Leftover Turkey Nachos

(Update 2017) As you can probably tell, I’ve spent some time this year experimenting with and trying out new versions of recipes. I’ve changed them here on the blog to reflect how I am eating now.

For the most part, I’m keeping the recipes healthy. But you’ll notice a few family favorites here and there that are not necessarily the healthiest. There are just some things I don’t want to change. Not just yet anyway.

While the overall focus of the blog has become eating healthy on a budget, there are still some recipes here that aren’t really all that healthy – only because I make them for get-togethers and such. I trust each of you knows what is healthy for you.

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This one is good as a snack, or as a movie night treat.

This recipe can be made with children who can either use a microwave or an oven.

Younger children will enjoy putting this together, if there is someone around who can pop them into the microwave or the oven.

Ingredients:

tortilla chips (there are paleo versions)

shredded mozzarella cheese

shredded mild cheddar cheese

bite size pieces of leftover turkey

chopped kale or spinach

  1. Place chips on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  2. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top.
  3. Add chopped spinach or kale over the cheese.
  4. Sprinkle mild cheddar cheese over the greens.
  5. Add the turkey.
  6. Bake at 325* for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Tips

  • Try adding diced tomatoes.
  • Use different cheese combinations to see what your favorite is.

Serving Suggestions

Leftover Thanksgiving Mini Casserole Cups

(For when you do not have enough ingredients for a whole casserole) Children who can use an oven by themselves will find this easy. Younger children can put the casserole together for you to bake. To make this recipe even easier, you can prepare it when cleaning up after your Thanksgiving meal, and pop it in the oven the next day. You could also put it into the freezer to save.

Ingredients

leftover turkey

leftover vegetables

leftover mashed sweet potato

water

  • Put 1/2 tsp.  water in each muffin pan cup that you will fill, and then fill each one you wont use 1/3 of the way with water.
  • Put a few bite-size pieces of turkey in bottom of each cup.
  • Add 1 tbsp. leftover vegetables.
  • Cover the vegetables with mashed sweet potatoes.
  • Bake at 350* until warmed through.

Tips

  • Can be frozen. Flash freeze in muffin tins. Pop out and put into gallon size freezer bag. Get out as much air from the bag as you can.

Serving Suggestions

 

Leftover Thanksgiving Fry Pan Meal

This recipe is frugal because it uses leftovers from you Thanksgiving meal. It’s easy enough for an older child to make.

Leftover Potatoes: You will want to make sure that these are warmed when the pan-fried food is done. You can do this in the oven. Sweet potato is a good choice.

Ingredients to put into pan:

coconut oil

turkey, bite size pieces

leftover veggies from the turkey dinner

add-ins you like: sliced onions, crushed garlic cloves, and parsley.

  1. Melt the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the turkey, veggies, and add-ins.
  3. Cook until all is warmed through.
  4. Put on plates.
  5. Take the potatoes out of the oven and spoon them on the plates as well.
  6. Serve.

Tips

  • Try adding roasted squash to the meal as well.

Serving Suggestions

Shannon

Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole

If you’re lucky you wont need to buy anything extra for this, making it a very frugal meal indeed. Children who can use an oven by themselves will find this easy. Younger children can put the casserole together for you to bake.

To make this recipe even easier, prepare it when cleaning up after the Thanksgiving meal, and pop it in the oven the next day. You could also put it in the freezer.

Ingredients

leftover turkey

leftover vegetables

leftover mashed potatoes (any kind)

water

  • Put 1/4 cup water in a baking dish.
  • Cover the bottom of the baking dish with bite size pieces of turkey.
  • Cover the turkey with leftover vegetables.
  • Cover the vegetables with mashed potatoes.
  • Bake at 350* until warmed through.

Tips

  • Squash could be used in place of the potato.
  • If there are varying tastes, or not enough potatoes to cover the casserole, top 1/3 with regular mashed potatoes, 1/3 with mashed sweet potato, and the last third with squash.

Serving Suggestions

Shannon

Slow Cooker Leftover Turkey and Gravy

This is an easy one to throw in the slow cooker the morning after Thanksgiving. It can be served over many things, depending on your diet goals. Try it on spaghetti squash, baked sweet potato, paleo biscuits, or brown rice.

Ingredients

leftover turkey in bite size pieces

1 or 2 cans of turkey gravy, depending on how much turkey is being used.

  1. Put turkey in the slow cooker crock, and cover with the gravy.
  2. Cover and cook on low for dinner, or high for lunch.

Tips

  • Buy gravy when on sale, preferably with a coupon for the best savings.

Serving Suggestions

Shannon

Leftover Turkey and Peas

This is a simple recipe that can be served spaghetti squash or mashed sweet potato, and is a great way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers.

