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Thanksgiving leftovers makeovers

Thanksgiving leftovers makeovers

One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is enjoying leftovers after the meal. Nancy Waldeck, a chef at Thomas F. Chapman Family Cancer Wellness at Piedmont, shares three great recipes that will help you spice up your leftover vegetables.

1-2-3-4 soup

This is a recipe for a super simple leftover vegetable soup that is warm, comforting and delicious the day after a big day of eating. Once you get the basic formula down, consider adding in other ingredients to the 1-2-3-4 format. You’ll never forget how to make this soup!


  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil

  • 2 cups chopped onion

  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or chopped

  • 3 cups leftover veggies, such as brussels sprouts, broccoli or cauliflower

  • 4 cups vegetable broth

Step One 

In a large pan, sauté the onion in the oil until soft. Add in the garlic, and cook and stir until fragrant, about one minute.

Step Two 

Add the veggies to the pan.

Step Three 

Pour in the veggie broth, bring the soup to a boil, turn the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Let the soup cool for a few minutes and then use the immersion blender to make a thick, rich, creamy soup. If desired, garnish the bowls of soup with a little nonfat Greek yogurt and prepared salsa.

Crudité chopped salad with cranberry sauce dressing

Whether your raw veggies are left over from dipping into Grandma’s pimento cheese or simply ranch dressing, here’s a way of making them into a salad that will make everyone say, “WOW!”


  • Ingredients from the crudité platter like carrots, celery, peppers, radishes, cauliflower and broccoli

  • Chopped napa cabbage as desired

  • At least ½ cup roasted salted nuts, chopped

  • 1 recipe cranberry sauce dressing*

Step One

Shred the leftover crudités in the food processor. Switch out to the chopping blade. Add any raw broccoli and cauliflower hanging around to the processor and chop coarsely.

Step Two

Place the chopped salad in a bowl and add the napa cabbage as desired. Toss with the dressing, starting with a drizzle, toss again and add more dressing. Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the top and serve.

*Cranberry sauce dressing


  • ½ cup leftover smooth (or chunky) cranberry sauce

  • 3 tablespoons honey

  • Juice and zest of 2 limes

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Add the cranberry sauce, honey, lime juice and zest, cardamom and cinnamon to a bowl and whisk well.

Veggie enchiladas


  • 2 cups chopped red onion

  • 1 large jalapeño, deveined, seeded and chopped

  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, grated

  • At least 3 cups of whatever leftover cooked veggies are around, chopped into ½” pieces if whole (you can also use creamed spinach or mashed or scalloped potatoes)

  • 12 corn tortillas

  • 1 (12- to 16-ounce) jar chunky salsa

  • 1.5 cups shredded monterrey jack cheese

Step One

In a large pan, sauté the chopped onion and jalapeño in the oil until soft. Add the garlic and cook and stir until fragrant – about a minute. Add the veggies and cook until the veggies are warm.

Step Two

Prepare a casserole dish by spraying it with olive oil. In another sauté pan, warm the tortillas one by one, taking each one out at a time, placing it in the prepared casserole dish and filling it with about ¼ cup of veggies. Roll the tortilla up and place it seam side down in the casserole dish. Continue until all 12 tortillas are filled. Pour the chunky salsa on top of the tortillas and sprinkle with the cheese. Slide into a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes or until bubbly. Remove and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Check out more healthy recipes from Living Better.

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