Ways to use or freeze your Thanksgiving leftovers

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Thanksgiving leftovers are just part of the tradition of the holiday. Usually after a few days, most of us are sick of eating them, but we don’t want them to go to waste either. If freezing your leftovers is more your style, you’ll want to check out this guide to freezing.

Or, you can try one of these healthy recipes for your Thanksgiving leftovers:

Cream of Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

This is a healthier twist on a classic creamy turkey and wild rice soup. Serve with a crisp romaine salad and whole-grain bread. Get the Recipe

Turkey Ramen

You might not think that Thanksgiving food could transform into a nourishing bowl of ramen soup, but that’s exactly what this recipe does. Miso paste, soy sauce, and ginger give the broth impressively authentic flavor that tastes so good, you may want to sip it by itself! Get the recipe.

Turkey Ramen

Turkey Tostadas
Swap out your typical turkey sandwich for these crispy turkey tostadas. Tomatillo salsa wakes up leftover turkey breast, and makes it moist and delectable. Top with shredded lettuce, onion and Monterey jack cheese, and dig in! Get the recipe.

Turkey Tostadas

Turkey and Stuffing Egg Cups
Make the most of the extra turkey and stuffing by using them to make these ingenious egg cups! Combined with eggs and veggies, these cups will make your busy, post-Thanksgiving mornings much easier, and they’re great for meal prep. Get the recipe.

Turkey Waldorf Salad
This refreshingly lean version of the classic Waldorf salad is made with crunchy apples, celery, walnuts sweet grapes, and turkey. Eat it atop a salad, serve in lettuce cups, or make an open-faced sandwich. Get the recipe.

Turkey Waldorf Salad

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie
Have leftover mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes? This shepherd’s pie recipe will transform those tired taters, leftover turkey, and even some veggies, into comfort food at it’s very best. Get the recipe.

Turkey Shepherd's Pie

Turkey and Brussels Sprouts Frittata
What should you do when you wake up the morning after Thanksgiving to a house full of guests and a fridge full of leftover veggies? This, for starters. We created the perfect post-Turkey Day frittata recipe with turkey and roasted Brussels sprouts, but you can use any leftover vegetables or sweet potatoes. Get the recipe.

Turkey Frittata

Turkey, Cranberry, and Brie Sandwich
Cranberry sauce is the magical ingredient that makes leftover turkey sandwiches sing. But this sandwich has even more going for it with creamy brie cheese that melts perfectly when it’s grilled. Get the recipe.

Turkey, Cranberry, and Brie Sandwich

Pumpkin Chili 
Leftover pumpkin or sweet potatoes are right at home in this belly-warming vegetarian chili that has only 96 calories per serving. Get the recipe.

Pumpkin Chili

Turkey, Apple, and Sweet Potato Salad
With its crunchy pecans, apples, and sweet potato, this protein-rich salad is the perfect antidote to the heavy Thanksgiving dinner you probably downed the day before. Get the recipe.

Turkey, Apple, and Sweet Potato Salad

Turkey Tamale Pie
This tamale pie will make you forget you’re eating leftovers. Turkey gets new flavor in a richly spiced sauce with colorful veggies, and all of it is tucked under a cheese and jalapeño corn meal crust. Get the recipe.

Turkey Tamale Pie

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Fun, Family Thanksgiving Traditions

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You might already have some Thanksgiving traditions, but why not start some new ones with your family and friends this year!

Do a Service Project: While you’re waiting for the food to cook, or after dinner, take time to complete a service project. It’s the perfect way to show gratitude for all we’ve been blessed with. Some ideas could be: go on a family walk and pick up garbage along the road, tie blankets and donate them to a nursing home, make cards for soldiers serving overseas, rake leaves/shovel snow at a neighbor’s house…the project doesn’t have to take a lot of time or cost a lot of money. Brainstorm with your family this week to complete a project Thanksgiving day.

