Tag Archives: sweet potato

A Recipe is Only a Guideline…

The other day I came in with one thing on my mind: hot veggie soup but there was none.  Because of food allergies I can’t just open a box of Pacific or Imagine pureed veggie soup, which is a shame because some of the varieties look really tasty.  Every recipe I post here is just that a written recipe with specific measurements and directions.   In reality a recipe (unless you’re baking) is just a guideline.  Some of my favorite meals have no recipe.  I thought I’d do a post about flying on your own, untethered by the confines of a recipe.  With that in mind I will share thoughts for an Impromptu Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Soup and an Impromptu Carrot Ginger Soup that can be put together from whatever is in the fridge, freezer and pantry.

No squash, just sweet potatoes?  No problem!  Make Sweet Potato Soup.

Not enough squash or sweet potato?  Augment with canned pumpkin.

No chicken stock?  Use veggie stock or a bouillon cube or two.

No maple syrup?  Use some of the pear juice from the canned pears.

Feeling like a “creamed” soup?  Add a white potato and/or enrich with some fat free half and half, evaporated skim milk or a dairy substitute of your choice.

Looking for more exotic flavor?  Substitute a small spoonful of a mild Thai Curry paste of your choice.

Looking for less flavor?  Back off the curry powder or leave it out entirely.

Looking for a little protein?  Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt or even stir in a small amount of peanut or almond butter if you’re able to tolerate it.

By the way, a “palmful” is just enough spice to create a mound in the center of your palm.  Also, I’m always afraid of staining food processors and blenders with curry so I add it after I’ve pureed.

Impromptu Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Soup

1  sweet potato (any size), peeled and cubed

2 cups (or so) roasted butternut squash (or equivalent frozen puree or cubes)

low sodium chicken stock

palmful of onion powder

1 garlic clove (less or more depending on your taste), grated

1 cube Ginger Paste

pinch thyme leaves

2 canned pear halves

palmful pumpkin pie spice

palmful mild curry powder

2 glugs maple syrup (I like Grade B)

salt and pepper to taste

Bring sweet potato cubes and enough chicken stock to cover to a boil.  Reduce heat and add remaining ingredients except curry powder.  Simmer until sweet potato cubes are very tender.  Puree and return to the soup pot.  Thin to desired consistency with stock.  Season with curry powder and salt and pepper to taste.

Impromptu Carrot Ginger Soup

When I was able to eat carrots I made Carrot Ginger Soup often.  It too doesn’t require an actual recipe.

carrots, peeled and chopped

low sodium chicken stock

palmful of onion powder

1 garlic clove (less or more depending on taste) grated

1 cube Ginger Paste

pinch of curry powder or pumpkin pie spice

salt and pepper to taste

Bring all ingredients (except curry powder) to a boil in enough chicken stock to cover.  Simmer until very tender.  Puree and return to soup pot.  Thin to desired consistency with stock.  Season with curry powder or pumpkin pie spice, salt and pepper.

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Fat is Flavor! Fat Delays Gastric Emptying!

Fat is flavor!  That’s one of the first things I learned in culinary school.  Fat delays gastric emptying!  That’s one of the first things I learned after I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis.  As I’ve been learning, some GPers can eat all the fat they want and some cannot.  Just as some GPers can tolerate more fiber than others.  Right now I would consider myself “middle of the road” as far as fat and fiber are concerned.

Before GP, I was living a very “clean” life…plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean proteins and most importantly, healthy fats by way of olive, canola, fish and flax oils, avocado, peanut and almond butter, nuts, dark chocolate, egg yolks, naturally raised grass-fed meats and cold water fish.  Healthy fat helps with the absorption of many nutrients, keeps skin and hair healthy, improves cardiovascular health, reduces the symptoms of hypertension, depression and inflammation in the body and as we’ve all been told, delays gastric emptying.

After my diagnosis I shied away from fat altogether.  The GP diet is low-fat NOT no fat and I have to keep reminding myself of that.  We’ve all been there.  Newly diagnosed and still in the flare that was responsible for the diagnosis or just out of a flare and experiencing the fear and paranoia of putting ourselves back into one while being completely clueless as to what is safe to eat.

Food allergies and Gastroparesis have made me a very cautious eater.  You all know my motto: “Nothing tastes as good as being well feels!”.  I’m a “baby steps kinda gal” not a “leap before I look gal”.    While trying to safely and responsibly introduce foods back into my diet (healthy fat in particular), I’ve been using what I’ve nicknamed the Three Cs Method…Caution, Conservatism and Calculation.

