Many of us use our Thanksgiving Day leftovers to make turkey sandwiches. But it doesn't have to be the only option. In the current issue of Real Simple magazine, food editor Jane Kirby shows readers that you can make a wide variety of meals with your leftovers, including pizza.
Kirby visits The Early Show the day after Thanksgiving with her favorite leftover recipes.
Spicy Tortilla Soup
From Real Simple, August 2002
1 9-ounce package soft corn tortillas
2 32-ounce boxes or cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 cup corn
2 medium jalapenos, sliced
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
8 ounces crumbled Feta cheese, queso blanco, or other fresh white cheese
Heat oven to 350º F. Cut the tortillas into 1/2-inch strips. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake 8 to 10 minutes or until crispy.
In a large saucepan, simmer the chicken broth and the carcass for 20 minutes or until the remaining meat falls easily from the bones. Strain the broth through a colander into another saucepan. When the bones are cool enough to handle, pick off any meat and add it to the broth. Stir in the red onion, tomatoes, corn, jalapenos, and lime juice. Heat about 5 minutes. Divide the tortilla strips among 4 bowls. Ladle in the soup and top with cilantro, avocado, and cheese.
Yield: 4 servings
Ginger Turkey with Cucumber-Spinach Salad
From Real Simple, May 2003
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
1 scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups cooked shredded turkey
1 small cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced (about 2/3 cup)
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 red chili pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
3 cups baby spinach
In a large bowl, whisk together oils, scallion, ginger, salt, and pepper. Add the turkey, cucumber, red onion, and chili pepper. Toss well. Add the spinach and toss gently.
Yield: 4 servings
From Real Simple, May 2001
Frozen dough (thawed) for 2 pizzas or 2 prepared crusts
About 2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup shredded leftover cooked turkey
1 cup fresh basil, spinach, or other greens
8 ounces shredded mozzarella (2 cups)
6 tablespoons olive oil
Place a pizza stone, unglazed ceramic tiles, or a heavy cookie sheet on the oven rack. Preheat oven to 400º F. If starting with pizza dough, pat or pull each piece into a 12-inch circle. Top each with some sauce, then scatter the turkey, basil, and mozzarella over each. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle pizza stone with the cornmeal. Using the back of a cookie sheet, transfer the pizza to the oven. (You may have to bake the pizzas one at a time, depending on your oven size.) Bake 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is browned.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Turkey Potpie with Biscuit Crust
From Real Simple
1 to 1 1/2 cups leftover turkey meat
1/2 cooked sweet potato, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups turkey gravy
1 17.3-ounce package refrigerated corn biscuits
Heat oven to 350º F. In a 2-quart baking dish, combine the turkey, sweet potato, zucchini, carrot, scallions, thyme, salt, and a few grinds of pepper and toss well. Pour the gravy on top. Bake in the oven, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Gently roll out 4 biscuits individually and overlap them to make a crust that will cover the baking dish. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 15 more minutes.
Yield: 4 servings
About Jane Kirby
Jane Kirby was named food editor of Real Simple in January 2001. She is a registered dietitian and is the owner of the Vermont Cooking School, which is a nutrition-centered culinary arts program. She is also the author of several cookbooks including, "Dieting for Dummies" and "Eat Great, Lose Weight."
She received the 1987 Louis Pasteur Award for Nutrition Journalism from the Massachusetts Dietetic Association and the American Dietetic Association's 1994 Media Excellence Award.