Menu Inspiration

Preparing Thanksgiving Leftovers

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In America, the Thanksgiving holiday captures the essence of our Grace Before Meals movement.  It celebrates the goodness and importance of the family around a dinner table, with people calling or traveling long distances to be with family. Even non-religious people sense a sacred moment when, right before they carve the turkey, they take a moment and recognize their blessings in life.

(There are always leftovers at my house with a spread like this!)

(There are always leftovers at my house with a spread like this!)

It’s interesting that for this upcoming holiday, people become a bit more spiritual and religious:
1) doing corporal works of mercy by collecting and distributing donated foods to the poor,
2) inviting the homeless to eat with them at a charitable organization, or
3) yes, even saying a prayer before they chow down a.k.a. grace before meals. All of these gestures help us recognize that appreciating a loving family is just another part of living a good life.

(I know my parents just love having the grandkids – around – even though they can really eat ALOT!)

(I know my parents just love having the grandkids – around – even though they can really eat ALOT!)

I will spend Thanksgiving at my parents’ home, which is always so crowded with family, friends, and whoever happens to be there.  We don’t do the traditional early suppertime meal, but instead, we eat around 7 p.m.  Because there are so many of us, there isn’t a table (or a room for that matter) in my parents’ home big enough to accommodate everyone so we don’t do a formal, sit-down dinner.  Instead, we usually just plate all our foods buffet-style.  And you know what that means: lots of lovely leftovers!

This week’s Menu Inspiration will celebrate two ways to make Thanksgiving leftovers worthy of another celebration: Mashed Potato Cakes & Creamy Carrot and Ginger Soup.

If you would like these recipes, make sure to Create An Account on www.gracebeforemeals.com and you can have access to these and plenty of other great recipes! If you would like to contribute a recipe to be added to our Recipes section of our website, then email us at assistant@gracebeforemeals.com!


Mashed Potato Cakes

(As you can see from this picture, even though they’re leftovers, these potato cakes make for great stackable food for fancier presentations.)

(As you can see from this picture, even though they’re leftovers, these potato cakes make for great stackable food for fancier presentations.)

Creamy Carrot and Ginger Soup

(Adding more or less stock or other liquids will either tighten or loosen the soup to your preference. Just make sure you accordingly add LESS salt at the beginning of the process.)

(Adding more or less stock or other liquids will either tighten or loosen the soup to your preference. Just make sure you accordingly add LESS salt at the beginning of the process.)

Let Us Pray:

Heavenly Father, You showed Your eternal generosity through Your Son’s miracle.  You made water into the best wine at Cana, and had 12 baskets of leftovers from the miracle that fed more than 5,000.  Almighty God, help us to be grateful – even for these “leftovers,” so that by Your example of generosity, we may be inspired to be just as generous in feeding those who hunger for food, faith, family, and Your compassion.  You ultimately proved Your generosity by giving us Your only Son on the Cross.  Fill our lives with this goodness, so that we in turn share that gift with others.  Amen.

(I turned some leftover turkey into a gourmet panini by adding a little basil pesto mayo, and sautéing the turkey in some hot sauce. And don't forget to grill the bread!) 

(I turned some leftover turkey into a gourmet panini by adding a little basil pesto mayo, and sautéing the turkey in some hot sauce. And don’t forget to grill the bread!)

What do you do with your leftovers?  Do you have any tips or ideas on how to transform the Thanksgiving Dinner into a whole new meal?  Did you have a chance to express your thanks-giving by spending time, treasure or talent with those less fortunate?  Let us know about something inspiring from your Thanksgiving experience.  Your comments help inspire our members to share the blessings!  Post your comments and questions below.

(Turkey carving – talk about the need for "grace" before the meal!)

(Turkey carving – talk about the need for “grace” before the meal!)

And between now and Thanksgiving, I certainly pray your travel plans and your holiday preparations go smoothly and gracefully!

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Posted in Food for the Body, Food for the Soul, Grace Before Meals, Menu Inspiration, Recipe-Side Dishes, Recipes, Vegetables | No Comments »

Posted December 8th, 2010 | Recipe-Side Dishes, Recipes

Roasted Veggies:

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

2 cups broccoli florets

2 cups cauliflower florets

2 cups sweet potato, pealed and cut into ½ inch cubes

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 tsp Salt

1 tsp black pepper

2 Tbs olive oil

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray an oven-safe sheet pan with nonstick spray. Combine all ingredient in a bowl and mix together. Spread ingredients in bowl onto the sheet pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the veggies begin to lightly char. Remove from oven and pour ingredients into a bowl to continue to steam together, releasing the natural juices. Let veggies rest about 5 minutes, or until cool enough to handle. Use a ring mold or a measuring cup to create a circular mold for presentation purposes. Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper to taste.