Ingredients

coconut oil

leftover turkey, in bite size pieces

leftover peas, or 1 can drained

prepared spaghetti squash or mashed sweet potato

  1. Melt oil in a skillet on medium heat.
  2. Pour the peas and turkey in the skillet, and heat until warmed through.

Tips

  • Use any type of vegetable you have left over.
  • You could also use this to make stuffed squash.

Serving Suggestions

Freezer: Using up the Winter Stocks

Since it is the time of the year when we spring clean, I thought it would be nice if we all considered our freezers for a few minutes. Do you have any leftover produce in the freezer? I know that I still have some frozen smoothie packs and berries in the freezer that need to be used. Here are some pointers for using up your winter stores:

* The eggs you purchased on sale and froze will need to be used. Since the yolks had to be broken to freeze, you cannot make boiled or fried eggs with them. You could make other things, though:

  • scrambled eggs
  • french toast with a hearty paleo bread
  • use them when baking

These can be frozen in snack size baggies, then put all the baggies into a quart or gallon size freezer baggie until needed. Freeze them one egg to a snack size baggie, or use bigger bags and freeze more than one  in each.  Take the eggs out of the night before  you need them.

* Use grated zucchini  to make:

  • muffins
  • breads
  • omelets
  • cookies
  • brownies
  • cakes

* Diced apples are great for breads and muffins, brownies, cookies and cakes.

* Sliced apples make great crisps, pies, sauces, and cobblers.

* You can make a great soup from (saved) leftover vegetables, meats, and liquids from cooking the veggies.

* Make smoothies using the smoothie packs you froze during the winter.

Happy eating!

Shannon

Leftover Thanksgiving Soup with a Harvest Salad.

There’s nothing quite like Thanksgiving leftovers. How will you use them up this year? By deciding what leftover dishes you want to make now, you’ll know how big a bird to buy.

This soup is easy and affordable to make.

Ingredients

leftover turkey, cut into bite size pieces

leftover peas

leftover green beans

leftover carrots

vegetable broth, or turkey broth made from the Thanksgiving turkey

  • Place everything in a pot.
  • Cook over med-high heat until all is cooked through.

Tips

  • Use whatever leftover vegetables you have on hand.
  • When taking the turkey off the bone, cut a good amount of the leftover turkey into bite-size pieces. Place these in freezer containers by portion sizes, according to the dishes you want to make. Label, and freeze.

Serving Suggestions

Shannon

The Experiment: Saving Money by Not Using a Shopping List

If you read Try This to Save Money on Groceries and A New Way to Plan Meals, you know I was planning an experiment. I meant to do this before now, but the temperatures have been too low for me to walk from Walmart to work. Ordinarily I do the shopping then walk to work, placing my food in the refrigerator until my shift is over. However, I’ve not been able to shop regularly because my asthma kicks in at drastically low temperatures.

This weekend has been marvelous! And I decided today was the day to shop.

Ordinarily I plan my menu before I go to the store, shop sales, and use coupons (trying to use sales with coupons when I can!) and keep it all very organized. Today I decided to do things a little differently. I did not plan a menu, except to know that I wanted lemons and limes so I could make some lemon-limeade this week. I also needed some almond milk.

I did take stock of what I have available at home. I was all set with:

  • Organic diced tomatoes
  • Organic coconut milk
  • Coconut water
  • Coconut cream
  • Organic coconut oil
  • Organic ghee
  • Organic almond flour
  • Organic coconut flour
  • Organic tapioca flour
  • Organic raw honey
  • Organic maple syrup
  • Eggs (A few store-bought + 1 dozen farm fresh from my friend Tam!)
  • Carrots
  • Sausage, enough for 1 meal
  • Frozen fruits, for smoothies (Some melon chunks, and some citrus fruits.)
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 side salad
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 1 Buttercup squash

Keep in mind, I usually have most of the above items on hand before a grocery shopping trip.

During a good shopping trip, where I buy quite a bit, it would not be uncommon for me to spend between $60.00 and $65.00. Just for me. And that is (mostly) good-for-you stuff, with just a few items that are processed and not real good for you to lessen costs a little.

I did not want to spend that much, and I wanted to test out my theory that one can save money without planning for a shopping trip, while buying many of the less expensive things and still getting enough healthy food to feed oneself for the week.

