Tag Archives: Cook

Soup-er Ideas for Turkey Leftovers

Turkey Salsa Soup recipe

Turkey Salsa Soup

Give new life to Thanksgiving turkey leftovers with these turkey soup recipes. They start with the same basic ingredients of 1 quart (4 cups) low sodium chicken broth and 2 cups of chopped, cooked turkey. Each recipe makes about 2 quarts or 4 2-cup servings.

turkey salsa soup

Turkey Salsa Soup recipe

Turkey Salsa Soup

Combine 16 oz. (2 cups) mild, chunky salsa; 2 cups frozen whole kernel corn; 2 (15 oz.) cans black soybeans, rinsed, drained; 2 cups chopped, cooked turkey; and 1 quart (4 cups) low sodium chicken broth in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. If desired, top with grated cheddar cheese.

tURKEY mASHED Potato soup

Turkey Mashed Potato Soup Recipe

Turkey Mashed Potato Soup

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, sauté over medium to medium-high heat in 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil: 1 chopped, sweet, yellow onion and 1 cup thinly sliced carrots until the onion is translucent and the carrots are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Add 1 quart (4 cups) low sodium chicken broth, 3 cups mashed potatoes, and 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves; continue cooking and stir until broth is smooth. Add 2 cups chopped, cooked turkey; continue cooking on medium heat until mixture starts to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until mixtures is heated through. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

TIPS FOR HANDLING TURKEY LEFTOVERS

The USDA Food Service and Inspection Service advises the following for storing  turkey leftovers:

  • Discard any turkey, stuffing, and gravy left out at room temperature longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.
  • Divide leftovers into smaller portions. Refrigerate or freeze in covered shallow containers for quicker cooling.
  • Use refrigerated turkey, stuffing, and gravy within 3 to 4 days.
  • If freezing leftovers, use within 2 to 6 months for best quality.

serving soup – safely

Make a large batch of soup and enjoy some for another meal. Many soups, with the possible exception of seafood soups, may taste better the next day! For best safety and quality, plan to eat refrigerated soup within 3 to 4 days or freeze it. And avoid letting soup set at room temperature for more than TWO hours.

Don’t put a large pot of hot soup directly into your refrigerator. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it would take an 8-inch stock pot of steaming chicken soup 24 HOURS to cool to a safe temperature in your refrigerator. To be safe:

  • To speed cooling, transfer soup to shallow containers, making sure soup is no more than TWO inches deep. Refrigerate promptly. You can place loosely covered foods in the refrigerator while still warm; cover when food is completely cooled.
  • When serving soup a second time, reheat it until it’s steaming hot throughout, at least 165 degrees F.

Visit my Thanksgiving Pinterest Board for more general Thanksgiving tips plus more ideas for using turkey leftovers.

Review the leftover section if you’re not sure how long you can store turkey leftovers in the refrigerator.

Slow Cooker Meals

Moroccan Beef and Sweet Potato Slow Cooker Stew

Moroccan Beef and Sweet Potato Stew (slow cooker recipe)

Imagine walking into your kitchen after a busy day and being greeted by the scent of cinnamon, garlic and onions signaling “dinner is ready!”

Unless you have a cook at home who prepares meals for you, using a slow cooker is the easiest way to achieve this state of well-being!

Moroccan Beef and Sweet Potato Stew is one of my favorite slow cooker meals. I just measure, chop and toss in everything at the same time. (Source: Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association)

As you search out slow cooker recipes, here are some tips for optimum nutrition and taste.

If you can’t find reduced sodium or “no salt added” canned dry beans, rinse and drain canned beans. This will remove about 40 percent of the salt content.

draining-beans

Rinse and drain canned, cooked dry beans to reduce sodium content

If a recipe calls for spices or herbs you may not use much, purchase small  containers to save money. The smaller sizes will also help you use the seasonings by their recommended usage date, when they will be most fresh.

small-spices

Buy small containers of spice you are likely to use less often

Cut foods into similar size pieces. This ensures they will finish cooking at the same time.

cut-pieces-same-size

Cut foods into similar sizes for even cooking

Look for broths and stocks that are lower in salt. The flavor of the ingredients may shine through more if a food isn’t so heavily salted. You can pass the salt shaker and let people decide for themselves.

