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10-Second Recipes: Add Vegetable Vitality to Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

(10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare)

By Lisa Messinger
Food and Cooking at Creators Syndicate

Even if you didn't hide scores of extra vegetables in your Thanksgiving dishes, there's no reason you can't up your family's after-feast nutrition profile by stuffing leftovers full of compatible, seasonal vegetables. This will fill up your diners innovatively, deliciously and memorably so that, without even trying, sweets and other treats will take up less of their thoughts. Though nutritious, these, too, are delights, like the sweet potato puff appetizer and carrot cream cheese icing pumpkin pie dessert that follow.

Tasty food like this also proves cooking can be easy, nutritious, economical, entertaining - and fast. They take just 10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare. The creative combinations are delicious proof that everyone has time for tasty home cooking and, more importantly, the healthy family togetherness that goes along with it! Another benefit: You - and your kidlet helpers - effortlessly become better cooks, since there are no right or wrong amounts. These are virtually-can't-go-wrong combinations, so whatever you choose to use can't help but draw wows - even though technically they are leftovers!

Sweet Potato Hors D'oeuvres that Sweeten the Appetite
Mince broccoli and sauté in olive oil with minced onions and garlic. Gently mix with leftover sweet potato casserole and place in thawed puff pastry sheets cut to fit in the compartments of a mini muffin tin that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake according to puff pastry package instructions and serve warm.

Super Soup Stuffed with Vegetables
If you have a leftover potato dish from your holiday feast, add roast seasoned root vegetables. When done cooking, puree the extra vegetables, along with the leftover potatoes, in a strong blender or food processor along with a small amount of almond milk (which tastes like cream without almost all of the fat and calories), taste to adjust seasoning if needed, reheat briefly in a soup pot and serve hot.

Creative Cornbread
Cornbread is an indulgent treat that you may have enjoyed for Thanksgiving. It's often made just with cornmeal. Increase the fiber, nutrients and flavor by placing in a skillet over medium-low heat olive oil, fresh corn, or thawed, drained frozen corn, small amounts of diced garlic and diced onions. Sauté until cooked, but not overdone, and spoon on top of the cornbread that was covered while reheating.

Carrot Coup for Pies
Puree cooked or raw carrots and blend, along with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and an all-natural sugar-free sweetener, like stevia, into low-fat cream cheese. Use this as a frosting for leftover pumpkin pie.

QUICK TIP OF THE WEEK:  Some seasons seem packed with a large variety of produce choices, and others not so many. But what if one selection can produce many choices? If you frequent farmers' markets, health food stores, online outlets or even just large supermarkets, you can often find multiple types - or purchase seeds to grow your own. Pears, for instance, come in more than 30 varieties, like tarusa crimson, duchesse, Asian, comice and twists on more common types, like red Bartlett and red Anjou. Eggplants, too, sport more than 30 kinds, like jade sweet, white sword, purple Rosita, striped toga and tasty offshoots, like eggplant blossoms. 

Lisa Messinger is a first-place winner in food and nutrition writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the National Council Against Health Fraud and author of seven food books, including the best-selling The Tofu Book: The New American Cuisine with 150 Recipes (Avery/Penguin Putnam) and Turn Your Supermarket into a Health Food Store: The Brand-Name Guide to Shopping for a Better Diet (Pharos/Scripps Howard). She writes two nationally syndicated food and nutrition columns for Creators Syndicate and had been a longtime newspaper food and health section managing editor, as well as managing editor of Gayot/Gault Millau dining review company. Lisa traveled the globe writing about top chefs for Pulitzer Prize-winning Copley News Service and has written about health and nutrition for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Reader's Digest, Woman's World and Prevention Magazine Health Books. Permission granted for use on 

Tags: 10 Second Recipes, Budget, Eat Less-Move More, Holidays, Leftovers, Nutrition, Recipes, Stay-at-Home Mom, Thanksgiving
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