Thanksgiving leftovers?! Think more than a turkey sandwich

November 19, 2012 (CHICAGO)

This year, the Purple Asparagus is helping come up with some ideas I their event "Transforming Leftovers into Delicious Dishes." The class is being taught through the Chicago Park District as a way to reach lower income families and help them stretch their food dollar a little further while still eating healthy.

For more information, visit

Transforming Leftovers into Delicious Dishes
Friday, November 23

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
2430 N. Cannon Dr.
Chicago, IL
The class is free with museum admission.

Five ways to upcycle Thanksgiving leftovers…

1. Think beyond the sandwich. Thanksgiving leftovers can be used in a way that doesn't seem like a retread of the Turkey Day feast. Save the gravy to serve with a roast chicken during the next week. Make Chiliquiles or a savory bread pudding with leftover veggies. Mix the cranberry sauce with maple syrup and serve it as a topping for pancakes and waffles. Even the potatoes can be used as a delicious crust for a savory pie.

2. Attack early. It's easy to sit back after Thanksgiving and want to forget the mess left behind. Spend an hour after the meal packing up your leftovers in small containers.

3. Be prepared. While you're waiting for your turkey to brown, locate the packing containers and plastic bags you plan to use for leftovers. It will make packing up a breeze.

4. Don't forget your freezer. Leftovers don't all have to be consumed immediately if you get them into your freezer immediately. Gravy and cranberry are two Thanksgiving staples that freeze well.

5. Take stock. The most valuable of turkey day leftovers is the turkey stock. Cover the bone with chopped carrots, onions and celery. Drop in bay leaf and a sprig of thyme. A few hours later, you've got homemade stock. While it's more assertive, turkey stock can be substituted for chicken stock in stews and richly flavored dishes

About Purple Asparagus:

Founded in 2005, Purple Asparagus is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that educates children, families, and the community about good eating for the body and the planet. With a board of equally dedicated farmers, community organizers, advocates, and food aficionados, the aim is to change the way children and, by extension, families and communities, relate to food and all things associated with it. The organization was also a key partner in Chicago Chefs "Move to Schools" program of the White House's "Let's Move" initiative, received the International Association of Culinary Professionals Culinary Youth Advocate of the Year award in 2012 and and was recently named one of the top 15 Crusaders of Health in the Food Industry on In addition, founder Melissa Graham received a 2011 Good Eating Award.

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