Beef broth label

Look for foods lower in added salt

For more tips on cooking with a slow cooker, check out this self-paced slide show:

NOTE: If you are getting this information through your email, you may have to click through to the web version to view the slide show.

Things on My Kitchen Counter

Bananas on Kitchen Counter

Recently we had new kitchen counters installed at our house. In taking everything off the counters, I began to re-evaluate what I was going to put back!

What was really important to me and would help me cook quick, healthy meals? And (this is an important AND!) … would make my kitchen a pleasant environment for cooking.

Kitchen organizers recommend only keeping items you use several times weekly or a daily basis on top of your kitchen counter. Here’s what made the cut and stayed on top of my counter.

Two-Tiered Fruit Stand

Several fruits continue to ripen at room temperature. This inexpensive 2-tiered  fruit stand (shown above) offered an attractive counter-top storage space. Fruits that benefit by room temperature storage as they ripen to perfection include avocados and tomatoes (botanically, they are fruits), kiwifruit, nectarines, peaches, pears, bananas, and plums.

Place a counter-top fruit stand in a clean, dry, well-ventilated place, away from direct sunlight and away from areas where meat is prepared.

Canisters for Garlic, Onions, and Potatoes

It’s recommended storing garlic, onions, and potatoes in a well-ventilated area in the pantry. Protect potatoes from light to avoid greening.

But what if you don’t have a pantry?

I found some storage canisters on the Internet that allowed ventilation and prevented light from reaching the potatoes. And … they looked attractive on my kitchen counter.

There also are several brands of decorative cloth storage sacks that provide ventilation and protect from light. Some of the sacks can even be hung from the wall. Individual plastic or wire baskets work well in a pantry.

The holes in these canisters provide ventilation for my potatoes, onions, and garlic.

The holes in these canisters provide ventilation for my potatoes, onions, and garlic.

Oh, Grill of Mine!

Research by Washington State University found the best method of safely grilling meats is using a double-sided (clam-shell) type grill that cooks both sides of the meat at once. These grills also are one of the fastest and easiest means of grilling meat. And, they are easy to clean … especially nice when someone else in the house helps by cleaning up after you cook!

An added benefit of a clam-shell grill is the ease of taking the temperature of thin cuts of meat from the side. According to an U.S. Department of Agriculture study, 1 out of every 4 hamburgers turns brown in the middle before it reaches a safe internal temperature. Using a food thermometer is the only way to assure a safe temperature. Check this USDA chart for safe minimum internal temperatures.

It is easy to insert an instant read thermometer into meat on a double-sided (clam-shell) grill to check its temperature while it is cooking.

It is easy to insert an instant read thermometer into meat on a double-sided (clam-shell) grill to check its temperature while it is cooking.

Dish rack

At our house, there are almost always dishes in the dishwasher; dishes waiting to go in the dishwasher in one of our sink basins; and the other basin is in use cleaning fruits and vegetables, rinsing items. etc.

At the same time, there are items that need to be hand washed for various reasons. Our dish rack was always out.

Then, I discovered on the Internet several decorative dish racks that actually look attractive sitting on your counter-top.

If your dish rack has taken up permanent residence on your counter top, it's possible to find one that is both functional and decorative.

If your dish rack has taken up permanent residence on your counter-top, it’s possible to find one that is both functional and decorative.

Mixer and Food Processor

There are some items, such as my mixer and food processor, that are too heavy to keep lifting in and out of storage.

Along with my counter-top make-over, I gave them an update also. They are now protected from dust and have their accessory parts conveniently located in pockets with these covers.

An Internet search for “mixer cover” or “food processor cover” will locate several options for these items.

Covers for heavy counter top mixers and blenders help keep them clean and dust-free. There are lots of colors, so you can match them to your kitchen decor.

Covers for heavy counter-top mixers and blenders help keep them clean and dust-free. There are lots of colors, so you can match them to your kitchen decor.

I’d love to hear from you in the comment section what you keep on YOUR kitchen counter!