Monday, November 28, 2011

Creative ways to use your leftovers: Cranberry sauce

I have a love-love relationship with leftovers. And Thanksgiving leaves some of the yummiest leftovers of the year! Many of the one-time-a-year dishes served at Thanksgiving dinner can be easily incorporated into everyday meals. In an efficient kitchen, nothing goes to waste! And leftovers are an amazing time-saver too. But cranberry sauce might be one leftover that you don't know what to do with; and this year it's my favorite! My so-simple recipe for cranberry relish, below, can be easily enjoyed post-Thanksgiving. If you don't want to use it right away, just freeze it in an ice cube tray for the perfect portion later on.

Cran-orange relish at Thanksgiving

With your leftovers, try a 1-2 tablespoon portion (only 20-40 calories) used as:
  • Jam/spread on whole wheat toast or waffles
  • Topping for Greek yogurt
  • Spread for turkey sandwich (also made with leftover turkey)
  • Side for roasted pork tenderloin
  • Mix-in for oatmeal
Relish atop plain Greek yogurt. Does this not look indulgent?
Well it is...but without the guilt!

Why worry about saving it? Cranberries are a great source of some very potent antioxidants (or phytochemicals), which have many health benefits and are shown to prevent cancer. It's better to enjoy fresh cranberries versus canned because you can control how much sugar is added (you could even substitute some sugar substitute)--and quite frankly, they're better!

Cranberry-orange relish
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 (12 oz.) bags fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
  • Zest, juice and pulp of 1 orange
  • 1 cup sugar

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cranberries will start to soften and pop within 2-3 minutes. Stir until most of the cranberries have popped and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat to cool and thicken. Refrigerate.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes 16 (1/4 cup) servings.
Nutrition information, per 1/4 cup:
75 calories, 0g fat, 0mg sodium, 19g carb, 2g fiber.

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

Wait-don't throw your leftovers away just yet! And that includes your pumpkins, if they're still around. Stay tuned for more holiday recipes and creative ways to use them. Be sure to freeze any leftovers you won't be using immediately by TOMORROW (that will make 5 days in the fridge)!