Caution: I carefully choose meals I tolerate easily which are already very low or contain no fat to “improve” with a little healthy fat.

Conservatism: I add fat very slowly, in small increments until I feel I’m at a healthy and tolerable level for me.

Calculation: I keep in mind the other meals and fat contents I’ve already consumed that day when deciding how much fat to allow in a meal.

Examples of introducing more healthy fat into my day are:

Adding a tablespoon of strawberry banana flavored flax oil supplement to my morning Banana Chocolate Protein Smoothie adds 5 grams of healthy fat including Omega 3 fatty acids.  On the mornings I’m out of Barlean’s Omega Swirl I add a heaping teaspoon of smooth almond butter to my smoothie.  The recent addition of one tablespoon of natural cocoa powder in each serving of Mary’s No Sugar Added Instant Breakfast Powder adds an additional two grams of healthy fat to my breakfast.

Spreading mashed avocado onto my sliced turkey or chicken sandwiches has been another easy way to incorporate some healthy fat into my lunch when I’m not enjoying chicken, tuna or egg salad made with one tablespoon of Hellman’s Olive Oil Mayonnaise (50 calories, 5 grams fat).  According to www.avocadocentral.com, 1/5 or 1 ounce of a Hass avocado contains 50 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 1 gram fiber and 1 gram protein.  Avocado is also part of the menu that was provided by the dietitian and was suggested by a fellow GPer on the GP Yahoo group I belong to.  They are a friendly, kind and informative group I might add!

I juice my fresh fruits and veggies almost daily.  I find fat in liquid form or fat diluted in liquid much easier to tolerate.  I add 1 teaspoon of Barlean’s Fresh Catch Fish Oil to my juice.  It adds a pleasant orange flavor 45 calories and 4.5 grams of fat including healthy Omega fat.  Recently, when I was out of fish oil I quickly pureed a quarter of an avocado into my juice with my stick blender for an Omega boost.

I try to consume most of my eggs whole (with the yolk) and only make sacrifices when trying to bake a low fat, GP-friendly treat…remember treats and sweets after all nutritional needs are met.  Although the yolk is a significant source of cholesterol, it is full of important nutrients including fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids (according to www.cholesterol-and-health.com).

In keeping with advice I received during a webinar sponsored by G-PACT back in August, I try to introduce one new food back into my diet each week or so.  My most recent addition is poached salmon and I’m happy to announce it was a success.  I went the lazy route and purchased a package of wild pacific salmon prepared with salt and lemon from the refrigerator case at Trader Joe’s.  Each 3 ounce serving contained 90 calories, 1.5 grams fat, 18 grams protein and a whopping 1,000 mg of Omega 3 fatty acids.  It was delicious mixed with a little olive oil mayo, Penzey’s Mural of Flavor salt free seasoning and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

The very first meal I tinkered with was the Three Cheese and Spinach Pita Pizza which is almost fat free.  Each time I made one, I drizzled a little extra virgin olive oil over the fat free cottage, ricotta or feta cheese starting out with a 1/4 teaspoon and working up to 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil which adds 40 calories, and 4.7 grams of mostly monounsaturated fat.  I enjoy the flavor of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil and just a teaspoon makes my pita pizzas taste more like the real thing.

During a quickie impromptu dinner.  I divided a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil into thirds and drizzled it over each layer of a sweet potato I filled with 1/4 cup seasoned fat free ricotta cheese and cooked spinach.  Along with the 1/3 teaspoon of olive oil I salted and peppered each layer and finished with a dusting of finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano.  It was a simple, delicious and healthy dinner!

While I’m not an expert on GP, I’m becoming an expert on my own GP.  Right now, I feel most comfortable consuming 5 grams of fat at a time.  This isn’t a race…it’s a journey.  GP is a chronic condition so I have the rest of my life to tinker with my diet until I get to my most healthy and tolerated way of eating.  How are you able to incorporate healthy fats into your day?

Tasty Find! Eats,Treats and Tummy Tamers

Not everything I enjoy is homemade.  I have plenty of store-bought favorite eats, treats and tummy tamers so I thought I’d take a moment to mention some of them…

EATS:

It’s no secret I’m a very cautious eater but I do eat out on occasion and on evenings that I absolutely, positively do not want to cook there are two places where I trust I’ll get a “safe” meal.  I’m currently trying to expand my dining out horizons so if anyone wants to share their safe meals and go-to restaurants please do!

