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Delicious ways to reinvent turkey dinner

by Scott Evans

Bio | Email | Follow: @ScottEvansKTVB


Posted on November 23, 2013 at 5:55 AM

Updated Saturday, Nov 23 at 6:25 AM

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you can no doubt plan on having left overs after the big meal.

So here are a few ideas and safety tips from St. Luke's Registered Dietitian Molly McIntyre to consider.

•    For Most Americans eating Thanksgiving leftovers has become as traditional as the meal itself. For some, even better.
•    Think of leftovers as a reward for taking the time to cook something. Savor again and again.
•    According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, ~60% choose to repeat their meals cold and straight from the fridge but majority, ~73%, still choose to reheat or pack for lunch.
•    If you’re a fan of leftovers, you’re likely to not eat as much at the specific meal times, knowing you can make it last and have it again later. Great for portion control.
•    If you don’t like leftovers, plan ahead and prepare less.

Food Safety
•    Food safety is often over looked during holiday meals and gatherings, people are more relaxed, leave food sitting out for company/visitors or spread large meals throughout the day. Especially when there’s too many cooks in the kitchen and
•    Take the time and ensure it’s just as safe as it is delicious. Wouldn’t want to spend all day cooking or baking to end up having to toss it in the trash or make family/friends sick.
•    Always reheat leftover foods to an internal temperature of 165F. For gravy, make sure to boil, microwaving will not kill bacteria.
•    Make sure food is not left out of the refrigerator for >2 hours
•    When storing leftovers, be sure it is in a sealable and shallow container to allow for even cooling. Refrigerate to 40F. 
•    Recommended refrigerator storage limits: turkey meat and casseroles 3-4 days, stuffing  1-2 days. When in doubt, throw it out!
•    For more tips, visit homefoodsaftey.org

Health Benefits of Turkey
•    Nutritional powerhouse. Often only prepared during holiday season, overlooked by chicken and fish as healthy meat choices.
•    One 3.5oz serving (the size of deck of cards) of skinless turkey breast= 30 gm protein, with only ~130 calories and 4 gm of fat.
•    Lots of good B vitamins, phosphorous, potassium, iron, zinc, folic acid, plus rich in selenium. Which help support immunity, healing processes, nerve function/growth and heart disease
•    Commonly known tryptophan, amino acid triggers serotonin and makes you sleepy. Great high protein, low cal/low carb snack for evening time.
•    Turkey has <12% of RDA of saturated fat per serving.

Recipe Ideas
•    Fresh Turkey Dinner Wrap

Great for lunch, meal on the go or after school snack.
1 whole wheat tortilla or flatbread
3oz shredded white meat turkey
1tbs light ranch or yogurt based ranch dressing
Salad greens
Pinch of chopped scallions
1tbs dried cranberries
Spread ranch dressing on middle section of tortilla. Layer turkey, salad greens, scallions and cranberries. Wrap up and enjoy!

•    Blue cheese turkey salad with slice apples