Quick Recipes and Easy

Leftovers – What Could Be Better?

With Thanksgiving a thing of the past for the year 2006, many of us already have several plastic containers, baggies and/or foil pouches in our refrigerators and freezers. I say “What could possibly be better?”

This year, due to surgeries and injuries, the three “top chefs” of the family chose to have this year’s meal catered. Somehow we were still doling out literally cartons of food to family members as they departed. Being one of the usual cooks, I took home some of those said leftovers with certain thoughts on what I’d be doing with them to make not only the rest of the weekend simpler, but quite probably most of the next week!

Here’s what I took home and my plans for all of the packages:
1 whole peppercorn crusted and roasted turkey breast

3 huge roasted yams (One will be used in some Sweet Potato-Banana Bread, one I will split and stuff with some turkey and cranberry relish and send for the men’s lunch)

1 quart fresh cranberry-orange relish

1 ham bone w/ about 1/2 pound of ham still attached (freezing to use in a traditional pea or lentil soup)

The first night for the three members of our household:
Just as they were packaged! Just slicing and reheating the turkey, one of the huge yams will serve all three of us and topping it with some of the cranberry relish. All I’m adding is a salad with romaine lettuce and tomatoes.

Second night:
Shredding about 3/4 of a pound of turkey and adding it to some store bought pasta sauce with mushrooms. Serving it over some linguine. Using some golden tasty apples and stuffing them with some of the relish and baking them as a side dish.

Third night:
Cutting the remaining turkey into chunks and stir-frying it with some bell peppers, onions, bean sprouts and sweet and sour sauce made with more of the cranberry relish. Serving it over brown rice and topping it with some toasted slivered almonds.

Fourth night:
Whatever’s left will be made into “must go soup”. This is an ever changing comfort food that my family has come to like. Depending on what’s really left in the refrigerator I simply place in the tidbits and add some sad looking vegetables, chicken stock and fresh herbs at the end. Serve it with some of my homemade award winning Sweet Potato Banana Bread. (recipe to follow)

By then it’s time to go replenish the ancient homestead. Then I will add those lentils or split peas to my shopping list and defrost the ham bone and make a nice huge pot of soup in the crockpot. Again, it will be served with the homemade quick bread.

With a small ingenuity, leftovers can be a wonderful thing! And now for your further enjoyment:

Sweet Potato-Banana Bread

Pre-heat oven to 350 and prepare two large loaf pans

2 C AP Flour
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 C mashed, roasted sweet potato or yam
1 C mashed banana (2-3)
1 C butter flavored shortening
1 C sugar
1 C packed brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla
1 tsp rum extract

In a medium bowl, stir together all dry ingredients and set aside. In another small bowl, combine the potato and banana, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well mixed. Beat in vanilla and rum extracts. Alternately add flour mixture and banana mixture. Beat well after each addition. Divide batter and spread evenly into prepared pans.

Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers come out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove and cool completely on wire racks. Makes 2 loaves (32 servings)

Carine Nadel has had many recipes published in major magazines and newspapers. She also likes to write about what she observes amongst her family, friends and co-workers. Check out more of Carine’s work on: Carine-whatscooking.blogspot.com Carine-whatscooking.blogspot.com or fabulously40.com fabulously40.com

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