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Ways to Include Your Turkey Leftovers into Your Favorite, Healthy Foods

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Updated October 25, 2013

Ways to Include Your Turkey Leftovers into Your Favorite, Healthy Foods Paul Cowan, istockphoto

So you’ve prepared a whole turkey for Thanksgiving or for some other special occasion and it was a hit with your guests – but now the biggest issue is what to do with all of that leftover turkey at the end of your feast. Turkey is leaner than other types of meat, making it perfect protein to use in your favorite dishes. Although it’s leaner than other types of meat, you should still make sure that you get a variety of foods and not overdo it on the turkey. These healthy tips will help you not to waste your turkey leftovers, as well as to prepare a variety of delicious, low-cholesterol dishes in the process.

Include Turkey in a Sandwich or Wrap

Lean turkey pieces can add a bit of substance to a boring sandwich or wrap. Whether you make a more traditional sandwich, piling on layers of lettuce, tomato, pickle and whole grain bread are make a more modern wrap with spinach, sprouts, feta cheese and a low-fat dressing, turkey can be a delicious addition any of these foods. When making your sandwich and wraps, watch your additions of fattier foods, such as ham, bacon, and cheese, since this could increase your cholesterol levels. Additionally, you should avoid spreads or dressings that are high in fat, such as full-fat dressings and mayonnaise. If these ingredients are needed, you should use versions that are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol.

How to Make a Heart-Healthy Sandwich

Incorporate Your Turkey into Another Meal

You also don’t have to eat the rest of the turkey as-is. There are a variety of ways you can incorporate turkey into a main dish – without greatly increasing your cholesterol levels. Whether you’re in the mood for Italian food for dinner or a good old-fashioned sloppy joe for lunch, leftover turkey can serve as a leaner meat for any dish you’re craving. Turkey can also serve as a delicious, leaner substitute for fattier meats in some of your favorite recipes. Try some of these healthy takes on some delicious favorites using leftover turkey:

Delicious Turkey Meatloaf

Low-Fat Turkey Sloppy Joes

Turkey and Vegetable Pie

Use Turkey in Soups and Stews

With the weather growing colder during the Thanksgiving holidays and the days after, what better way to celebrate the holidays with a warm soup or stew? Chopped turkey can be added to practically any soup to create a heart-healthy dish that will be sure to keep you warm – and full. Add in a handful of your favorite beans and veggies, along with your turkey, and the ending result will be a delicious soup that won’t significantly increase your cholesterol levels. If you’re trying to come up with some ideas for a delicious soup, try some of these healthy recipe ideas:

Turkey and Lentil Soup

Chunky Turkey and Rice Soup

Low-Fat Turkey Chili

Toss Pieces of Turkey into Your Salad

Roasted turkey leftovers can be a tasty ingredient in a boring salad. Salads give you a variety of options – whether you want to make your salad a little bit sweeter by adding strawberries, fresh citrus fruits, and mixed leafy greens or adding lots of vegetables, such as spinach, beets, shredded carrots, and a smattering of tomatoes. Just be sure that when adding you’re salad ingredients, make sure that you limit your additions of bacon, cheese or creamy salad dressings – all of which could increase your cholesterol levels.

How to Construct a Cholesterol-Friendly Salad

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  5. Meat & Your Cholesterol
  6. Ways You Can Prepare Low Cholesterol Foods with Turkey Leftovers

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