IHOP I can most certainly make pancakes and scrambled eggs myself but sometimes it’s nice to have someone else do the cooking and clean up.  A stack of buttermilk pancakes and two scrambled eggs are a safe and simple dinner out.  I ask for the butter to be left off and sometimes (to the horror and embarrassment of Hubby) bring my own real maple or berry syrup for the pancakes.  I take the extra pancakes home for later.

Ted’s Montana Grill For a cozy, more up-scale dining experience we head to Ted’s for dinner.  My “safe” meal is one of the same meals I ordered before my GP diagnosis-Beer Can Chicken with a baked sweet potato (available after 4:00 pm) with the cinnamon butter on the side.  Once the skin is removed the chicken is still moist and tasty.  The baked sweet potato is tender and delicious and barely needs a small dollop of the cinnamon butter. I ask for an extra plate and use the room to cut up my chicken away from the pool of sauce at the bottom of the soup plate they serve it in.  I give my roasted asparagus spears to Hubby and ask for a take out box for the rest of the chicken and half sweet potato.  This is not how the meal is written on the menu.  I don’t ask I just specifically order it this way.  Ted’s has locations in Montana, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Virgina, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

TREATS:

When I was trying to maintain my weight I started to snack mindlessly between meals and snacks…exactly what they tell you not to do when trying to lose weight.  Now that I’ve gained five pounds I need to be a little more mindful of my treats.  Remember treats and sweets are for after your nutritional needs are met.  These are a few of my favorites…

Trader Joe’s Low Fat Cat Cookies for People are available in ginger and chocolatey flavor.  They are modestly sized, crunchy, not overly sweet and are reasonably priced at approximately $2.49 per 16 ounce tub…oh, and very tasty too.

15 Ginger Cats: 120 calories, 2 grams fat, <1 gram fiber, 2 grams protein

15 Chocolatey Cats: 110 calories, 1.5 grams fat, 1 gram fiber, 2 grams protein.

Kedem Tea Biscuits are made in Israel and available in the Jewish section of the market.  They are crisp, delicate, rectangular tea biscuits available in vanilla, orange, chocolate and plain flavor.  Each sleeve is approximately 79 cents and sometime 3 sleeves for a dollar during the Jewish holidays.  I enjoy them plain or as little sandwiches filled with seedless blackberry, strawberry or raspberry jam..and sometimes add a little almond or peanut butter.

2 biscuits: 32 calories, 1 gram fat, 0.2 grams fiber, 0.5 grams protein

Double Rainbow and Hagen Daz Chocolate Sorbet are both a refreshing change when I’m dairy-ed out at the end of the day.  The Double Rainbow sorbet (available at Trader Joe’s) has a fudgey flavor and is more reasonably priced than the Hagen Daz sorbet.  However, the Hagen Daz chocolate sorbet has a much richer dark chocolate flavor.  If you’re looking for a non-dairy chocolate fix both are up to the task.

1/2 cup of sorbet: 120 calories, 1 gram fat, 2 grams fiber, 2 grams protein

DelMonte Fruit Chillers are tubes and cups of fruit sorbet available in the canned fruit section of the market.  Each tube or cup is portioned and convenient and doesn’t need to be stored in the freezer until you’re ready for a frozen treat.  Each box is made with 1 pound of fruit and comes in flavors like strawberry snowstorm and grape berry blizzard.

Jelly Belly Jelly Beans are downright addictive!  So be warned.  Measure out a small handful and step away from the bag!  Four calories per bean may sound harmless and 100 calories for 25 jelly beans seems modest but then 25 beans turn into 100 and so on and so on….until you’ve plowed through an entire bag.  Guilty as charged!

Min Pretzels and Baked Lay’s Potato Crisps hit the salty spot.  I find sometimes a small handful of mini pretzels or a few crisps is all it takes.

TUMMY TAMERS:

SoBe Lifewater…specifically the Yumberry Pomegranate flavor.  I generally take the claims on vitamin water bottles with a grain of salt but in this case the ginger and dandelion root extracts really have a way of soothing my tummy.  Even my non-GP Hubby sipped one during his last tummy bug and came to the same conclusion.  This is a calorie free beverage so if you’re trying to gain or maintain be aware that it may be soothing but filling you up without filling you out.

