In the midst of these last few crazy weeks (2 days until final paper is due, 2 weeks until performance weekend), I wanted to jot down the recipes I’ve made in order to use up our Thanksgiving leftovers. We had a very relaxed Thanksgiving, with most of my family coming over to M’s mum’s house. Naps occurred, and plenty of food was eaten! I brought pecan pie, apple pie, maple custard pie, and a dish of my Gluten Free Knock Off Pepperidge Farm’s Cornbread Stuffing. And the necessary pre-dinner pickles and olives. It’s a family tradition!
We came home with a huge amount of pie (surprise, surprise), a lunch’s worth of vegetables, and enough turkey and stuffing to stretch for a couple of meals. I also made sure to bring home some of the bones from the turkey, so that I could make some broth for this soup! I boiled the bones a second time after making the soup. I’ll make a gravy from that tonight to go with sausages and Yorkshire Pudding and greens. Tomorrow, I’m planning to use up the last of our turkey in Turkey and Broccoli Quiche to give us plenty of leftovers for lunches this week.
The soup is a nice mixture of leftovers and fresh foods (mostly the remaining fresh veg left over from preparing other thanksgiving dishes), and makes a hearty dish from a fairly small amount of food. It has all of the flavors of pot pie, without the fuss. I served my soup with pie crust points. One of the crusts that I made the day before, while prepping desserts, shrank too much during it’s par bake. I made another crust, but I saved the first and finished baking it laid flat. This added the perfect crunchy bite to accompany my soup! This soup is very forgiving. Use whatever meat and vegetables that you have on hand and need to use up: chicken, potatoes, green beans, and peas would all be splendid!
Leftover Turkey Pot Pie Soup
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 tsp. butter
- 4-5 button mushrooms, diced
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 small sweet potato, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 c. shredded, cooked turkey**
- 3 c. turkey (or chicken) broth*
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 c. milk
- 1-2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1-2 Tbsp. cold water
- salt & pepper
- fresh thyme, for serving
*To use up more leftovers and save some money, make your broth from the bones of your turkey/chicken! I roasted the bones at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes, placed the bones in a pot with 1 quart of water and boiled, covered, for 20-30 minutes. I then cracked the lid and let the broth reduce by about a quarter, just so that the flavor was more concentrated.
**I used white meat in this recipe, knowing that the dryness of the meat would, obviously, not be a problem in this soup.
Once all of the vegetables are chopped, melt the butter in a soup pot and add the diced sweet potato. Stir to cover the vegetables in the butter and place the lid back on. Allow the vegetables to sweat for a minute. Repeat this process by adding, first, the carrots, then the onion and celery, and finally, the mushrooms and garlic. When the vegetable mixture is soft and the onions are translucent, add the broth. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer, covered with the lid, for 10 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and milk. In a small dish, mix the cornstarch and cold water until smooth, then add to the simmering soup. Cook for another minute or two, until the soup has thickened. Taste the soup, and then add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh thyme leaves.
The big day is just a week away! While many bloggers are posting a recipe a day, with every dish you need for your Thanksgiving meal, I’ve got to be honest with you: I have a huge fundraising event on Sunday, a final paper due on December 1st, and our shows’ going up on December 12. We currently have half of a set that is 3/4 painted, and are only just beginning to make progress on props and costumes. I am up to my ears in cardboard, feathers, and comparative assessments. If it were left up to me, there would be no Thanksgiving at all this year. I’ve turned most of the responsibility over to M’s mum (which she did suggest before I said anything at all!) She has been gracious enough to host most of my family as well, angel that she is. So I’ll make a batch of cornbread tomorrow to allow it plenty of time to go stale (for my Knockoff Pepperidge Farm’s Stuffing–a must) and I will set aside my paper for long enough on Wednesday to whip up a couple of pies, but that will be the extent of my Thanksgiving contributions.
Luckily, I do have a handful of recipes from seasons past that just might be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table. Check out below for ideas on stuffings, breads, desserts, and even breakfast for the big day!
My Knockoff Pepperidge Farms Cornbread Stuffing will absolutely be gracing our table. It is the closest it could be to the real deal! And, it is totally chill with tasty, extra additions like precooked sausage, cranberries, and chestnuts! Just gently stir right before the stuffing goes into the oven!
How about some French Bread? Perfect as a base to cube for traditional stuffing, or to slice as is for the table.
Popovers are always first in line on our table at any occasion.
This Quinoa and Wild Rice Stuffing is chock full of apples, squash, sausage and herbs, and a nice change from traditional bread stuffings.
I am all about my pies at Thanksgiving. This year, I’ll be making Bourbon-Toasted Pecan and an adaptation of Deb Perelman’s Nutmeg-Maple Cream Pie. And I’ll be using the Best Gluten-Free Pie Crust for both!
Or how about some Coconut-Pumpkin Custard for a dairy-free dessert option?
Chocolate-Coffee Pots De Creme are surprisingly simple, but make for an elegant (and MAKE-AHEAD) end to the evening.
