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Unique Holiday Leftovers Ideas Your Family will LOVE (and not complain about)

By now many of us are working on day three of the same foods in our fridge. If you’re one of those families who never eat all your leftovers and has to rock-paper-scissors each other for who gets the “short straw” on having to take them for lunch the next day, I cannot relate. My grandfather grew up in the darkest part of the depression and my father’s side of the family was raised to always eat everything in the fridge (the ultimately crunchy-granola-grandpa, he even composted moldy watermelon rinds to make sure nothing was wasted)! Growing up, though, I lived with just my mom for most my childhood and we couldn’t afford to be wasteful. Stale tofu and bird-seed-meatless-meatloaf slathered in ketchup were regularly in the rotation – both for dinner and leftovers until we finally finished them off.
Holiday Leftovers Unique Ideas on Paleo Parents
Alright, I don’t tell you this to bring about all the bad feelings you already have about leftovers. I tell you this because, despite all this, I have come to LOVE leftovers! In fact my “famous” morning soup was a result of simply sauteing leftovers in a pan and then pouring broth over top and calling it a nutrient-dense breakfast. I wonder if, perhaps, it’s that inventive nature our family has about leftovers that makes it fun, interesting, and a delicious excitement – rather than a horrifying nightmare when I open my lunch box. In an effort for you to feel that same excitement, here’s a round-up of ideas and recipes we recommend using for your Thanksgiving leftovers.
Yes, there is more to Thanksgiving leftovers than a turkey sandwich with mayo, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. In fact, that’s bread-on-bread, people… probably best to avoid unneeded calories and stick to some nutrient-dense healing food that will give you hope of getting those elastic-waistband pants off sometime in the near future. Or at least leave you room for leftover pie!
Turkey Thai Basil from Real Life Paleo by Paleo Parents
Our recipe for Turkey Thai Basil was specifically made to use up turkey leftovers! The herbs and dressing in this make for a drastic transformation to that drab meat you’re probably started to get bored of. Also, if you’re like us and buy turkey on sale after the holiday, this is a great recipe to use on a 2nd bird later! (note: this photos is from Real Life Paleo but the recipe is the same that’s in this blog post!)
Our Thanksgiving Leftovers Frittata is exactly what it sounds like. Chop up those leftovers (we suggest brussel sprouts, but really any veggies will do) and add in some crispy bacon to an airy egg dish for a unique spin on breakfast all weekend long!
 Stacys Soup from Real Life Paleo by Paleo Parents
As I noted above, Stacy’s Soup was invented for just this purpose! Take your leftover veggies, maybe start with a little mire poix (or leftover stuffing), then add some shredded or chopped cooked turkey, followed by some herbs and you’ll have an incredibly flavorful, interesting, and nutrient-dense breakfast that will help regulate your blood sugar and get your eating habits back on track! (note: this photos is from Real Life Paleo that has even MORE details and ideas on how to perfect Stacy’s Soup than the blog post linked!)
Another family favorite is our Egg Drop Soup. Once you’ve got a big pot of broth made from that turkey carcass, turn it into this awesome dish and be marveled at how many bowls your kids will happily slurp down.
Leftover Egg Nog giving you the stare down? We’ve got some inventive ways to use it up (or make more in a healthier way if you’re feeling you already miss that old friend) in our Egg Nog 3 Ways post.
 
With leftover holiday foods like apple, brussel sprouts and cranberry, this Holiday Hash is perfect for using up holiday leftovers! Have breakfast for dinner or make a big batch to last all week, if it lasts that long!
Speaking of hash, using up your sweet potatoes in our super-popular-everyone-loves-it Sweet Potato Apple Hash. I guess “hash” is just another word for “throw your leftovers in a pan” since that’s how we always make them!
Got half a can of leftover pumpkin puree in your fridge destined to get crusty, stale, and moldy? Make our Pumpkin Pudding from Real Life Paleo and have it as breakfast or a treat.
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And, if I’m being honest, the BEST way to use up leftovers is still to make a sandwich… no matter how many years I’ve been Paleo will I never feel satiated without enjoying turkey slathered in mayo and squeezed between two slices of bread (with some lettuce and cranberry sauce, too)! So, instead of getting the store bought versions with junk you could make your own at home.

Famous for her Grain-free Sandwich Bread, we recommend Danielle Walker’s version for your annual turkey sandwich this weekend!
And, if you have any of our cookbooks you have our method for making homemade mayonnaise. If not, check out Melissa Joulwan’s versions – people swear by her recipes for both regular and an egg-less version! Here’s her instructional video, the Egg-less Homemade Mayonnaise recipe, and the original beloved Olive Oil Mayo from The Clothes Make the Girl.
Don’t forget to savor every bite of all the food you’re still able to enjoy, it was a labor of love for someone and worth enjoying for days! ♥

 

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  • 1. So many delicious ideas in this post. 2. Thanks for the shout-out to my mayo recipe. Happy Holidays!

    • Same to you, hope you’re well and surviving that cold weather! 🙂