Making the Most of "Leftovers" | Organizing Made Fun: Making the Most of "Leftovers"

Friday, December 2, 2016

Making the Most of "Leftovers"

Do you like leftovers?  If not then you probably haven't made the most of them!  I used to think that the best way to handle leftovers is to pack them up and send them to work with my hubby, but now I've actually started cooking extra on purpose so that I can use the leftovers for another meal all together.  

A little planning and organization will save you hours in the kitchen and I can't wait to show you how we used up an entire leftover turkey from this Thanksgiving!

But first, just in case you missed anything this month, you can find all of our November posts here. 

Though I didn't have to make the turkey this year,  I was amazed at the price of Turkey and thought it would be a good idea to buy one for our family to eat later.   Rather than putting it in the freezer, I decided to cook it right away and make use of it in our meals this week. 

You may be wondering if we are SICK of turkey by now, but actually I have not heard one single complaint from the family about our "week of turkey" meals yet! 

I've learned that cooking extra doesn't really take any more time than cooking just enough for one meal, and in the long run it actually saves you time.  You can use these same principles to make use of an extra roasted chicken or an extra pot roast and save yourself time and energy in the kitchen every week.

First, Get Inspired!  

I used Pinterest to find as many ideas for how to prepare turkey as I could.  Then I thought of my family's favorite chicken/pork meals and substituted the turkey.  I tried to think of as many non-thanksgiving type meals as possible and vary the flavors in each dish so it doesn't all taste the same.  

Next, Make a Plan.

Take stock of what you have available in your kitchen what perishables you have to work with  and consider how you might use it to spiff up your leftovers.  Use up all you have on hand first, then head to the store to pick up whatever else you need.   Here is what I planned to do with the turkey.

Sunday: Thanksgiving Remake: Used up all the leftovers for a traditional leftover meal but with our freshly cooked turkey instead.

Monday: Turkey vegetable soup. I made a huge pot of stock from the bones and froze some for later.

Turkey Apple Pecan Salad with Crackers and fruit for Lunches. 

Tuesday: Leftover soup and fresh Bread (some of the family was out for dinner so they ate out)

WednesdayBBQ Turkey Sliders, Salad and Sweet Potato Fries

Thursday: Turkey Tacos with mango and cilantro Salsa

Friday: Turkey, Bacon, Cheddar and Veggie stuffed Potatoes. 

Saturday: Turkey Tetrazzini 

Finally, Keep it Simple! 

Don't over think it.  You can always freeze the cooked meat and use it in one of your favorite recipes later this month too! It was nice to have simple meals that cooked up quickly at this time of year when I'm in the middle of decorating and shopping and keeping my busy family in order.  

Making a huge green salad that can serve as a side to all of these dishes is how we get our vitamins and veggies this time of year.  You make it at the start of the week and it lasts all week long if you store it properly.   The key to making the most of your leftovers is to plan ahead how you will use them for another meal before you cook it to begin with! 

Alejandra Costello is one of our best sponsors and she loves to teach you how to "keep it simple" in your home organization.  

Have you seen her latest videos on I love this  video of her super organized guest room

ePantry is my favorite place to get all of my natural cleaning products delivered right to my doorstep. They are offering OMF readers a $10 credit on your first order! 

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Gifts to buy, parties to plan, concerts to attend and so much more fill your calendar this time of year.  If you are struggling to keep it all straight  you will love this Cozi ap for your smart phone.  

You can see what everyone in your whole family is up to in a beautiful color coded calendar plus you'll never forget that grocery list again because its on your phone! 

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  1. I did the same thing! Target had turkey for 99 cents a pound so I bought an extra to cook and cut up. The soup will get made for tonight. I'm always amazed when someone tells me they toss the turkey carcass (for lack of a better word). It makes such crazy good soup!

  2. Thanks for the ideas and the reminder, I wasn't thinking about all the ways I can use leftovers from the holidays. when I make the turkey I pull all the cooked meat off the bones and save tit for turkey salad, just like chicken salad. I also used chopped, cooked turkey and masked white or sweet potatoes and make shepards pie.


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