Healthy and Sane

Thanksgiving leftovers get a new life

November 27th, 2009 · 20 Comments · Asian, breakfast, Cooking Light, dessert, Ellie Krieger, oats, soups, turkey

I mentioned that one of my Thanksgiving day “strategies” was to keep it to just one day of indulgences, which means no leftovers. Well, this wasn’t 100% true. White meat turkey and cranberry sauce I consider perfectly healthy eats, so today, each of them got to star in their own separate dish.


Banana oatmeal with PB&J + coffee


The “J” was actually cranberry sauce from last night’s Thanksgiving dinner. I could really taste the dried cherries in it today. Delicious!!



For dinner, the turkey leftovers were transformed into Asian wontons, based on the tip from page 74 of the November 2009 Cooking Light issue. I made a mixture of minced turkey, ginger, mushrooms and soy sauce, then Adam stuffed them in Nasoya wonton skins and boiled them in some chicken broth for a few minutes. They were really delicious with TJ’s gyoza sauce (I had about 4 or 5)!


We took the Asian theme a little further and decided to make some hot and sour soup. I followed this recipe from, omitting the pork, the dry lili buds (what are these anyway?) and scallions, used dehydrated black trumpet mushrooms instead of black fungus, 2 cups of chicken broth and 4 cups of water, and a little more rice vinegar than the recipe called for (based on reviewers’ suggestions). I also finished it with 1 teaspoon of chili oil for the whole batch.


This picture doesn’t look like much, but I really felt like I was in a Chinese restaurant, except I’m sure this was way healthier! It tasted very authentic.  The whole meal really hit the spot and took care of my Asian food craving that I didn’t even know I had. SO good! I can’t wait to have it again! 😀



Tonight’s dessert was not Turkey day inspired, but is my CEiMB entry for the week. This week we were allowed to pick our own Ellie Krieger recipe to feature, and I decided to finally make this recipe for cherry almond chocolate clusters my sister told me about nearly a year ago! Chocolate, roasted almonds and dried cherries are probably my 3 favorite things in the world, so I can’t believe it actually took me this long to make these. I’m glad I did, because both Adam and I thought they were incredible and I think will be a great treat to have around when that sweet tooth kicks into high gear.


The key is to definitely use high quality chocolate (I used a mixture of organic Green & Black’s espresso chocolate and Scharffen Berger semisweet chocolate) and I guarantee you’ll fall in love. They’re even pretty healthy (dark chocolate has lots of antioxidants!), as long as you can stop at just 1 😉 I’ve been a good girl so far.

I’m loving this super long weekend! What are your favorite ways to enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers? I’m thinking there is a turkey sandwich and maybe cranberry sauce muffins in my future :)

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20 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Kelly

    Although I’ve never tried it, I am so curious about a recipe that uses turkey and stuffing in an egg roll. Yum! For me it helps that I travel by plane to Thanksgiving so bringing leftovers home is just not feasible.

  • #2 - Kerstin

    Happy Thanksgiving! Your turkey stuffed wontons sound so tasty – what a perfect way to enjoy leftovers!

    My favorite thing to do is have pumpkin pie for breakfast :)

  • #3 - katie

    your thanksgiving looks awesome! today i enjoyed a wrap with turkey, and a salad with turkey! i think it def be great in a sandwich too

  • #4 - Lauren

    Very creative use of leftover Thanksgiving foods! The wontons look so professional, and the cranberry sauce on oats must have tasted amazing.

    The chocolate almond cherry clusters look delicious as well… I might have to put those on my list.

    My favorite way to enjoy T-Giving leftovers is definitely piled onto a “Gobbler” sandwich. Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes… anything that will fit between two slices of bread ;). Unfortunately, we didn’t bring any leftovers back to Boston from CT, so John and I are thinking of making our own scaled-down version of the holiday spread JUST for the leftovers!

  • #5 - MelissaNibbles

    The won tons look delicious! I like how you made healthy and creative leftovers. YUM!

  • #6 - Estela @ Weekly Bite

    I love the turkey wonton idea! I also LOVE expresso chocolate!! YUM!

  • #7 - sister inna

    yaay you made the clusters 😀
    your ‘chinese’ looks delish . i would have probably tried to fry up those dumblings 😉 not a healthy way to go eh?

  • #8 - Madeline @ GreensandJeans

    My friend Margaret and I made Thanksgiving empanadas one year with leftovers. Best. Idea. Ever.

  • #9 - chrysta

    Looks great! I love making the layered turkey day bowl! ha…basically just all the leftovers…piled up in a bowl and heated. Delicious mash of thanksgiving day goodness=)

  • #10 - Melissa S.

    i think you did a great job w/ transforming the leftovers!!! i totally want that dinner!

  • #11 - Kelly

    I really want to try those dumplings, they look delicious! I definitely don’t mind a few healthy leftovers.

  • #12 - Bridget

    Those wontons are a fabulous ides for leftovers!!! I had a TON of leftover turkey from my friend’s Thanksgiving, and now is in the freezer hanging out until I decide to make a big pot of veggie/turkey chili :) I think those dumplings sound great anytime of year!

  • #13 - Lele

    Mmm I had that almond/chocolate/cherry stuff when I went to Ellie Krieger’s book signing (!) It is seriously excellent.

  • #14 - Emily

    I LOVEEEE your asian wonton transformation! I made an egg white omelet this morning with our leftover turkey! Delicious!

  • #15 - Jenna

    i love leftovers! and those desserts look incredible!

  • #16 - Welcome back dinner

    […] Thanksgiving leftovers get a new life […]

  • #17 - Eve

    Those clusters look amazing!! I’m definitely going to make them. I also had chipotle this weekend, it was my first time, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I got a salad topped with black beans, corn, peppers/onions, grilled chicken, salsa and guacamole – it was so yummy! I actually don’t have any leftovers since we chose not to take any with us! Hard to believe. Looks like you made a nice sandwich out of yours.

  • #18 - Pretty food tastes better

    […] Thanksgiving leftovers get a new life […]

  • #19 - Lara (Thinspired)

    Such a great way to use turkey leftovers! My family makes this Chinese soup pronounced “joke”–basically rice + turkey. It’s delicious with soy sauce, cilantro, and white pepper!

  • #20 - Happy Thanksgiving!! | Healthy and Sane

    […] turkey was turned into fantastic (and healthy!) Chinese dumplings the next day! I should have stocked up on wonton wrappers… it’s definitely a great way to give […]