best! It’s super easy, makes your house smell amazing and allows you to control the salt content and additives. Freeze it in small batches and pull out for soups throughout the winter!  I will be making mine today following Kettle and Fire’s recipe: https://blog.kettleandfire.com/turkey-bone-broth-recipe/

What are your go-to recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers?  I’d love to hear your ideas!  

Recipe, Whole 30

Stuffing or Dressing?

I was born and raised in the South where we eat dressing on Thanksgiving. Mike grew up in Maryland eating stuffing.

So what’s the difference? Well, technically the difference is how they’re cooked. Stuffing is a mixture used to stuff the turkey before cooking. Whereas dressing, comprised of similar ingredients, is cooked in a pan outside of the turkey. These days the two terms are used interchangeably depending on where you live.

Regardless of which side you’re on, we can all agree that a Thanksgiving menu isn’t complete without it.  Here’s my healthy spin on stuffing/dressing made with sausage, frozen riced cauliflower (hello easy!), apples and seasoned with fresh herbs.

Cauliflower and Sausage Stuffing/Dressing

Ingredients:

-2 pounds sweet or spicy Italian sausage, casings removed OR breakfast sausage*

-8 cups of riced cauliflower (2 bags of frozen, riced cauliflower)*

-2 small yellow onions, chopped

-1 cup celery, chopped

-2 granny smith apples, unpeeled and chopped

-2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

-1 tablespoon sea salt

-1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

-2 eggs, whisked

-1/2 cup dried cranberries

-1/2-1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300.

2. Brown sausage in a pan.

3. Remove sausage from the pan and add onions, celery and apples. Cook until tender.

4. Add sausage back into pan with the apple mixture. Stir in cauliflower and allow to heat through.

5. Season with salt, pepper, and parsley.

6. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Stir in cranberries. Next stir eggs in and mix well.

7. Pour mixture into casserole dish.

8. Top with chopped pecans if desired.

9. Bake at 300 for 30 minutes or until set. Keep an eye on the pecans on top to be sure they don’t burn.

Notes:

*I tested the recipe using breakfast sausage from Whole Foods. This is not Whole 30 compliant. This recipe can be made W30 compliant by using ground pork in place of the sausage or making your own sausage.

*Fresh cauliflower can be used in place of frozen. Rice or chop into bite sized pieces.

Whole 30

EATING YOUR WAY THROUGH THANKSGIVING DAY: A HOW TO GUIDE FOR AVOIDING A FOOD COMA

1,875.  

That’s how many calories are on the typical Thanksgiving Day dinner plate.  

Sounds like a lot, right?   Well, it adds up fast when your menu consists of turkey, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese and buttered dinner rolls.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to NOT eat the things you love; and I definitely don’t want you to count calories.  I just want to provide some perspective and food for thought for you to have on your radar as we head into the holiday season.  Here are my go-to tips for fully enjoying your Thanksgiving without having to ride out an ultra uncomfortable food coma!

  1.  Eat Breakfast.  Going into a Thanksgiving feast starving never ends well.  Eating an early morning meal of protein and healthy fat will help you to feel satiated and less likely to over consume throughout the day.  
  2. Get a workout in before the meal.  Combined with a healthy breakfast, exercise sets your metabolism for the day and will help you make better food choices.  Hit up your local Turkey Trot or take a brisk walk.  If you’re in the Lake Norman area, we will offer several Thanksgiving Day workout options at CrossFit Cornelius and C2 FHIT.  I’d love for you to join us!  
  3. Drink lots of water before and during your Thanksgiving meal.  Water helps your stomach stay full to avoid overeating and assists the gut in digestion.  Soft drinks and sweet tea just add unnecessary sugar and calories to your meal. 
  4. Use a smaller plate.  Swap out that huge dinner plate for a smaller one.   You’ll still fill it with the food you want, but portion sizes will be more appropriate.
  5. Be mindful as you fill your plate.  Start by putting one to two palm sized portions of turkey in the middle of your plate.  With the remaining space, fill half to three-quarters with colorful vegetables.  Then add on the side items that you consider to be your favorites or ones that you only have on holidays.  Keep serving sizes small as you really only need a few bites to feel satisfied.  
  6. Decide if it’s really worth it.  Just because it’s on the table doesn’t mean you have to eat it.  As you are moving through the buffet line, ask yourself, is this food really worth it?  My mom’s homemade sweet potato casserole?  Heck yea! Canned cranberry sauce?  No thank you.  
  7. Eat slowly.  Engage in conversation.  Enjoy the moment.  Once your plate is empty, wait a minimum of ten minutes before returning for a second helping.  This gives your brain and gut a chance to communicate to let you know just how full your stomach actually is.  
  8. Leave the table when you are finished eating.  Physically removing yourself will keep you from snacking after the meal and allow your brain and gut time to do their thing and send necessary satiety and satiation signals.  
  9. Practice portion control with desserts.  Thanksgiving is definitely one of those days when you should exercise your food freedom and enjoy a dessert that you love.  Here’s the deal:  There is no need to eat all five of the desserts being served.  Even if they are small portions.   You are more likely to over consume if you serve yourself “a little” of each dessert.  It’s best to choose one that you really want, savor every bite and then call it quits for the day! 
  10.  If you end up over indulging and in a serious food coma, don’t panic; but also don’t let it lead you down a slippery slope of unhealthy eating habits for days to come.  Ride it out, pull it together and get back on track the next day!  Give me a call if you need some tough love to get through it.