Gratitude Tablecloth: this is an tradition that keeps on getting better! Set the table with a plain cloth tablecloth and put a fabric marker by each plate. Have your guests write what they are grateful for this year (don’t forget to put your name and date by it!). Next year, get the tablecloth out again and keep adding to it. It will be so fun to look back to see what was written in year’s past.

Play Games Together: While you’re waiting for dinner to cook (or after) play games like Thanksgiving Bingo, charades, sing karaoke, and other board/card games. Go on a fall scavenger hunt.

Watch Family Movies: Nothing will get you feeling grateful for your friends and family more than watching old family videos! It’s a great time to reminisce with everyone together!

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? Are any of you starting new ones this year?

Tasty Tuesday: Thanksgiving Sides & Desserts

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With Thanksgiving just next week, many of us are sitting down to plan the menu or trying to decide what kind of dish we’ll bring to share at the family get together. Holidays can be tricky when it comes to clean eating because a lot of dishes are loaded with butter, oil, and sugar. It’s also easy to fill our plates and not even realize how many calories we just ate! Thankfully, with just a few simple ingredient swaps, we’ll can find many delicious side dishes and desserts to offer our family and guests next week.

Thanksgiving Sides

Maple and Turkey Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts

Total Time: 50 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 35 min.
Yield: 6 servings, 4 Brussels sprouts each

Ingredients:
Aluminum foil
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
24 medium brussels sprouts
12 slices nitrite-free turkey bacon, cut in half
24 wooden toothpicks, soaked in water
½ tsp. ground black pepper

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Line large baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
3. Combine maple syrup and vinegar in a small bowl; mix well. Set aside.
4. Wrap each brussels sprout tightly with half slice of bacon. Secure with a toothpick.
5. Arrange brussels sprouts on prepared baking sheet so that they are not touching.
6. Brush bacon with maple syrup mixture. Sprinkle with pepper.
7. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until brussels sprouts are tender crisp and bacon is crisp.
8. Remove toothpicks before serving.

10 more healthy sides found here

healthy-thanksgiving-sides

Go HERE for 10 healthier Thanksgiving dessert ideas like

  • Pumpkin Pie w/ a whole wheat crust
  • Pecan and Sweet Potato Pie
  • Pumpkin Coconut Custard
  • Pumpkin Cookies
  • Pumpkin Bread
  • Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Cups
  • Apple Crisp
  • Slow Cooker Baked Apples
  • Apple Raisin Cake

And finally, take a peak at this ULTIMATE HEALTHY THANKSGIVING GUIDE which will give you even more ideas for veggies, desserts, sauces, potato options, soups, whole grains, how to cook and carve your turkey, what to do with leftovers and more!

Becoming More Thankful

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With the holidays fast approaching, it’s a time of year when many of us strive to be more aware of our blessings and to strive to be more thankful. Some days that’s hard to do! We live in a world filled with negative things happening daily and social media can be full of negative posts that bring our own attitudes down. To help with this, here are a few tips to help us remain positive and more thankful this holiday (and throughout the whole year too)

  1. Keep a Gratitude Journal: Whether you do this just during this time of year, or throughout the whole year, you’ll be surprised what things you’ll jot down. At the end of the day, pick 1-3 things to be thankful for. This could even be a fun conversation starter around the dinner table!

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2. When things don’t go as planned, choose to be positive and tell yourself “at least…” For example, you plan a fun family outing but nothing goes as planned. You leave late, the kids are fighting in the car, and you forgot you wallet and had to turn around to get it. It’d be easy to get upset and say that the day was a total failure. Instead, take a deep breath and focus on something to be grateful for “At least we’re all together. At least the weather is nice. etc..”

3. If you can, give back. The best way to show that we’re truly thankful for something is serve. I love the saying “Because I have Been Given Much, I Too Must Give” The holidays are a great time to serve others: donate to toy drives, coat drives,  the food pantry, and do random acts of kindess for family, friends, and even strangers. Teach your family about finding joy in service.

4. Banish negativity. It’s hard to be thankful if we’re constantly negative. For help with this, see my article on rewiring your brain for positivity HERE