GIN-GINS Double Strength Ginger Hard Candies from the Ginger People are my favorite tummy tamer.  So much so, that I finally broke down and ordered a five pound box directly from them.  They are made with real ginger, sweet and spicy and naturally stimulating (as proclaimed on the package!).  I pop one in my mouth right after lunch and dinner to help kick-start the digesting process or when I get that wave of nausea we’re all so familiar with.

Those are all the eats, treats and tummy tamers I can think of at the moment.  Please feel free to share any of your favorites.  Eat Well! Be Well! Enjoy!

Inspiration From Unlikely Sources

I promised a hearty stew and here it is…with inspiration from an unlikely source!  The following recipe for Chicken Stew with Greens and Two Potatoes is adapted from a Recipe of the Month published in the free, little local newspaper that appears in my mail each week.  Except for the lentils…which are sadly not Gastroparesis-friendly the recipe was made to be adapted for us GPers.  Warning: this dish has a kick and is not the recipe for any GPer who is “spice shy” because it packs a lot of flavor into humble GP-friendly ingredients.  The ginger, garlic, cumin, cinnamon and coriander are a warming addition to simple chicken and potatoes. If you are at all concerned cut the spice by half or season in whatever manner you feel most comfortable.

This is the first recipe for the blog that uses chicken thighs.  Thighs work better for a longer simmer but do contain more fat than chicken breast so I trimmed all visible fat with kitchen scissors before cooking and blotted the seared thigh pieces with paper towels before continuing on with the dish.  The original recipe called for carrots so I left them in for anyone who is able to eat them…unfortunately, I’m allergic.  The stew is finished with spinach and two tablespoons of fresh cilantro.  I used only the tender cilantro leaves and stirred them into the hot stew with the spinach but if you’re at all concerned leave the cilantro out.  Potatoes don’t freeze well so share this one with friends and family.

Chicken Stew with Greens and Two Potatoes

Serves 6

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of all visible fat, cut into 1″ pieces

1 teaspoon salt

ground black pepper, to taste

2 cloves garlic, grated on microplane

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, pressed through as sieve to collect fibers

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried coriander

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (used Vietnamese-it has a stronger flavor)

1 tablespoon brown sugar

4 cups (1 32 ounce box) low sodium chicken stock

1 15 ounce can tomato sauce

2 carrots, cut into half-inch rounds (allergic, left out)

2 white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes (12 ounces)

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes (12 ounces)

1 16 ounce bag frozen, chopped spinach defrosted and excess water squeezed out

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves (optional, if concerned leave out)

6 tablespoons fat free plain yogurt

Spray a dutch oven with olive oil cooking spray.  Preheat over medium heat.  Add chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Blot chicken with paper towel to remove fat.  Add remaining ingredients up to spinach, cilantro and yogurt.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer until vegetables are tender (approximately 30 minutes, 40 for very tender).  Stir in spinach and cilantro and simmer until heated through.  Serve each helping with a tablespoon of fat free plain yogurt.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: (includes carrots)

232 calories, 4.7 grams fat, 3 grams fiber, 24.3 grams protein

Kissin’ Cousins

As you all know by now this is a Gastroparesis recipe blog but it’s also meant to be my vehicle for being well by eating well and living well with a chronic digestive disorder.  This is the time that I would be irresponsible if I didn’t remind everyone that I’m not a Registered Dietitian, nutritionist, medical professional, therapist or personal trainer…just a trained chef and amateur nutrition sleuth who happens to have Idiopathic Gastroparesis.  Everything that I develop or write about is based on my own research and experiences with GP.

Recently, during my internet travels, I came across a local Registered Dietitian’s Webinar presentation and article regarding GI disorders including Gastroparesis.  When I dug a little deeper I discovered another article that stated she had gastroparesis.  What better source could there be?    In her presentation and article she stressed the importance of protein, Omega 3 fatty acids and getting enough daily servings of fruits and vegetables.  According to her, most women (GP or not) don’t get enough protein in their diets.  She stressed protein is important because it builds antibodies that build the immune system.  Women should aim for 50 grams of protein per day along with Omega 3 fatty acids, two to three servings of fruit and two to four servings of vegetables per day.  Anyone with GP knows that there are many days when this is a challenge so I thought I’d do my best to map it out using foods from the Gastroparesis Diet.

Examples of Protein Sources and Servings:

These are all averages.  Individual items may vary.

Dairy Protein:

1/4 cup fat free cottage cheese:  6.5 grams

1 cup fat free milk:  9 grams

Low fat/ fat free yogurt/greek yogurt:  3 to 16 grams depending on brand, serving size and variety

1/4 cup fat free shredded mozzarella cheese:  9 grams

1 scoop whey protein powder:  16 grams

Animal Protein:

1 egg:  7 grams

2 ounces cooked chicken breast:  18 grams

3 ounces cooked white fish (haddock/cod):  20 grams

1/2 5 ounce can of solid white albacore tuna in water:  6.5 grams

Vegetarian Protein:

1 tablespoon almond butter: 3.5 grams

soy protein powder/rice protein powder:  12 to 20 grams per scoop

1 cup almond milk:  1 gram

1/2 cup mashed sweet potato:  2.5 grams

1/2 cup cooked white rice:  2 grams

1/2 cup prepared cream of wheat:  1.9 grams

1 slice white bread:  2 grams

Nutrition Drinks:

Depending on the brand (Boost, Ensure, Orgain, Isopure, Slimfast, Carnation Instant Breakfast):  Up to 15 grams per serving.  Servings can be halved and/or diluted with water for snacks.

Examples of Omega 3 fatty acid Sources:

flax oil, fish oil, canola oil

fish

almond butter

omega 3 eggs

Examples of Servings Sizes for GP-friendly Fruit:

1 4″  banana

1/2 cup apple sauce

1/2 cup canned pears in juice

1/2 cup canned peaches in juice

4 to 6 ounces fruit juices

Examples of Serving Sizes for GP-friendly Vegetables:

1/2 cup sweet potato

1/2 cup mashed white potato

1 cup winter squash

1/2 cup cooked veggies: beets, carrots, spinach

1/2 cup baby food peas

6 ounces vegetable juice

I worry about getting enough nutrition on the GP diet and mapping out my nutrition give me some piece of mind that I’m doing the best I can for myself given the constraints of this condition and lifestyle.  I hope this information is helpful for everyone who shares my concerns.

This whole ‘nutrition tangent” inspired me to create Chocolate Almond Butter Protein Power Pudding…a “kissing cousin” to the original Chocolate Almond Protein Power Pudding.  I’ve swapped out the pureed cottage cheese for almond butter and upped the whey protein powder.  This might be an easier recipe for anyone who is dairy intolerant to adjust.  One little custard cup offers significant protein, calcium, and Omega 3 fat.  Slice half of a large banana on top and you’ve knocked one fruit serving off your day.  Caution: unlike his cottage cheese infused cousin, this version is not fat and fiber free…each serving contains 4 grams of fat and 2 grams of fiber due to the almond butter.

Chocolate Almond Butter Protein Power Pudding

Serves 2 but can be multiplied

1/2 3.9 ounce (4 servings) box chocolate instant pudding

1 cup fat free milk

1 tablespoon almond butter (softened if refrigerated)

1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder

sliced bananas (optional)

whipped topping and cocoa power (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl starting with softened almond butter.  Whisk for 2 minutes or until smooth and stating to thicken.  Refrigerate until firmed and ready to eat.  Garnish with sliced banana, whipped topping and a dusting of cocoa powder if desired.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Based on 2 servings.  Does not include banana, whipped topping or cocoa powder.

248 Calories, 4 grams Fat, 2 grams Fiber, 14.25 grams Protein

Seasonings

I’ve been thinking about seasonings lately.  There are some days where all I want or can tolerate is really plainly seasoned foods and others where I’d welcome a meal with “a good smack across the face” of flavor.  I catch myself imagining what a dish “should” taste like and in my pre-GP life I’d  know exactly how to get it there.  I’m routinely disappointed when my expectations aren’t meet with a GP-friendly meal.  The mantra in culinary school was: “Fat is flavor!” and “Everything needs salt!” but there is more to it than that.  There’s a synergy between ingredients and when your list of ingredients is as limited as ours is it’s time to get creative.  I’m still new to this low-fat, low fiber (potentially low flavor) Gastroparesis diet and I’m learning something new one dish at a time.  These are a few seasoning tricks I’ve learned along the way:

Grinding dried herbs in a spice grinder (an inexpensive coffee grinder designated only for spices) with a little salt pulverizes them into dust.  The salt acts as an abrasive.  To clean the spice grinder between uses just grind up a small piece of bread to clean any dust residue.

Lemon juice (just a few drops) is a great “pick me up” for tuna salad, fat free sauces and gravies and of course all fish.

