Somehow, Thanksgiving — a day we set aside to celebrate how much we already have and/or how some of our ancestors didn't starve to death when they hit the New World — is typically marked by an excess of food. Since every year supermarket turkeys get freakishly bigger, it helps to think of them not as a one-night poultry overload, but as a starter kit for a week's worth of meals:
- Tacos. Pair turkey with plenty of black beans and shredded cabbage in corn tortillas. After the T-day starch-fest, you'll welcome the fiber.
- Hash. Also a good way to use up leftover (or unused) spuds, vegetables and stuffing. Dice everything up and heat in skillet.
- Shepherd's pie. Place turkey and other leftovers, including gravy, at bottom of oven dish. Cover with mashed potatoes and bake until hot.
- Pasta salad. Toss shredded turkey and cooked pasta, with bell peppers, onions and any other raw vegetables, in a vinaigrette. That's a bunch of lunch that doesn't taste like warmed-over Thanksgiving.
- Other soups. Forgo turkey-and-noodles, and use the meat for Mexican tortilla, Polish cabbage, Italian minestrone, Indian mulligatawny or Moroccan bean.
- Midnight snack. Pick meat off the carcass while standing with the fridge door open. It's wrong, but it always tastes so right.
- Down to the bone? Simmer that skeleton to make a stock.
Confidential to smaller households: Try roasting a turkey breast instead of a whole bird.