… A Holiday Leftovers Comfort Food Dish!
The holidays are moving away quickly. For many they are already out of sight, out of mind. But if you still have some lingering meal leftovers that you might not have used up yet, this easy recipe is for you.
I always have leftover turkey after the holidays. I try to incorporate as much of it as possible into meals following the holidays, but eventually I hit a breaking point where I just can’t seem to look at turkey any more. Then I divide it into meal-size portions and freeze it for easy dinner prep and money-saving meals at a later date. I’m actually working this recipe from turkey we enjoyed at Thanksgiving (so we’re ready to enjoy it again.)
Using pre-cooked roasted turkey (or chicken) reduces the cooking time of this recipe while the flavors are still full and rich. If you happened to have leftover cooked veggies that you’ve frozen, those will also be a great time saver and can easily be substituted into this recipe instead of roasting the Brussels sprouts. I think freshly roasted veggies add a quality to this gluten-free, dairy-free pasta and veggie medley that keeps the meal feeling like it didn’t all came from leftovers though. But I’m never above putting great leftovers to delicious use again. Stretching the dollar and saving time with healthy choices is what it’s all about … especially after Christmas when we’re trying to decompress from parties, shopping, and (indulgent) holiday eating, right?
This recipe strategy is very useful for any time of year. When you’re making your meals from scratch, remember to cook more meat and veggies than your meal requires, then keep the leftovers aside for a busier night when incorporating them into pasta or rice will not only stretch your budget, but will save you another night of cooking a meal from scratch. Yay!
Gluten-free, Dairy-free Pasta with Turkey, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Fennel and Pecans
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Makes: 4 large servings
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed, outer leaves removed, sprouts cut in half
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 ounces gluten-free pasta – I use Anellini pasta from Schar
2 cups water
2 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth – I use Swanson’s Natural Goodness Chicken Broth or homemade
1 lb roasted turkey or chicken, warmed and coarsely shredded or chopped
1 Tablespoon dairy-free margarine – I use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread – soy free
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside.
Combine Brussels sprouts, fennel, onion, garlic, 2 Tablespoons oil, basil, onion powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper in a bowl and toss well to coat all veggies with oil and seasoning.
Spread veggies out onto prepared pan in an even layer.
Bake at 375ºF on center oven rack for 10-15 minutes, stirring once. When Brussels sprouts are just fork tender but still require some cooking, about 10 minutes before veggies are done, add pecans to the baking pan (also in an even layer). Return pan to oven and continue baking about 10 minutes, or until Brussels sprouts are tender and lightly browned and you can smell the toasted pecans. Remove pan from oven and set aside. Proceed to next step while veggies and pecans are roasting.
Combine water, broth, 1 Tablespoon oil, and pinch of salt in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions, until pasta is al dente (firm-tender to the tooth.) Drain and return pasta to pot. Stir in 1 Tablespoon oil and remaining salt and toss to coat.
Add roasted veggies, pecans, and warmed turkey to the pasta. Add margarine and toss all ingredients to distribute well. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot. Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™