Tightwad

These ideas are so delicious you may want to go back to the store to buy more Thanksgiving fixings, which is not a bad idea because sale prices will be ridiculously low right after the holiday.

 

Healthy Pumpkin Pie-Oatmeal Breakfast

1 cup water

1 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)

1 cup old-fashioned oats (not instant or quick-cooking)

1/2 cup canned pumpkin, or ¾ cup pumpkin puree (fresh or thawed from frozen)

1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend

2 tablespoons of your favorite sweetener: honey, maple syrup, coconut or date sugar, or stevia to taste

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Your choice of topping: finely chopped dates, pecans, walnuts, dried cranberries, currants, or raisins

Combine the first five ingredients, bring to a low boil. Cook for five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and sweetener of choice. Pour into serving bowls and sprinkle your choice of topping. Serves two.

 

Tip: If you are using homemade pumpkin puree instead of canned, increase the amount of vanilla just a little. 

 

 Turkey Talk

Craving BBQ? Mix your favorite barbecue sauce with shredded turkey to make pulled BBQ-turkey sandwiches.  

 

Hash Browned Turkey: In a large skillet, combine frozen (or freshly made) hash browns with finely minced onions, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook over medium-high heat in a small amount of cooking oil for five minutes without stirring. Sprinkle diced cooked turkey over the hash browns.  With a spatula, turn everything over and cook an additional five minutes on the other side. 

To make hash browns from scratch, shred potatoes with a cheese grater or food processor, rinse with cool water until water runs clear. Drain in a colander, pressing the water out with a clean cloth until nearly dry. Use about a half-inch thick layer of this in the above recipe.

 

Stuffed Meatballs: Mix leftover stuffing with finely chopped cooked turkey. Add a little leftover gravy if needed to hold the mixture together. Form into small meatballs. To serve as appetizers, insert a toothpick into each meatball and use leftover gravy or cranberry sauce for dipping.

 

Freezing tip: Frozen turkey can maintain good flavor if it is tightly wrapped to exclude air. If frozen whole, a well-wrapped turkey will still taste fresh after one year. Nine months, if cut into pieces.

 

Leftover Vegetables

Green beans Nicoise style: Combine chilled leftover green beans with olives, a can of tuna (drained), and hard-boiled eggs chopped in large pieces. Serve over lettuce with either Italian, Ranch or Thousand Islands salad dressing.

Sweet potato, chilled and cut into small cubes works surprisingly well in many salads.

Sweet potatoes for breakfast: Chop cooked sweet potatoes into small cubes and stir them into hot oatmeal, along with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice just before serving. Sweeten with honey, maple syrup or chopped dates. 

Mashed potato and stuffing patties: Mix leftovers with a tablespoon or two of finely chopped onion, a dash of pepper, and one or two beaten eggs to hold the mixture together. If you like, add finely chopped turkey to the mix. Form into patties and fry in a small amount of cooking oil over medium-high heat for three or four minutes on each side until nicely browned. 

Stuffed dumplings are delicious cooked in turkey or chicken soup. Mix together 2 eggs, 6 tablespoons flour, and a pinch of salt and pepper until smooth. Add 2 cups of leftover stuffing. Mix well and set aside for a few minutes. Heat the soup to a gentle simmer. With wet hands, roll teaspoon-sized balls of the stuffing mixture. If it is too soft, add small amounts of flour to the mixture until the balls are firm enough to hold its shape. Drop into the simmering soup and cook for about five minutes or until the dumplings float.

Stuffed Peppers: Cut the top one inch of your favorite kind of peppers. Remove the insides. Fill the empty pepper with leftover stuffing. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes until the peppers are soft.

 

Do you have a frugal tip or an opinion you’d like to share?  Contact The Tightwad’s Almanac, P.O. Box 964, Mena, AR 71953.

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