Tips for a Zero-Food-Waste Thanksgiving

with 2 comments

If you’re anything like the average American who celebrates Thanksgiving, you’ll probably have leftovers this Friday. Some will disappear quickly, but if there’s enough of them, there’s a risk some may get pushed to the back of the fridge – only to emerge a week later and go into the trash (or hopefully, the compost pile?!). In the spirit of reducing waste this year, this list will help you use the most common Thanksgiving leftovers to the fullest, and help you throw away as little as possible.

1. Mashed potatoes – make potato pancakes, or use to top Thanksgiving Shepard’s Pie.

2. Turkey – when you’ve used all the best pieces of leftover turkey for sandwiches you can turn the rest of that bird into a tasty turkey gumbo.

3. Potato water – Potato water’s the water that potatoes have been boiled in. Drain from potatoes and set aside to cool. Best when used warm! It can be used for potato bread or English muffins (great for turkey sandwiches!)

4. Cranberry sauce – try some cranberry oat muffins, or make into a vinaigrette by whisking in oil, red wine, balsamic vinegar, pepper, and/or other herbs or spices.

5. Sweet potatoes – get some feta or blue cheese and mozarella and make a savory sweet potato quesadilla or use as empanada filling.

(image: Food Network)

Written by jmalsky

November 22, 2011 at 11:38 am

2 Responses

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  1. Great ideas. We also use our veggie scraps. Instead of throwing them in the compost bin, I save them up until I have a full containers worth, then I make homemade vegetable broth. It is nice having homemade, organic vegetable broth that was literally free and so very easy to make. Once I have made the broth, I take the second time used veggie scraps and donate them to the farmer behind my son’s school and he gives the to his chickens. They love the kids. :)


    November 22, 2011 at 12:18 pm

  2. Turkey soup! Clean the cooked bird, save some meat for soup, foil-wrap leftovers in meal-sized packages, save for sandwiches soon and dinners from the freezer later. Break up turkey carcass and put in large stockpot, add carrots, celery tops and any other vegetable scrapings, quartered onion, seasonings, cover with cold water, bring to low boil, reduce to low simmer for 3-4 hours, skimming foam as it comes to top. Remove bones and strain stock. At this point, you can cool and save stock or freeze it for later. Or make some soup, cooking carrots, etc., adding herbs (parsley and thyme are nice, sage also), salt, pepper in stock then adding chunks of leftover turkey to heat up and finish soup.


    November 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm

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