Tips for Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!  Thanksgiving meals are a time to gather with friends and family.  During the holiday season, it is important to remember several steps to keep your family food safe.  Here are a few tips to remember:
  1. Thawing the turkey.  Remember to thaw your turkey properly before cooking.  Thaw under cold running water or in the microwave.  Cook immediately after thawing.
  2. Cook your turkey until it is done.  Take the temperature of the turkey.  It is done when it reaches 165 degrees F.  Check the temperature at the thickest part of the breast or innermost part of the wing and thigh.  Let your turkey cool for 20 minutes before carving.
  3. Use separate cutting boards.  Cut meat and veggies on separate cutting boards to prevent spreading bacteria.
  4. Refrigerate leftovers.  It is really important that leftovers are refrigerated within 2 hours of serving so that they will be okay to eat later.  Leftovers are good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and in the freezer for 2-6 months. 
Check out the Let's Talk Turkey infographic for additional Turkey Tips.
Infographic courtesy of
Also available in Spanish

Leftovers are always part of any large meal.  Don't let the food go to waste!   We have 2 different recipes to make the most of your holiday leftovers.

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

2 cups leftover sweet potatoes
3 cups leftover turkey
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 onion
2 carrots
3 celery stalks
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups - turkey or chicken broth
3 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons butter

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Wash and chop onions, carrots, and celery.  Add frozen peas and chopped turkey.
  3. In a separate bowl, mash sweet potatoes.
  4. In a skillet, melt butter. Whisk in flour for 1 minute.  Add in broth and season to taste.  Bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes until it begins to thicken. 
  5. Combine bowl of onion, carrots, celery, peas, and turkey with the thickened broth.  Put in a casserole dish.
  6. Place mashed sweet potatoes on top of other ingredients.
  7. Place in oven to baked for 15 minutes.

Turkey Waldorf Salad

2 cups leftover turkey, chopped
2 stalks celery, washed and chopped
1 crisp apple (may use 1/2 cup dried cranberries), washed and chopped
1 cup seedless red grapes, washed and sliced
1/4 cup pecans (coarsely chopped -- optional)
1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice

  1. Whisk mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Add chicken, apples, grapes, celery, and walnuts.  Stir to coat well.
  3. Serve with salad greens.

For additional recipes, check out our previous Leftover blog.



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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall