Thanksgiving Leftover Brunch

So many leftovers you don’t know what to do with?! It’s the holiday time; which means food, food, and more food. Everyone loves a Thanksgiving feast; indulging in all of our favorite comfort foods, even the next day – but then we get bored, and there is still so much food left in the fridge. I am here to re-create Thanksgiving leftovers into a brunch beautiful for guests.

Read on, below!

thanksgivingbrunchcollage

Most people don’t like Sunday; for it brings the Monday blues, but for me – it is my favorite. Sunday is a day when I don’t feel guilty doing the things I love; you see – I love breakfast, but I don’t LOVE getting up for breakfast time; this is where brunch and I make the perfect fit. Not wanting to have my typical daily green smoothie; I got creative in the kitchen with some leftovers and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome.

I took about a 1/2 cup of leftover mashed potatoes and 1/4 cup savory mashed butternut squash mixing together with 1/4 cup @kodiakcakes (for binding purposes) and a little bit of water.

Next I took the trusty ‘ol waffle iron and sprayed generously with cooking spray; I spooned the thick mixture to the middle and closed the waffle maker. (This makes a smaller rustic looking waffle rather than a full circular one, you can always take up the full waffle surface if you’d like!)

Have you ever poached an egg? Well I haven’t but I love their presentation and so I thought I’d give it a whirl! (See what I did there?) ok, moving on; how to poach an egg:

-Step one is to take a large pot and fill (I used a 4.5 quart) with water and bring just to a low boil

-It is best to use fresh eggs when poaching but first crack your egg carefully into a small bowl for even pouring

-Add 1 Tbs white vinegar to the water and take a large spoon or spatula and stir the water creating a vortex; when the water has a nice whirl to it, pour in your egg!

-The egg will cook for about 3 minutes when you will need a hand strainer to remove the perfectly poached egg

Now that your squash/potato/waffle is almost done and your poached egg is ready to go; I melted some white cheddar (can use yellow as well just had white in the fridge shredded up) about the size of your little waffle on a piece of tinfoil (wanting the edges to get crispy) and put it in the toaster oven.

Not only do we always have leftover turkey; but bacon after Thanksgiving! (Wrapping parts of the bird with thick cut bacon slices while baking gives an amazing flavor to the outer skin, plus who doesn’t love eating bacon with well, anything!)

My layers and toppings included:
▫️(bottom) Mashed potato and savory squash whey buckwheat waffle
▫️Crispy toaster oven Cheddar
▫️Slice of bacon cut in half
▫️Poached egg
▫️Sweet potato casserole
▫️Cranberry Sauce
▫️A dollop of maple syrup

The possibilities are endless though; you could even top with slices of turkey and pour on some gray for a more hearty Brunch (think chicken and waffles!) But now it’s Turk ‘n Waffs!

Alongside I paired with @gtskombucha Trilogy with fresh cranberries and rosemary. If you are not familiar with kombucha; I wrote an entire blogpost on it here. I absolutely love kombucha; it’s a great alternative to soda, alcohol, or fruit juices; plus topped with a few cranberries and rosemary it just looks so fancy and festive! Hosting a party no one would even know there isn’t alcohol (well there could be traces of it in kombucha but you know what I mean!) when presented like this in a stemless wine glass it is picture perfect.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did; if you are interested in other ideas and recipes to re-invent Thanksgiving leftovers comment below and let me know!

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Fresh Starts | On-the-Go Snacks

I attribute most of my successful eating and lifestyle habits to my first season of fitness competitions. Not the food I ate, but the preparations. Let’s face it; we all live busy lives– whether you are a stay at home mother of 3 chasing them around while picking up clothes off the floor for the laundry, cleaning up the accident on the floor from the dog during the night before, or maybe you are the working professional that barely sees more in a day than florescent lights, four walls, navy blue, black, grey, and endless conference calls and meetings. We are all busy. I am here to make your lifestyle a more happier, healthier, way of life in every scenario of snacking and food!

snackscollage

Even before traveling to Asia in 2017, I was always a fan of the food. So what better than to kick off this post with Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps! Originally, P.F. Chang’s was my go-go spot for a quick lettuce wrap indulgence; but they’re so easy to make! Bring them as your lunch in the office, to a pot-luck picnic with friends, the beach, or a quick Summer dinner option.

