Avoiding Turkey Deja Vu

Every holiday seems to be be an excuse to feast.   With the various family celebrations, a bird is likely to turn up at least once… for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.  So here I would like to set the record straight and state unequivocally… birds get boring, and eating the same meal as leftovers is just uninspired!  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some fabulous turkey… my brother-in-law-in-law (sister-in-law’s husband) brought one amazing bird to a family celebration last year and it had a delicious pimento gravy.  So good!  I throw turkey into our meal rotation regularly but all-in-all, a big carved turkey can be just kind of blah – but the left-overs, ah, the left-overs – that’s where things get fun!

Thinking of all the yummy things you can whip up, I’m a little disappointed I didn’t raid my mom’s fridge before we left last night.   There’s the usual but comforting hot turkey sandwich.  We’ve baked up some tasty turkey enchiladas.  We’ve used the left-over turkey in nachos, quesadillas, stir-frys, stew, and turkey pot pie.  This might be a given, but pretty much anywhere you’d use some chicken, you can substitute your turkey (and depending on how big your bird was, you could substitute for days!)

One of my favourite post-feast turkey fixes is a turkey soup.  Here is a recipe for Mexican Turkey Soup found in the Winter 2012 issue of Glow Magazine.  I haven’t tried it… but it sounds delicious, and obviously can be tweaked to suit your tastes – I’d add more veggies and opt for a lower-sodium broth.

Mexican Turkey Soup
Glow |  Winter 2012
Makes approx. (8) 1-cup servings
Nutrients/serving:  216 calories, 9g fat (1g saturated fat), 441mg sodium (yikes!),
24g carbohydrates (5g firbre), 14g protein

Simply Food Tortilla Multigrain Chips with Flax Seeds (to garnish)
4 cups (1 l) Cambell’s Chicken Broth
2 tbsp (50 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stock, chopped
3 1/4 cups (796 ml can) diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp (1 ml) dried cumin
1/4 tsp (1 ml) dried coriander
1/8 tsp (.5 ml) chili powder
1 1/2 cups frozen peaches & cream corn
1 1/2 cups cooked, shredded turkey
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped cilantro
juice from 1 lime
1 avocado, pitted, skin removed, and chopped

Hat oil in a large pan and saute garlic, onion, carrot, and celery until they start to soften, about 3-4 minutes.  Add diced tomatoes, spices, and chicken broth, while stirring.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Add corn and turkey.  Continue to simmer for 4 minutes.  Divide among bowls and top with cilantro, lime juice, and avocado.  Serve with tortilla chips (about 5 per serving) on the side.

I can just imagine the aroma and the flavour – I might have to grab some turkey breast just to add this to our meal plan this week!  So that’s my take on avoiding turkey deja vu and making the most of your big bird.  How do you fight leftover boredom?

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