Thanksgiving is early this year—can you believe less than 2 weeks away! How’s your planning coming?
Of course, besides planning for the holiday itself, I like to give some thought to what comes after. No, I’m not talking black Friday, I’m talking Thanksgiving Leftovers!
Now one great trait of some leftovers—especially when life is filled with visitors–is that they can be pulled straight from the ‘fridge and eaten. Right between the shopping trip and the football game.
Today’s Thanksgiving Leftovers Curried Rice Salad allows just that–for super easy noshing. Even better, it has fruit (dried cranberries or raisins) and vegetables (sweet potatoes and peppers) right in the mix, so your nutrition doesn’t suffer.
The salad was inspired by a Thanksgiving leftover sandwich, I created many years ago that won first prize in a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel contest. That recipe was easy, and this is even easier!
For days you don’t have leftover turkey, you could use rotisserie chicken–and I recently learned that Trader Joe’s sells grilled chicken breast (yes that’s what’s in this). Or for a vegan version, a nice can of chick peas or some tempeh can round out the protein as well! And by using rice instead of pasta, it becomes gluten free—and local in my case.
I love Thanksgiving leftovers. Since my brother hosts the holiday, I’ve been known to buy a smaller turkey and roast it over winter break to have leftovers/healthy snacking for kids home from school.
With this Curried Rice Salad recipe I have even more reason to do a “second Thanksgiving”!
- 1 container (6 ounces) dairy or non-dairy fruit yogurt (or add 2 T maple syrup to plain yogurt)
- ½ cup mayonnaise (vegan if you wish)
- 2 Tablespoons curry powder (or to taste)
- ¼ cup prepared chutney
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry or lime juice
- 3 cups cubed cooked turkey or chicken (or chickpeas or tempeh for vegan version)
- 3 cups cooked brown rice or pasta
- ½ cup finely chopped celery
- 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins (see note)
- ½ cup Cilantro or parsley, chopped
- 1/3 cup nuts of your choice (I used almonds)
- ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 cup chopped pepper (ripe bell, or mini-peppers)
- 1 sweet potato baked and cubed
- Whisk dressing ingredients together until well combined.
- Mix Salad ingredients to combine, then toss with dressing.
- If you have a thick cranberry sauce, this can be cubed/chunked and substituted for the dried cranberries
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