(Roasted Veggies, pure and delicious!)

Roasted Veggies, pure and delicious!

Posted in Recipe-Side Dishes, Recipes | 1 Comment »

This week’s e-mail recipe is more of a cooking tip that lets you use not-yet-fully ripe fruit, such as strawberries or kiwifruit, as a topping for cakes, pies, or ice cream.  That’s what we had to do for this set of desserts.  As some of the kiwi wasn’t fully ripe, we were able to break down the toughness with the lemon, and sweeten it up with some sugar.  This recipe creates a delicious glaze that takes away tartness and makes a topping that’s both soft and textured.

Ingredients and Instructions:

Cut the fruit into ¼ pieces. For every 2 cups of fresh fruit, combine with the juice of one lemon and a ¼ cup of granulated sugar.  Mix with fruit and let flavors absorb for about 1 hour before using as a topping for desserts.

Posted in Recipe- Dessert, Recipe-breakfast, Recipe-Side Dishes | No Comments »

Posted March 31st, 2010 | Recipe-breakfast, Recipe-Side Dishes, Recipes

What do you do with your dyed eggs after Easter is over? Here’s an idea that could help you find new meaning for those leftover colored eggs.

Vegetable oil

2 hardboiled egg

1 Tbs flour for dredging

1 egg beaten with 1 tsp of water

2 Tbs seasoned breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper

Instructions:  Remove shells from hardboiled egg.  Roll egg in flour.  Dip egg in egg wash.  Dredge in seasoned breadcrumbs.  Heat oil in a small saucepan to 350 degrees.  Deep fry egg until golden brown.  Remove egg and season with salt and pepper.  Wait until cool before cutting in half.

To add extra flavor and texture, remove the yolks and mix with ½ tsp of mayonnaise and ½ tsp of mustard.  Mix together and scoop yolk mixture back into the egg white.  These are no deviled eggs.  They are kicked up angelic eggs!

Posted in Recipe-breakfast, Recipe-Side Dishes, Recipes | 5 Comments »

Posted March 17th, 2010 | Recipe-Side Dishes

Purple and Green Slaw

Ingredients: (serves 4)

2 cups of purple cabbage, shredded

2 cups of green cabbage, shredded

1 package of dried Ramen noodles broken up into pieces (do not use the flavor packet) 

½ cup of peanuts or cashews

1 scallion (Green onion), finely minced

1 teaspoon of sesame seed

1 cup of mayonnaise

2 Tbs of water

2 Tbs of cider vinegar

1 Tbs of peanut oil

1 Tbs of soy sauce

1 tsp of salt

½ tsp of chili powder

½ tsp of black pepper

Instructions:

Combine the cabbage, noodles, scallion, sesame seeds and nuts in a bowl.  In a separate bowl combine the mayonnaise, water, oil, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, chili and pepper.  Whisk together and pour over the slaw.  Toss until flavors are fully incorporated.

Posted in Recipe-Side Dishes | No Comments »

Posted February 2nd, 2010 | Italian, Recipe-Italian, Recipe-Side Dishes

Tomato Basil Soup– (From Southern Living Magazine – 1997)

4 shallots, diced

1/2 lb. leeks, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

2 or 3 garlic cloves, pressed

2 tbs olive oil

2 (14.5 oz.) can of Italian style tomatoes in juice, chopped

1 tbs dried basil

2 (14.5 OZ.) can of chicken broth

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup of whipping cream

Cook first four ingredients in hot oil in a Dutch oven over low heat 10-12 mintues or until tender (do not brown). Add tomatoes and add 1 tbs of basil; cook over medium heat, stiffing occasionally, 10 minutes. Add broth and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 hour. Cool.

Process half of mixture in a food processor or blender until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides. Transfer to cooking pot, and then proceed to process remaining half and add to pot. Heat over medium heat and then stir in whipping cream; cook, stirring constantly until heated thoroughly (do not boil). Yield 6.5 cups.

The soup (without the whipping cream) may be made and frozen in a freezer container for up to 1 month. When ready to serve, remove from freezer and thaw in refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Heat in the cooking pot over medium heat, and then add the whipping cream – proceed with above directions.

Posted in Italian, Recipe-Italian, Recipe-Side Dishes | No Comments »