Top five post holiday meal hacks

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 at 5:48 PM

A total of 46 million turkeys are consumed on Thanksgiving every year, according to the National Turkey Foundation. They further estimate that 20 percent of the 228 million turkeys consumed in the United States are eaten on that late November holiday. 

However, there is a projected waste of 200 million pounds of turkey during the Thanksgiving holiday season. Moreover, nearly 3 million pounds of collard greens, 2 million pounds of kale and 1.2 million pounds of Brussels sprouts are thrown into the landfill following the season’s grateful tide. 

“At a time when one in eight Americans go hungry, taking steps to reduce food waste is even more critical,” said a newscaster for the NRDC. Therefore, there are plenty of ways to repurpose leftovers to reduce such a vast waste in our own homes, community and throughout the United States.

1. Turkey Pot Pie

2 cups mixed vegetables, 2 cups cooked chopped turkey, 1 (10 ounce) can cream soup (chicken or mushroom), 1 cup Bisquick, 1 egg, ½ cup milk.

— Place turkey and vegetable in an 8-inch pie pan

— Cover with soup

— Mix egg, milk, Bisquick

— Pour over top

— Bake at 400 F 30-35 minutes or until golden

— Let cool and serve. 

2. Broccoli-Potato Casserole

1 (10 ounce) bag frozen broccoli, 1 (8 ounce) can condensed mushroom soup, 6 cups mashed potatoes, 1 cup of grated cheese, 2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine, salt and pepper, paprika, garlic powder.

— Cook potatoes until tender and mash them. Cook broccoli until tender.

— Dot casserole dish with butter or mushroom.

— Add broccoli.

— Top the broccoli with the mushroom soup and grated cheese. Add the mashed potatoes on top.

— Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder.

— Bake in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes.

3. Leftover Thanksgiving Salad

½ cup dried & chopped cranberries, 1 hard-boiled (diced) egg, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves, ¼ cup light mayonnaise, salt and pepper.

— Combine the turkey, ham, cranberries, egg, and basil in a mixing bowl.

— Stir in the mayonnaise.

— Season to taste with salt and pepper.

— Enjoy!

4. Mashed Potato Pancakes

2 cups mashed potatoes, 1 beaten egg, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon butter.

— In a medium bowl, mix together potatoes, beaten egg, salt, and cheese.

— Melt butter on a large griddle at medium heat.

— Drop potato mixture onto griddle 1/4 cup at a time.

— Flatten with a spatula to 1/2 inch thick.

— Fry approximately 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Serve hot.

5. Donate leftovers to neighbors, churches, local establishments or anyone or place in need. Try to avoid at all costs tossing viable food into the trash.

All of these post-Thanksgiving meal hacks are aimed at the purpose of reusing and reducing waste.

JoAllie Paluchak is a Staff Writer for The Spectator. She can be reached at

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