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Sides to Liven Up Leftovers


Tonight’s Recipe: Leftover Turkey with Creamed Spinach and Lentils

If you’ve been following along, you might be wondering what happened to the 12.5 lb turkey [2]. We aren’t an army, just four people, and two of them sometimes refuse to eat anything but Veggie Booty [3]. With the leftovers, we had some turkey sandwiches, tonight’s menu, and next week we’ll have turkey based soup.

I’m trying to get better about reducing our food waste while not winding up bored to tears with identical leftover meals. I’ve never been a great left over eater, but it does warm my heart a little to be able to get 4-5 different meals from one dish.

Creamed Spinach
16 oz package frozen organic spinach

3/4 of a white onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 tbsp. butter

1/3 c. half and half

1/3 c. 2% milk

kosher salt

fresh ground pepper


In a saute pan, melt butter. Saute onions 6-7 minutes on medium high heat until soft. Add garlic, saute another 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat if onions or garlic appear to be browning.

Thaw spinach and squeeze all the water out through a strainer. Add to onions and garlic, saute 3-4 minutes. Add half and half and milk, stir and continue to heat about 3-5 minutes until liquid is reduced by half. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.

3 cups chicken stock

1.5 c brown lentils

murray river salt

fresh ground pepper

Rinse lentils thoroughly. Bring chicken stock to boil in a saucepan. Add lentils and reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook about 25 minutes, until lentils are soft. Season to taste.

I know, I know. That’s not even really a recipe. But lentils are new to our rotation by about 2-3 years. I didn’t grow up eating them and had never cooked them at all until relatively recently. Lentils are very high in protein, iron, folate, and fiber. When I had gestational diabetes with my son, I had an extremely hard time keeping my blood sugar in check. I think that was what pushed lentils further into our rotation. They are practically the perfect pregnant lady food. And they are dirt cheap. Bonus!

Nutmeg is one of my favorite spices and it does wonders for spinach. But don’t overdo it or your dinner will constantly push memories of eggnog into your brain. Fresh nutmeg is considerably stronger than dried, but is really fun and smells marvelous. We picked some up on a trip to Jamaica last year, which incidentally had a fascinating rafting trip where our guide pointed out all of the local spice plants. Think of how much faster you can take a trip to Jamaica if you start eating more lentils.