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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

At Thanksgiving, we enjoy family, friends — and food. So why not try a creative, healthy new side dish to add flair to your holiday meal?

Rather than the typical corn or peas, consider roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted butternut squash or roasted cauliflower — for that matter, any type of roasted vegetable, prepared with olive oil, pepper and sprinkled with your favorite herbs.

Instead of the typical mashed potatoes, use mashed cauliflower or mashed sweet potatoes (minus the mini marshmallows, as sweet potatoes are usually sweet enough). Or substitute roasted garlic mashed potatoes, where sour cream and butter are replaced with olive oil, roasted garlic and some of the starchy potato cooking water.

If you’re looking forward to leftovers, keep food out of the danger range (temperatures between 40° F and 140° F) to help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

Here are some safety tips:

  • Store leftovers within 2 hours after your Thanksgiving dinner is finished cooking.
  • Throw away any cooked food left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Remove meat from turkey bones and don’t leave stuffing inside the bird. In fact, it’s better to cook it separately.
  • Divide leftovers into smaller portions and refrigerate or freeze in a shallow container so it cools quicker. Hot food can be placed directly into the refrigerator.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container to prevent drying and keep bacteria out.
  • Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for no more than 3 to 4 days. If you won’t use them that quickly, freeze and use within 3 to 4 months.
  • When reheating a liquid such as gravy or soup, bring it to a rolling boil.
  • If using the microwave to reheat, cover and rotate the food for even heating.
  • Do not reheat leftovers more than once.
Bowl of turkey rice soup

Turkey rice soup

Makes 8 servings
3 stalks of celery, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 medium carrots, peeled, cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium onion, cut into small wedges
6 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons of Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blend (or your own non-salt spice blend)
½ cup of brown rice 
2 cups of leftover cooked turkey

1. Combine chicken broth, celery, carrots, onion and seasoning into large saucepan. Bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour.
3. Add rice and turkey, then simmer 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.

Nutrition information per serving: Calories 141, total fat 3 g, protein 13 g, carbohydrate 14 g, cholesterol 30 mg, fiber 3 g, sodium 124 mg
Recipe modified from Diabetic Cooking
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