Food & Drink

BUNGALOW KITCHEN: Transform extra turkey into tasty salad

On this eve of Thanksgiving, you already may be trying to determine what you’ll do with all of those leftovers once your guests have gone home and have left you with tons of turkey.

Many people have their favorite go-tos: turkey noodle soup, turkey tetrazzini, turkey pot pie and everyone’s favorite -- the turkey sandwich piled high with leftover cornbread dressing and cranberry sauce.

This recipe for Holiday Spinach Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Turkey and Goat Cheese will give you a reason not to dread the barrage of leftover turkey.

The recipe incorporates autumn flavors while also including nutrient-dense ingredients to balance out the overindulgence you may have experienced on Thanksgiving Day. The raw baby spinach is full of great nutrition -- fiber, folic acid and a great amount of vitamins. The beta carotene in the butternut squash has antioxidants to keep you healthy and well for many future Thanksgiving celebrations. The small dice on the butternut squash with the pumpkin pie spice gives a nice flavor without the sticky sweet taste of a sweet potato casserole. The scent is still there, but the sugar is not.

If you’re hosting a smaller group on Thanksgiving Day, this might be a nice alternative to roasting a whole turkey and all of the fixings. You could cook a turkey breast, shred the meat, and use it in this salad.

Butternut squash is the star of this salad because of its consistency and flavor.

The warmth of the roasted squash against the creaminess of the goat cheese is a lovely combination and tastes great with the crunch of the walnuts and the tartness of the dried cranberries.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Alex and Eleta Morrison live in Macon and write a food blog, Bungalow Kitchen. Visit their blog at bungalowkitchen.wordpress.com or contact them at bungalowkitchenmacon@gmail.com.

BUNGALOW KITCHEN RECIPE

Holiday Spinach Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Turkey and Goat Cheese

6 cups fresh baby spinach

1 cup shredded turkey

1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cut into dice-sized bites

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup roasted walnuts

For the dressing:

Zest and juice of 1 orange

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Serves four.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss the butternut squash, olive oil, pumpkin pie spice, salt and pepper. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and roast for about 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the spinach, turkey, cooked butternut squash, goat cheese, cranberries and walnuts.

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad, then toss with tongs. Serve immediately.

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