Eat Well, Spend Less: One Turkey, Four Meals

Perhaps you head to your parents’ or the in-laws’ for Thanksgiving and other holiday meals, where someone else cooks and carves the turkey. Maybe you’d also like to cook a whole turkey at home (and have a few leftovers to play with), but it’s way too much meat for your little family.

Here’s my proposed solution: go ahead and purchase a fresh turkey and then make four or five recipes with it.  When properly sourced from a reliable butcher (and not shot up with strange chemicals and salty brine) turkey is a delicious, lean meat, and should definitely be taken advantage of in its season.

We’re talking turkey and holiday meals for our Eat Well, Spend Less series this month and my method for serving one turkey for four (or more) meals is one way to get the most bang for your buck. Fresh turkey isn’t cheap, but by following two key rules to savvy shopping: buying in season and buying bulk (in this case, a whole bird), as well as using every scrap of your purchase, you’ve got yourself a frugal way to eat this holiday season.

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Thanksgiving Leftovers: What to do with all the Turkey

I have a confession. I like leftovers. I have no problem bringing home piles of mashed potatoes, loads of wild rice and containers full of turkey after a big family meal and house them in my fridge for a while.

I like them because, well, it means everyone got enough to eat, but I also like them because I can easily feed my family for weeks on leftovers without anyone getting sick of them. Really.

The Art of Eating Leftovers

Yes, eating leftovers is an art. I’d admit that if you just loaded up a Thanksgiving-style plate every day for lunch and dinner, you’d tire of them rather quickly. Instead, the key here is to take those leftovers and turn them into something new and different than the Thanksgiving meal they came from. Here are a few tips to get you started.

  • Look for different seasonings and flavors. Fried rice made with leftover vegetables tastes nothing like stuffing and mashed potatoes, so it will keep you and your family interested in what you’re eating.
  • Think outside the box. Don’t limit yourself to the obvious – turkey sandwiches. Instead, think of new and different ways you can stretch those leftovers. Can turkey pieces be added to calzone pockets instead?
  • Mix it up. Mashed potatoes make a great canvas for things like potato dumplings when you add in a bit of flour and baking powder.

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