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How Do You Use Your Thanksgiving Leftovers?

Thanksgiving requires a lot of planning, and having leftovers can provide a challenge and a reward.

Thanksgiving requires a lot of planning, and having leftovers can provide a challenge and a reward. Try to create balanced menus based on MyPlate recommendations (www.choosemyplate.gov/). MyPlate encourages you to build your plate based on the five food groups: protein, vegetables, fruit, whole grains and dairy.

Thanksgiving tends to cover protein (turkey), grains (stuffing) and vegetables (potatoes, green beans) quite well, with a side of fruit (cranberries).

To keep the balance, leftovers can be paired with other foods. Here are some examples:

  • Turkey sandwiches - Add cheese for dairy, lettuce for veggies and whole-wheat bread for whole grains.
  • Soup - Bones from turkey and ham make great soup stock. Soup is filling and will help you feel satiated.
  • Cranberries - Cranberry sauce makes a tasty side dish to your turkey sandwich or an ingredient in your sandwich. Dried cranberries also go well in just about any salad.
  • One-dish meal - Layer stuffing, veggies, gravy and turkey in an oven-safe pan. Add a layer of mashed potatoes on top, then add cheese to create a makeshift shepherd’s pie.
  • Pie - If you baked sweet potatoes in cinnamon and served them with a little butter, you have the beginnings of a sweet potato pie.

Regardless of what you and your family consider traditional for this holiday, leftovers are going to happen. Remember to balance your diet based on MyPlate recommendations.

 

Arthur Turner, Community Nutrition Intern, NDSU Extension

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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