A few gratings of fresh nutmeg makes anything made with spinach and milk or cheese (especially parmesan) sing.

Real parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano) in very small amounts and grated into wisps using a microplane/rasp delivers big flavor for not a lot of fat.

A spoonful of frozen orange juice concentrate straight from the freezer gives anything from mashed sweet potatoes and roasted butternut squash to fat-free custard mixture for french toast a sunny punch of citrus.

Raw garlic cloves grated to a paste using a microplane/rasp adds flavor without adding bits and pieces.

Buttermilk and yogurt add a nice low-fat/fat free twang to potato dishes.

Maple syrup (especially grade B which has a more maple flavor), molasses and brown sugar are sweeteners that offer more flavor than white sugar.

Soy sauce offers umami (savory) flavor compared with kosher or sea salt.

Laughing Cow cheese wedges (any variety) add 2 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein and a little punch of flavor to baked potatoes, noodles (just melt with a little fat free milk) or whatever they’re spread on.

Salt-free seasoning mixes (in conjunction with a little salt) are an easy “two pinches” to flavor.

Chicken stock simmered with chopped onions, celery, parsley and fresh herbs then strained provides all the flavor without all the skins and strings.

A small amount (1/2 cup or  less-depending on number of servings) of dry French white vermouth is an acceptable substitute for a larger amount of white wine in a recipe.  Unlike white wine it can sit in the refrigerator for a while once opened.  Just make sure you’re able to tolerated small amounts of alcohol.

Hopefully, more seasoning trick are in my future but until then feel free to share your tips for GP-friendly seasoning ideas.   Eat well!  Be well!  Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Leftovers. My Most Favorite Second, Third and Fourth Meal of the Year!

What’s the best thing about Thanksgiving dinner?  Leftovers of course!  The following three ideas for leftovers are family traditions that I’ve adapted for my new GP-friendly lifestyle.  Because everyone’s leftovers are different and there are no exact serving sizes I can’t do a nutritional breakdown of each recipe…just make sure all of your leftover components and portions are GP-friendly for you.

GP-Friendly Big Bird Sammie

Serves 1

1 pita round, split into 2 rounds with scissors (I purchase pita bread from a local Syrian/Lebanese bakery.  The loaves are very thin and the large rounds are 9-10″ in diameter.)  Save remaining half for another purpose.

1 triangle Laughing Cow cheese (any flavor-I used garlic and herb)

thinly sliced leftover turkey breast

leftover jellied cranberry sauce

leftover stuffing

leftover gravy

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees.  Spread Laughing Cow wedge over entire surface of pita round.  Layer turkey, cranberry sauce then stuffing over half of the pita.  Salt and pepper between each layer.  Fold pita over to make a half- moon.  Seal in a foil packet and bake until warm-15 to 20 minutes.  Cut into 4 wedges and serve with leftover gravy, if desired.

Turkey Soup

Add a spoonful or cooked rice or noodles to each bowl before serving, if desired.

6 cups turkey stock (From previous post-freeze the other 6 cups or so with some leftover turkey meat for another batch of soup in a month or so)

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes (or carrots if able to eat)

8 ounces sliced mushrooms (I used crimini)

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence (ground into a powder with a pinch of salt in spice grinder)

1 tablespoon onion powder

2 teaspoons soy sauce

reserved turkey meat

10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed of excess liquid

Add sweet potato cubes, mushrooms, garlic, bay leaf, Herbes de Provence and onion powder to 6 cups of turkey stock.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook until sweet potato cubes are tender (approximately 15 minutes).  Add soy sauce, reserved turkey meat and spinach.  Simmer until hot.  Season with salt and pepper.

Leftover Thanksgiving Dinner Pie

Serves 1 in an individual gratin dish or multiplied in a pie plate to serve more

Leftover low-fat GP-friendly stuffing

Leftover fat free gravy

bite sized pieces of leftover turkey, skin removed

cooked carrots  (for those who eat carrots)

Leftover fat free mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes or a combination

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Press leftover stuffing into gratin dish or pie plate.  Pre-bake in oven until crispy bottom crust is formed.  Meanwhile, warm gravy, turkey and carrots (if using) in a saucepan.  Pour filling into warm stuffing shell.  Loosen potatoes by stirring with a fork.  Spread or pipe mashed potatoes on top of “pie”.  Bake until potato topping is warm and puffed.