Pumpkin-Swirl Brownies have all the flavors of Thanksgiving paired with the comfort of chocolatey brownies. The recipe is a cinch to whip up well ahead of the big Turkey day!
These Pumpkin Scones makes the perfect breakfast on a busy Thanksgiving morning. Make ahead and freeze, then thaw for a delicious start to a hectic day!
November. Oh November.
I am the first person to agree with L.M. Montgomery: October entices me with the promises of sweater weather and changing leaves, of apples and pumpkins and all the activities heralding my favorite season. I love the Fall. November, however, always seems to show the first signs of the long gray winter, peeking out between the colorful foliage. Drizzling rain, a biting cold wind, and bare branches begin to remind us that we are in for the long haul of winter. I do love the idea of winter, too. I like snow and I especially like the thought of piles of blankets, bright fireplaces and stoves, and the sense of not having to go anywhere. Unfortunately, most of winter I do have to go somewhere, and wherever that somewhere might be is definitely going to be through the cold and ice. Even so, I am trying to treat November fairly. Most of the time, it is just as glorious as October. Plus, it contains Thanksgiving. Definitely a good month.
In the meantime, I am halfway through my first class of grad school. I just signed up for two classes for next semester (as full of a course load as I will ever take alongside my full-time job). I am really happy to be back in the classroom environment! It’s also been wonderful to be learning things that I can actively compare to my company, so I have a real-life example for all the theory and concepts. I have been working to get my hustle back–I have settled into a very routine life that allowed for more apathy than I liked. Fortunately, all of these assignments have been the kick that I needed to find a better balance. Isn’t it funny that the more we have to do, (usually) the better we are at actually getting it all done? This was the last piece to push myself back into a state of productivity, though I still have to chant a few girlpower! mantras before I can tackle vacuuming… Another result of my class is that I discovered that I read faster and with much more focus while on the treadmill, instead of lying on my couch! Studying and exercising? Possibly my greatest multi-tasking achievement.
Unfortunately, I’ve been knocked off track a little, by catching an awful cold last week. After a few miserable days, most of my symptoms have cleared up, though I still have a fair amount of chest congestion. Given my history of allergies and asthma, this is exactly where I expected the cold to settle. But I am definitely tired of coughing and wheezing. It also saps just enough of my energy, that I haven’t been able to get up and move in the mornings. I was looking for to daylight savings time to bring back some early morning light for my workout ventures, but my cold has mostly kept me couchbound. My reading for school has suffered as well (perhaps the only downfall of that multi-tasking achievement). Dealing with the cold symptoms over the weekend made the thought of early morning breakfast-making seem a gargantuan task. And the idea of warm muffins, already-made when I woke up during the week, was all too appealing. So I pulled overripe bananas from my freezer and set to work on this ultra-comforting recipe.
Banana chocolate chip muffins were one of our staples in my childhood. This simple recipe used up overripe bananas, a common occurrence in our house. And the hearty addition of whole wheat flour balanced the fruit’s natural sweetness and bumped these muffins ahead in the race of healthy recipes. And they tasted amazing! I’m certain those were all pluses for my mother. She made these muffins pretty often, and most of our friends ate a few over the course of our school years. In fact, one of our childhood friends had a notorious hatred for bananas. We always carefully avoided telling Z what was in these muffins and he ate them happily. His mother got this recipe from my mother and continue to make the muffins for him until he finally saw her making the batter when he was a teenager. Now he won’t eat them!
This is one of those recipes that so clearly recalls my childhood, I knew I needed to make it gluten-free. Thankfully, it was a pretty simple accomplishment! The banana keeps the muffins soft and lightly sweet and eliminates the need for any xanthan gum or guar gum as binders. In order to emulate the heartiness from the whole wheat flour, I’ve used brown rice and sorghum flour, along with a touch of buckwheat flour to darken the batter as I remember the whole wheat flour doing in the original recipe.
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Serves: 12-15 | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. butter, room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1 c. mashed, ripe bananas (about 2)
- 3 Tbsp milk
- 2/3 c. + 2 Tbsp. brown rice flour*
- 3 Tbsp. buckwheat flour*
- 1/3 c. sweet white sorghum flour*
- 1/3 c. +2 Tbsp. tapioca starch*
- 3 Tbsp. sweet rice flour*
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 c. chocolate chips
- optional: 1 c. chopped walnuts
*Or, you can use 2 cups (280 g) of a gluten-free All-Purpose/”Cup for Cup” substitute
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and llightly oil the liners liners. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Once uniformly mixed, add the egg and mix until the egg is just incorporated. In a separate bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt). In a small bowl, combine mashed bananas with milk. With the mixer on low, add the dry mixture to the egg-butter-sugar mix. Mix on low until combined. Add in the banana-milk mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts, if using. Scoop into greased liners, at least three quarters full. The batter will rise a moderate amount during baking. Bake for 20-25 minutes until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.