7 Healthy Meals To Make With Holiday Leftovers
Post-Thanksgiving leftovers can become the basis for equally delicious healthy meals.

7 Healthy Meals to Make with Holiday Leftovers

Christmas is over and you’re ready to get back on your healthy eating regimen. But those tempting leftovers make it difficult not to continue the feast for days to come. The secret is to turn that delicious, ham, turkey or goose and trimmings into healthy, low fat and veggie-rich dishes that you’ll love eating just as much. A few ideas:

1. Turkey-Vegetable Stew

Think of this as an anything-goes solution to the healthy post-holiday dilemma. Toss in those leftover green beans, sweet potatoes, and greens, along with the turkey (or any meat) and add whatever else you’ve got in the fridge as well.

2. Hearty Soups

There’s a reason health-conscious cooks love soups – they are the perfect way to ballast meat with plenty of vegetables, herbs, legumes and whole grains. This puréed vegetable soup is the perfect way to use up anything left over from sides or salads. Another option: this super-healthy and hearty Armenian stew.

3. Turkey Salad

There’s no reason turkey (or chicken) salad needs to be the gooey, high-fat sandwich topping you remember from childhood. Try Moroccan chicken salad with plenty of grated carrot and mint, or a curried turkey salad, served on a bed of spinach, chard or other greens.

4. Shepherd’s Pie

This British classic is traditionally made with meat and potatoes, making it the perfect vehicle to use up both your leftover ham or beef and those buttery mashed potatoes.

5. Leftovers Pasta

Again, no need for a cream-filled sauce to make turkey pasta delicious. Toss ham, turkey, or any leftover holiday meat into a traditional Bolognese, pesto, or parmesan linguine mix, add plenty of vegetables, and voilá! Or try a baked pasta dish like this baked penne, mushrooms and roasted pepper ragu from Weight Watchers.

6. Traditional French Quiche

That quintessential French quiche, Quiche Lorraine, is the perfect place to use up the last of your holiday ham. In fact, toss in the remaining brie or other cheese from your holiday party cheese platter and you’re twice good. This low-calorie quiche Lorraine with a spinach crust is a healthy variation.

7. Make Desert Healthy Too

Did you know that traditional holiday deserts like pumpkin and sweet potato pie are actually quite nutritious? And if you cut down on the sugar, even better.

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Melanie Haiken, Health and Fitness Expert

Melanie Haiken writes about health, wellness and fitness for national magazines and websites. She specializes in discovering and reporting the latest research on diet, nutrition, fitness, weight loss and other health-related topics. Her award-winning stories have appeared in Fitness, Shape, Health, Forbes, and other respected magazines. She also contributes health stories to numerous Kaiser Permanente newsletters and other publications.