Leftover Turkey Scraps: New Comfort Food Recipe

Those turkey scraps that don’t fit nicely on a serving platter for Thanksgiving lend themselves very well to a favorite family recipe of mine. I would put these croquettes in the “comfort food” category. They are easy to make, use up all your leftover meat scraps, and are a healthy meat entrée. Enjoy the whole traditional bird on Thanksgiving, then enjoy this great leftover dish later in the week.Turkey Dinner

Take all those scraps of turkey and place into a food processor or a blender.  This recipe calls for about 2 cups of shredded meat.  The meat mixture will be mixed with a light roux sauce to bind it and then baked in the oven for a healthier alternative to a traditional fried croquette recipe.

 

For the croquette meat mixture you will need:

2 cups of chopped or shredded leftover turkey

dash of salt and pepper

1 tsp. lemon juice (optional)

1 tsp. chopped parsley (optional)

Combine these ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside.

Next, make the light roux sauce.  You will need:

4 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1 cup milk

Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add the flour and seasonings and blend.  Slowly add the one cup of milk, stirring continually with a wire whisk until the mixture thickens.  After the mixture thickens, add into the chopped meat mixture. You want the mixture to be firm enough to shape, so use only part of the sauce mixture initially, and then added the rest as needed.  It is helpful to chill the mixture for awhile in order to allow for shaping the mixture into firmer patties.

After the roux sauce and chopped meat are mixed together, shape your croquettes into eight hamburger like patty shapes.

The next step is to coat the croquette patties with the bread crumbs.  You will need:

1 cup fine bread crumbs
1/4 cup butter
one egg with 1 tbsp. water or alternatively you may use eggbeaters

Place the butter in a shallow baking dish and melt.  Dip the croquettes into the bread crumbs, egg, and then back into the bread crumbs.  Next place the breaded croquettes into the melted warm butter and coat all sides. Preheat the oven to 350 ° and bake for about 30 minutes until crisp.  This can be served with a dollop of any leftover roux sauce if not needed for the croquette mixture.  Garnish with a sprig of parsley and enjoy that turkey again.

Nutrition information per croquette:

200 calories

9 grams of fat

15 grams of protein

15 grams of carbohydrate

360 mg sodium

Tip:  If you would like to decrease the fat and calorie content further, skip rolling the bread coating mixture in the melted butter.  Turkey scraps can also be frozen to make this recipe at a later time. And, no turkey?  This recipe also works very well with leftover chicken.  Bon appetit!

 

 

Chronic Fatigue: 4 Diet and Lifestyle Tips to Tackle

It goes by many names: chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID), myaligic encephalomyelitis (ME).  Whatever you want to call it, it requires lifestyle changes to cope, and bed rest is not a quick fix for those that are truly afflicted.  If you have this condition, you know who you are!  You may also remember your life before the condition and after, that red line of health and when it was crossed and what triggered your seemingly endless fatigue. This condition may also be associated with fibromyalgia.

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Here are some tried and true tips to help this condition:

Manage your weight.  Under the circumstance, this can be a huge challenge. If you are needing to pace yourself with rest (which is how most people cope), then you will be sitting more. This means that your overall calorie intake needs to be vested in nutrient rich foods that do NOT also yield a lot of calories. It’s amazing what a difference there is in terms of calorie burn on days you are mostly sitting vs. being able to walk around all day when you may be feeling more normal.

I am a huge fan of fitness trackers for just this reason. Knowing real time energy output on bad days and then better days, helps immensely in weight management. By looking at the data, one’s food consumption can be adjusted accordingly. Remember that to maintain weight, calories consumed must match calories burned!

Do eat a nutrient dense diet. Your calories need to “count” from a nutritional standpoint because there may not be a lot of discretionary calories for you to be eating if you are burning few calories due to your fatigue and limited activity.  The better quality diet will only increase your chances of feeling better.  There’s no guarantee, but it can’t hurt.

Too tired to prepare food?  Never cook for only one meal.  Double batch and use your freezer.  Don’t be afraid of a frozen meal such as Healthy Choice brand meals.  I guarantee they are healthier than that fast food or take out meal you might eat because you are too tired to deal with dinner!

Consider certain supplements.  The condition remains one that the established medical community cannot open a text book and find solid direction on how to treat.  With that said, there are a few supplements that may be helpful.  Consider CoEnzymeQ10, D-ribose, and probably a good quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement.  I don’t uniformly recommend the latter to patients, but when calories need to be restricted to manage weight, it is not a bad idea in my opinion.  The CoQ10 and D-ribose are tied in with our biochemical energy cycle, and I personally find them to be helpful.

Know your boundaries.  While boundary setting is not necessarily a nutrition tip, it is an important lifestyle tip. Learn to say “no” if you feel it will compromise your health.  Many of us are so eager to be normal, that it is very easy to overdue it when we feel on the normal end of the spectrum.  Both mental and physical pacing need to be first and center in your life.  If you are reading this, you are probably all too familiar with the “crash and burn” cycle of both chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.  Doing too much at a time can result in being a limp rag doll later. Best to manage that precious resource called energy and pace yourself all day and every day-even when you may be feeling “normal”.

What tips can you share to live your best life?