This Thanksgiving, I was more than thankful for the delicious, homemade spread my fiance, his mom, and I cooked up. Our local, free-range turkey, organic sweet potato casserole, fresh cranberry and orange relish, organic stuffing, gluten-free pies for the celiacs in the fam, etc. all came out even tastier than we had hoped. But as in most houses, there were lotsa leftovers, which we were perfectly happy to continue feasting on for daaaays as lunch and dinner -- and in some cases, even breakfast! Fast forward to today -- and we are most definitely, 100 percent turkey-ed out!
You probably are too. And hence why it's the perfect time to explore fresh meal ideas that are 180 degrees from Thanksgiving. Because as grateful as we are for them, we could all use a break from our leftovers!
Asian - A couple of days after Thanksgiving, I started craving anything stir-fried and best cooked in a wok! Nothing like some Far East flavors to mix it up after gorging yourself on all-American cooking. Go-to recipe: Orange Chicken Stir-Fry.
Make breakfast for dinner - Sure, indulgent breakfasts can be a part of Thanksgiving weekend, but typically the holiday revolves around dinner ... and dinner foods. Not breakfast for dinner, which would make a great post-Turkey Day meal. Go-to recipe: Personal Omelets, Potatoes Lyonnaise, Bacon & Sausage.
Mexican - When my fiance and I decided to go out on Saturday night with my soon-to-be brother-in-law and his girlfriend, my #1 pick for the restaurant was a Tex-Mex joint, because well, guac, salsa, and a shrimp burrito are nothing like turkey! But oh so yum. Go-to recipe: Cilantro-Lime Chicken (or Shrimp) Fajitas With Grilled Onions.
Go vegetarian - We love to make fun of vegetarians and vegans eating fake turkey (or no turkey!) on Thanksgiving, but after we've had our fill of the bird, it's easy to envision yourself following in their footsteps and swearing off of ALL meat for a while! So why not try a meatless Monday (or Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.) dinner? Go-to recipe: Quinoa Chili.
Mangia Italiano ... or better yet, PIZZA! - Sure, some families probably serve pasta at their Thanksgiving dinner, but who eats pizza on Turkey Day?! That's why now is the time to make an awesome one. And here's a fab, easy recipe for a Classic Margherita Pizza from TheKitchn.com ...
1 pound pizza dough, storebought or homemade
1 pound (2 large) ripe summer tomatoes or 1 16-oz can whole or diced tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup loosely packed basil, sliced into ribbons
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
Salt and pepper
- Heat the oven to 550°F or as hot as it can go. Place a baking stone or baking sheet in the oven as it heats.
- Divide the dough in half and shape each half into 10" rounds. Set aside.
- Cut the tomatoes into wedges and trim away the stem area. Gently squeeze the wedges over a bowl to remove the excess juices and seeds. Combine the tomatoes with the garlic and half of the basil in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until the tomatoes break down into a sauce, scraping down the sides as needed. If desired, strain to make a thicker sauce.
- Spread a light layer of the sauce over one of the rounds of pizza. Top with half of the slices of mozzarella. Leave some space between the pieces of mozzarella.
- Transfer the pizzas to the preheated baking stone or baking sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes—exact cooking time will vary depending on your oven temperature. Pizzas are finished when the crust is deep brown with charred spots and the cheese is bubbling.
- Top and bake the second pizza. Sprinkle each pizza with basil as it comes out of the oven. Let them cool briefly before slicing and serving.
What non-Thanksgiving leftover meals will you be eating this week?
Image via naotakem/Flickr