‘Tis the season for eating large meals with heavy sides, and frankly, we’ve been waiting all year. However, if you’re feeling like you might want to switch to something a little less nap-inducing, there are options when it comes to the leftovers.

Just a little creativity (and reading this blog post) can help you battle the bulge this holiday season. The key is planning ahead, as in plan what you’ll be doing with your leftovers. Your blood sugar levels — and your houseguests — will be very happy you did.

Turkey

Let’s start with the obvious. There’s a lot you can do with turkey, but most of us enjoy a bit of variety to keep things from getting monotonous. Turkey sandwiches are delicious—unless you’ve had them four days in a row.

To pull yourself out of the turkey rut, try some exotic flavors, and a low-carb option with these Thai turkey lettuce cups from Cooking Light. Bonus: It’s always fun to eat with your hands.

There’s always the tried-and-true post-Thanksgiving turkey soup option, throwing in leftover veggies alongside the trio of onion, celery and carrots, plus a starch like pasta or potatoes and voila, you’re all set. Looking for fewer calories? Simply omit the final, aforementioned ingredient. A squeeze of lemon over the top can add tons of flavor without the need to dump in a ton of salt. Save your blood pressure meds for braving holiday shopping crowds instead.

Going Green

If you have roasted sweet potatoes, perk them up by reheating in a cast iron skillet and toss over spring mix. Throw in a handful of chopped turkey — and here’s where things can get really crazy — make a cranberry-sauce-infused vinaigrette to drizzle on top. Staying on theme, cube up some cornbread or leftover rolls to make crunchy croutons for the top.

Speaking of green, do you have plenty of green bean almandine sitting in the fridge? And perhaps some ham just waiting for its encore? Use them both in this elegant, tasty and healthy ham Niçoise salad from Cooking Light.

 

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