Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Get creative with turkey leftovers

Got plans for all of that leftover holiday bird? Turkey sandwiches, or Thanksgiving dinner replays for the next week?

Get creative and make a healthy recipe with it instead, said Denice Taylor, registered dietitian at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital.

“Part of the whole idea is being thrifty with our food, using our resources,” Denice said. “Sometimes leftovers will sit in the refrigerator after the holiday and we don’t use them, we end up throwing them away because we don’t have a plan.”

Denise suggests quickly processing turkey after the Thanksgiving meal, cutting it into cubes and putting it in zip locked baggies or containers. That way it can easily be thrown into recipes, such as the healthy turkey chili one below.

“This turkey chili recipe uses barley, which is not only economical but has been shown in several studies to help reduce cholesterol due to the fiber content,” Denise said.

Black beans, vegetables, and zero added salt all make this chili a nutritional winner. “We all know we need to reduce our sodium, and in this recipe the flavors all mingle and it makes for a very tasty chili. The salt’s not needed!” she said.

Here’s how to transform today’s caloric feast into tomorrow’s healthy dish:

Healthy Holiday Turkey Chili

Amounts for ~10 servings of one cup each
Tomatoes, canned, diced, undrained - 1 14.5 oz can
Salsa or tomato sauce -1 14.5 oz can
Chicken or turkey broth, fat free -14 oz
Quick barley, uncooked - 1 cup
Water - 3 cups
Chili powder - 1 tablespoon
Cumin - 1 teaspoon
Black beans, drained and rinsed - 1 15 oz can
Corn, whole kernel - 1 15 oz can
Turkey, cooked, cubed, bite-sized pieces - 3 cups
*Cheddar cheese, reduced fat or fat free - sprinkle as topping
*Sour cream, reduced fat or fat free - use as a topping
(*calories are extra to the nutrition information)

In a large saucepot, combine the first seven ingredients. Over high heat, bring it to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beans, corn, and turkey. Increase heat to high until the chili comes to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer another 5 minutes until barley is tender. If the chili is too thick, you can add a little more broth until desired consistency. Sprinkle a topping of cheddar cheese and sour cream.
Variations: Use chicken instead of turkey. Use defatted turkey broth from your holiday turkey for a rich flavor.

Nutrition per one cup serving:

270 calories, 4 grams fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 700 mg sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrate, 5 grams of fiber, 20 grams of protein

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