Stew meat, on sale at $3.80 per pound = $16.07 (saved $7.53)

Organic spinach and arugula, good size package, 5 ounces = $3.28

Almond milk, 1/2 gallon = $2.98

Vegetable tray (cherry tomatoes, green beans, celery, carrots), 2 1/2 cups = $5.98

Organic Red Delicious apples, 7 count = $3.67

Kiwi, 3 = $1.35

Bananas, 4 = .77

Limes, 4 = $1.32

Green cabbage, 1.94 pounds = $1.32

Strawberries, 1 pound = $1.98 (Saved $.50)

Meyer lemons, 7 count = $1.98

Sweet potatoes, 2.15 pounds = $2.11

Red potatoes, 1.19 pounds =$1.17

Total Spent = $43.98

Savings over a typical week = $16.02 – $21.02

  • I can get quite a few meals out of the stew meat, red potatoes, and sweet potatoes, when using them with the carrots and squash I have on hand.
  • The spinach and arugula will mainly be used in smoothies, but I might also make a couple of meals where I serve them with eggs and sausage. This will allow me to stretch the sausage to two meals, and be plenty filling.
  • I may also make some homemade applesauce.
  • I was so happy they had lemons and limes. They didn’t the last time I was in there.
  • I was surprised at how good the strawberries looked, and could not resist the price.
  • Organic is expensive, and I cannot afford to get everything this way. So I do what I can, with what is available. I hear apples are one of the worst fruits to buy non-organic, so I’m trying to be good with that. The same with the spinach.
  • I do know the Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen, but Walmart in my area does not always have organic options for everything, and I couldn’t afford to get all organic anyway.
  • I truly wish I could afford grass-fed, etc., meats, but they are just not in my budget.
  • The trays of organic vegetables did not look all that fresh this week, so I went with the non organic tray.
  • Notice how I did not use coupons, and only a couple of items were on sale, yet I still came in at less.

I’ll have to deal with what I have on hand now that the shopping trip is over, but I don’t think that will be a problem. Between my groceries and what I already had on hand, I am pretty well set.

Tomorrow is my day off, and I’ll spend it making meals for the week. I will better know afterward how many meals I have for the coming week.

Happy shopping!

Shannon

Getting Enough Protein Affordably

When trying to eat nutritious meals, remember to get enough protein. More than half your plate should be filled with vegetables, then you add some protein. You obviously don’t want to go overboard with meat.

I mainly try to follow a Paleo lifestyle, and I do pretty well, but I’m well aware that the cost can be astronomical. Living on a budget, I’m not able to eat all organic, grass-fed, etc. I mainly just go to the grocery store and buy basic meats, seeds, nuts, and eggs to cover this nutritional need. Adding a protein source to every meal and snack can be costly, so cutting costs and being creative is important.

For me, beans are out. But when my stepfather makes his baked beans at the holidays I’ll enjoy a few meals worth. I also avoid milk, cheese (most of the time), and yogurt. I get much of my protein from meats and eggs, and some from seeds and nuts.

One important thing I notice is that, when I’m eating a (mostly) proper Paleo diet, I consume smaller portions at each meal. This is because my body realizes it’s getting what it needs, and knows it is not starving for those nutrients. This did not occur the first day, but over the course of a few weeks I noticed I didn’t need to eat as much as I had been at the beginning. Once this started happening I started buying less food, saving me money.

I eat at least a few eggs a week. Though they are more expensive than they used to be, I find they are cheap overall. Far more affordable than buying only meat, they are still a good buy. I hard boil, scramble (I use a little water and not milk), or fry them. It takes me two or three weeks to go through an 18-pack, if not longer, because I’m the only one eating them.

The same with pumpkin seeds. A bag costs $2.99, but lasts me a long time. I sprinkle a few seeds on a salad once a week, and have a few seeds with a fruit or vegetable at snack once in a while, along with a teaspoon of cocoa flavored coconut butter. A great money saver is to roast your own pumpkin seeds, from the pumpkins you use in the fall.

I rarely cook just a single meal. If I buy a small chicken or a roast, it’s often cheaper per meal than if I bought meat on a per-meal basis. One of these will give me enough meat for a number of meals. Chicken with vegetables one night. Chicken with my salad the next day. And enough leftover to make a small chicken soup which will last a couple of meals.

When I find a sale on meat, I take advantage. For instance, I compare prices and weights. I bought pork and beef this week. I don’t often consume pork, but this week I decided to. Then I noticed beef steaks were on sale. Those two packages of meat will make at least ten meals for me. I’ll put pork in one slow cooker, beef in another, and cook them both with vegetables. That will take care of the main course for my work meals, as well as a few at-home meals.

A great way to get protein i your diet cheaply is to buy the biggest turkey you can fit into your oven when they are at their cheapest. If you can, buy two or three of these and freeze a couple. So much can be done with leftover turkey. The first few days after Thanksgiving, eat off the bird. Make a sandwich, cook some turkey soup, and make a scramble for breakfast. There will be enough turkey for freezing to make other meals: Chili, casseroles, and more.

Sometimes a coupon will present itself that gives a discount on an item while it’s on sale. Take full advantage, as long as doing so means you’re getting the best deal over other brands. It may be that friends and family will give you their coupons, if they don’t need them, so buying more than one is possible. Freeze what wont be used right off. Coupon/sale combinations often present great deals.

How do you save money on protein sources? How do you use them? Let us know in the comments, or message me at shannonlbuck@gmail.com. I’m also happy to answer questions.

Shannon