Thanksgiving leftovers are a wonderful thing, but don’t you wish it could taste and look a little different the second or third time around? The Lexington School’s CFO (Chief Food Officer!) Chef Ryan Laudenschlager and amazing cook staff created 7 ways to reinvent your leftover Thanksgiving meal.
First things first, Chef Ryan does not use the word “Leftovers.” He much prefers “Unused Portions” to describe the food that remains after a meal is completed. Just mincing words, Chef? Not really. Chef Ryan says, “Leftovers means you are saving food that you will eat tomorrow in the exact form as today. Turkey today, turkey tomorrow, dressing today, dressing tomorrow. Unused Portions, on the other hand; that means we take the food from today, and we reinvent something completely different for tomorrow.”
The main ingredient is Creativity, something Chef and staff keep well-stocked. Take Thanksgiving Feast as an example from which we all can learn. Day one, the abundant feast for the (mere) 700 people our kitchen feeds daily consisted of roast turkey, roast ham, mashed potatoes, rice, gravy, green bean casserole, candied sweet potatoes, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. The traditional menu was delicious as always, and it was a standing ovation at each of the four lunches served. Bet your traditional Thanksgiving meal will get rave reviews too.
But what about day two? Historically, the day after Thanksgiving feast is Friday, the last day of school before a week off for the Thanksgiving holiday. To keep food waste down, Chef resistantly orders pizzas for everyone, counterintuitive for a kitchen that makes almost every food choice from scratch each day. This year, the kitchen collective said “NO” to boxed pizza and instead brainstormed and executed an extraordinary, creative, fun post-Thanksgiving menu. Here it is for you too.
7 Ways to Reinvent your Thanksgiving Leftovers (aka unused portions):
Turkey Stir Fry
Cornflake-Crushed Sweet Potato Cakes
Stuffing and Potato "Meatball" Sub
Cranberry BBQ Slider
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Want these recipes? Fill out the form below, and Chef Ryan will gladly share. If you are a foodie, then follow Chef Ryan on his YouTube channel or @mildmanneredchef on Instagram. Otherwise, just go for it! Take those unused portions, recycle, reinvent, and make something completely different and equally delicious the day after Thanksgiving. Let your kids plan with you, and see what their bright minds conceive. It’s a fun way to spend your Friday–collaborate and cook! If you come up with something special, please SHARE!
Be CREATIVE and be THANKFUL.