Guest post by Liz from Simple Italian Cooking
The secret to using leftovers is to use them as part of a different recipe. Here are three ideas to help you get the most out of your leftover meats:
1. Pasta with Vegetables and Meat
Combining pasta with meat is a great way to get both your carbohydrates and protein. Simply heat a pan over high heat with a little olive oil. Chop or slice your meat and add to the pan along with a few cloves of garlic, chopped bell pepper, sliced zucchini, cherry tomatoes halved, thinly sliced onion and some chopped basil and parsley.
Heat over medium heat while your short pasta is cooking. Keep in mind, this is just a generic list of vegetables. Use whatever you have on hand.
Once the pasta is finished, add it to the vegetables and chicken/turkey mixture.Toss and serve with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.
Another way to use leftover turkey or chicken is to add them to a pizza. You can use shredded meat with any kind of pizza — thin, thick, with a red sauce, or without a red sauce. The options are endless.
For example, you can create a chicken pizza by following the example of one of the pizzas at California Pizza Kitchen which uses sautéed garlic, spinach and roasted artichokes. Add some freshly shredded mozzarella along with some grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.
Instead of using their spinach artichoke sauce, drizzle the pizza with extra virgin olive oil, add a dash of salt, and bake in the oven as you normally would.
If you do not have any pre-made pizza crusts, you can easily make your own in under 3 minutes using a bread machine or a food processor with a pizza dough setting. Processing by hand will take longer – approximately 10 minutes.
A basic recipe consists of three and a half cups of flour, two Tablespoons olive oil, one Tablespoon salt, a package of dry active yeast and one cup warm water. Simply combine the water, salt and yeast and let sit for five minutes. Then add in the flour and knead with your hands until a stretchy but not sticky consistency is achieved.
One of the easiest ways to use leftover chicken or turkey is in a fajita. Saute some sliced tomatoes, the meat, zucchini, mushrooms, garlic and onion over medium high heat in some olive oil. Once cooked down, place a fajita wrap on the vegetables until it is warmed. Then transfer to a plate, add in the vegetable mixture, fold over and top with sour cream, salsa and some guacamole.
With a little creativity, and some frugality, it is possible to economize your meals while still providing a good tasting recipes for you and your family.
Liz is publisher of Simple Italian Cooking, where she shares her favorite easy homemade Italian recipes.
What are your favorite ways to use up leftover turkey? Tell us in the comments section.
photo by tuchodi
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