Every year, Thanksgiving dinner not only fills our bellies, it fills our fridge with cruel leftovers for days to come. This year embrace the leftovers and incorporate the best of the holiday traditions into your weekly meal prep. Don’t go to the family meal without your favorite prep containers and tote to bring home the delicious flavors!
The trick here is to not let your Nana pack up the treats. Her heart of gold will have your containers filled with a little bit of everything. To take advantage of the feast, you will need to be selective! Start with the main event, turkey. First things first, skip the skin. Then stick with white meat over dark meat, and you will save 25 calories for every four-ounce portion you eat.
As for side-dishes, opt for any grilled or steamed vegetables first. You may find you’re the only one interested in taking home the leftover salad as well.
When it comes to favorites like green bean casserole and sweet potato casserole, leave the crunchy fried onions and sweet, gooey toppings in the dish. Scoop out the beans with as little cream of mushroom soup as you can manage and choose only the sweet potato mix beneath its sugary shell. Only take small portions of each of these or to really cut the calories, skip the sweet potato casserole, as it has more starch and higher fat naturally. Save the stuffing for the dinner table and the dinner roll for the to go container. It makes the perfect sandwich with cold turkey and a little gravy. Gravy? Over cranberry jelly, yes. That tangy cranberry sauce is quite deceptive in its high sugar content. The gravy will be a healthier choice and can pack a lot of flavor in a small dose.
With a busy holiday schedule, it can be very easy to get out of the habit of meal prepping, so it is better to take advantage of the surplus food in your fridge. Make a turkey omelet for a morning protein punch. Wow your pile of fresh spinach with a creamy green bean casserole topping. Make a quinoa bowl with all the various veggies and top with leftover gravy. Fill a roll with almond butter and banana slices for quick workout recovery snack.
With all this conscious eating, you’ve even earned an extra slice of pie, but choose the pumpkin as it has the lowest calories.