Give Your Thanksgiving Leftovers a Second Chance to Shine with Lentils

It’s that time of year again when families celebrate Thanksgiving with a food fest. A traditional roasted turkey, along with seasonal pumpkin and cranberries are no doubt a party favourite. After a night of family reunion, a full-fridge of leftovers may need some creativity to shine yet one more time. Here are some healthy ideas that will help you to enjoy your dishes after Thanksgiving dinner has passed.Gloria Tsang new3

Mince Up Your Turkey Leftovers

Turkey is definitely a healthy protein choice. Among all meat, turkey has the lowest fat and calories. For example, 3 oz. of chicken breast has 140 calories and 3.4 grams of fat, whereas 3 oz. of turkey breast has only 110 calories and merely 0.64 grams of fat. In general, dark meat has higher fat content than white meat but the difference is nothing to be concerned about. In addition to being a good protein, turkey is also high in iron and B vitamins. This is another reason to be excited for leftover turkey!

Most people are tired of eating leftover turkey slices. This year, why not mince up your turkey and make this delightful Hoisin Turkey & Lentil Lettuce Wrap? It sounds yummy just saying the recipe name out loud! Or simply top a simple and light salad with your leftovers, like in this Pulled Turkey & Lentil Salad.

Make Another Pumpkin Pie (A Healthy Version)

A common part of Thanksgiving dinner for many families is of course pumpkin pie. Pumpkin is naturally sweet and can easily be roasted to perfection with only olive oil, salt, and pepper. This variety of winter squash is high in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that actually fights the natural aging and busts wrinkles. It can even prevent diseases like certain cancers and heart disease.

In addition to this lentil infused pumpkin pie, deliberately roast a bigger batch of pumpkin this year and enjoy it as is or in a soup for instance, for the days to come after Thanksgiving. Here is a Creamy Pumpkin Pie Soup with Red Lentils!

Turn Your Cranberries Into a Compote

There cannot be turkey on Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce! Cranberries are listed as a top 20 high antioxidant food. Most people use cranberry sauce from a can or jar. It’s the norm but let’s go above and beyond this season. Make your own and completely wow your guests (or your host if you are the one bringing the cranberry sauce). It’s easy to make and tastes much better than anything you can get from a can.

Homemade cranberry sauce is simple. In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of fresh or frozen cranberries, ½ cup of brown or raw sugar, ½ cup of orange juice to boil, then stir. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 4 to 6 minutes or until berries begin to pop.

With the leftover cranberries, you can make this Cranberry Lentil Compote. This recipe works great on brie!