ASIAN LETTUCE WRAPS INGREDIENTS:

  • 2lbs Ground Chicken or Turkey
  • 3 Green Onions
  • 1 Can of Water Chestnuts; drained and chopped
  • 1 Cup Shredded Carrot
  • 1 Cup Shelled Edammame
  • 2tsp. Reduced-Sodium Soy Sauce or Bragg’s Amino Acids
  • 2tsp. Reduced-Sodium Teriyaki Sauce
  • Pinch of Salt and Pepper (Red Pepper Flakes optional, I like HEAT)
  • 14.5oz Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 2Tbs. Hoisin Sauce
  • Butterhead Leaves (Bibb or Boston) work best!
  • Sweet Chili Sauce (basically romance in a container)
  • Seasame Seeds (for topping)

 

Who doesn’t love granola? There is a very logical reason why we all love it, this healthy snack is loaded with sugar; but it doesn’t have to be! Making your own granola ensures you know the ingredients that are, and are not in your healthy snack. From granola bars, to loose granola in a baggy, to pouring some almond/coconut milk over it and topping with fresh fruit and making cereal; I love it all! The other great thing is you make it in batches; which means once it is made– you have a quick grab-and-go option.

MY FAVORITE BIG-OL-BATCH OF GRANOLA INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Cups Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Pecans
  • 1/4 Cup Walnuts
  • 1/4 Cup Cashews
  • 1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 2 Tbs. Ground Flaxseeds (It’s important to grind them, a coffee bean grinder works great–otherwise they will come out looking the same way they went in!)
  • 1/4 Cup Honey/Agave
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil (Liquified)
  • 1/4 Cup All Natural Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
  • Ground Cinnamon to taste
  • 1/2 Cup Goji Berries

 

Meatballs are my next go-to (quick and easy) snack or meal option; there are endless varieties of flavors and sauces that I never get sick of them! I usually buy 3 pounds of ground chicken or turkey from the grocer, and make three different flavors freezing some of each! Again, just like the lettuce wraps; they are good at the beach or on the go, hot or cold, added to other ingredients to make a dinner, or on their own as a snack!

BASIC MEATBALL INGREDIENTS:

  • Ground Chicken or Turkey
  • 1 Cup Panko
  • Poultry Seasoning, Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Egg
  • Minced Garlic
  • 1 Cup Parmasean (Not for the Asian ones)

 

SPINACH MEATBALL INGREDIENTS ADD TO ABOVE BASIC RECIPE:

  • 1 Cup Frozen Chopped Spinach
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Sautéed Onions Chopped

BUFFALO CHICKEN INGREDIENTS ADD TO ABOVE BASIC RECIPE:

  • 3 Ribs of Celery Minced
  • 2 Onions Chopped, Sautéed
  • 2 Large Carrots Minced
  • Franks Red Hot
  • 1/4 Stick of Butter

 

ASIAN CHICKEN INGREDIENTS ADD TO ABOVE BASIC RECIPE:

  • 1/2 Cup Reduced-Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 Onions Chopped, Sautéed
  • 2 Large Carrots Minced
  • 1tsp. Fresh Ginger Minced
  • Thai Chili Sauce
  • Sesame Seeds for topping

PINEAPPLE JALAPENO CHICKEN INGREDIENTS ADD TO ABOVE BASIC RECIPE:

  • Can of Crushed Pineapple
  • 1/4 Cup Lime Juice
  • 2 Jalapeno Peppers seeded and Chopped
  • Ground Cinnamon to Taste

Food is one of my favorite topics; if you haven’t gathered that yet, if you like these entries with ingredient recipe ideas comment below and let me know! I would be more than happy to provide you with full recipes step by step for any of these dishes, comment below to inquire! Until next time; I hope you think of me the next time your internal world feels like it is spinning out of control, you take a deep breath– look at the healthy on-the-go prepared food in front of you and smile. I will be doing the same, thinking of you! Food is both soul satisfying, and a communal act; let’s enjoy these creations together–from afar!