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VOL. 37 | NO. 50 | Friday, December 13, 2013

A warm, hearty solution for leftover turkey

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I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, wherever and with whomever you celebrated. In my opinion, the time of year when families and friends gather and share a meal together is the most wonderful time of the year.

Sometimes, Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only times of the year some of us get visit with certain relatives.

We had planned to travel to Colorado to spend Thanksgiving with the children and grandchildren, but the storm that moved through Dallas/Fort Worth the day we planned to leave changed our mind. After seeing how many flights had been cancelled, we were glad we did.

We most certainly would have been sitting in an airport, frantically searching for other flights.

We probably would’ve been delayed by only one day, but spending the night in an airport isn’t what we like to do. Maybe when we were younger, we would have thought nothing of it, but now – our bed and our sleep time is precious.

We did get credited fully for our tickets, and so we will be planning another trip there soon, I’m sure.

So we stayed at home and I made all the traditional foods that accompany turkey. It was yummy, and we ate on it for three days, then the rest of the leftover turkey was made into a wonderful Mexican-style soup. The recipe is below.

I also have a recipe that I made last night that was so good - crispy salmon with dill sauce. It’s a change from grilled or baked salmon. More importantly, it’s diabetic and heart health friendly: two things around which I base my cooking these days. That recipe follows also.

Cooking for diabetes or for heart health is really not so complicated. Some recipes need adjustments, but most of the time, if you’re cooking healthy to begin with, all you need to do is be a bit more thoughtful about the ingredients.

For example, if you’re using sour cream, use fat-free or lite brands. If you’re using margarine, make it a lighter and healthier type of margarine rather than just the one you pick up off the shelf in the store. If you’re using canned chicken broth or vegetables, use the lower sodium brands – or better yet, no-salt added brands.

And especially for diabetes, always use sugar-free ingredients or something with a sugar substitute.

Be aware of what you are putting in your foods. Read labels. Count the carbs in each serving. It really isn’t difficult – just healthier.

Kay’s Turkey Tortilla Soup

1 tablespoon of canola-olive oil, plus 1/2 cup for frying tortillas

1/2 cup of yellow onion, diced

1 1/2 tablespoons of chili powder

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

1 quart (4 cups) of homemade turkey or chicken broth

6 sprigs of cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

3 10-inch corn or flour tortillas, thinly sliced

2-3 cups of leftover turkey, diced

1 large can of diced tomatoes

1 cup of frozen corn

1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup of shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned. Add chili powder and tomato paste, stirring continuously for 15 to 30 seconds. Pour in the broth and scrape the bottom of the pan with a spoon to loosen the cooked bits. Add the cilantro and then bring mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Remove the cilantro sprigs and season to taste with salt. Add the turkey, tomatoes, beans, and corn; return to simmer.

To fry the tortilla strips, pour the remaining oil in non-stick sauté pan and heat it until hot. Add a few strips to the oil (scrunch them first if you want to give them a wavy shape). Fry the strips until they’re crisp and lightly browned. Transfer them to paper towels to drain, and then sprinkle lightly with fine sea salt while they’re still hot. Repeat until all strips are fried.

Ladle soup into bowls, top with tortilla strips and cheese. Soup may also be garnished with diced avocado, minced cilantro, dollops of lite sour cream, and/or lime slices if desired. Serve with flour tortillas that have been heated and then rolled-up.

Crispy Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce

8 oz. of low-fat plain yogurt

1/2 cup of fresh dill, diced fine

2 lemons, zested and juiced, divide

3 egg whites

2 teaspoon of cornstarch

1 cup of Italian-style bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 lb. salmon fillet, skin removed, cut into six pieces

For the dill sauce, mix the yogurt, the dill, and the juice of one lemon together in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Mix the juice of one lemon, the egg whites, and the cornstarch in another shallow bowl.

Mix the bread crumbs, the lemon zest, and the salt in a third bowl.

Dip the salmon in the egg white mixture, then in the bread crumbs. Place the pieces on a plate until all are coated.

Pour the canola oil in a non-stick sauté pan and heat to medium. Slowly add the salmon. Brown on all sides and serve with the lemon dill sauce.

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