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Gluten-Free Turkey, Take Two

Delicious day-after ways to enjoy turkey leftovers, Gluten-Free

For many families, a roasted turkey is the centerpiece of a holiday feast. This sumptuous bird can be the gift that keeps on giving after the big meal. The bounty of leftover meat can be used to keep you well fed for days to come.

Turkey meat is high in protein and low in fat, so you definitely don’t want to let any go to waste. But why settle for the same-old “been there, ate that” post-holiday meals? Turkey leftovers can serve as the backbone for inspiring, delicious gluten-free dishes. Enjoy these inventive ways to give your turkey a second chance.

Photography by Matthew Kadey

Gluten-Free Turkey Polenta with Maple Sauce


This restaurant-worthy dish is easy to make. It’s a tasty way to lift your spirits on a nippy winter night. The sweetness of the maple sauce and dried cranberries offers a perfect counterpoint to the earthy, creamy polenta, mushrooms and turkey.

Maple Sauce

½ cup gluten-free chicken or vegetable broth
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1/8 teaspoon black pepper


4 cups water
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional
2 teaspoons grapeseed oil or canola oil
½ pound mushrooms of choice, sliced
2 shallots, chopped
2 cups baby spinach or baby kale
2 cups sliced cooked turkey
¼ cup dried cranberries

1. To make Maple Sauce, place broth, maple syrup, lemon juice, mustard and black pepper in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until reduced by one-quarter, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

2. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Pour cornmeal into boiling water in a slow, steady stream. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in thyme and salt. Heat until polenta is tender and thickened, about 20 minutes. (Stir polenta often during cooking with a wooden spoon and break up any large pieces against the side of the pan.) Stir in butter, if using. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and shallots. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

4. Spread cooked polenta on serving plates and top with greens, mushroom mixture, sliced turkey and dried cranberries. Spoon Maple Sauce over top.

Each serving contains 326 calories, 6g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 48mg cholesterol, 413mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 14g sugars, 26g protein, 22Est GL.
Homemade Gluten-Free Turkey Stock

Homemade stock is a perfect way to put a turkey carcass to good use. It’s a tasty substitution for store-bought chicken broth in recipes. For the best flavor, don’t let the carcass sit too long in the refrigerator. After your turkey dinner, remove all the meat and package it separately from the carcass. Then make stock early the next day.

12 cups water
-Turkey carcass, broken into 3-4 pieces
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
2 peeled onions, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
6 fresh parsley sprigs

1. In a large saucepan, combine water, turkey carcass pieces, carrots, celery, onions, bay leaf, peppercorns and parsley.

2. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer about 4 hours. Skim off any foam that forms.

3. Strain broth through a cheesecloth-lined sieve set over a large bowl and let cool.

4. Refrigerate until fat solidifies on surface, about 8 hours. Discard the fat.

5. Refrigerate stock in an airtight container up to 4 days or freeze up to 4 months.

Photography by Matthew Kadey

Gluten-Free Turkey, Fig & Pickled Carrot Sandwich


Sweet fig sauce and pickled carrots transform post-holiday turkey into a swoon-worthy sandwich. This recipe is guaranteed to wake up your lunchtime.

½ cup water
½ cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 bay leaf
1 cup dried figs, stems removed
1 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
8 slices gluten-free bread, preferably toasted
2 cups spinach
2 cups sliced cooked turkey

1. Place water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes.

2. Place carrots, garlic and bay leaf in a glass container or jar. Cover with vinegar mixture, seal shut and chill overnight.

3. Place dried figs in a bowl, cover with apple juice and let soak 1 hour. Place fig-apple juice mixture and thyme in a blender or food processor container and process into a chunky mixture.

4. To assemble each sandwich, spread fig mixture on 2 pieces of bread. Arrange some spinach, turkey and drained pickled carrots on 1 slice and top with remaining bread, fig spread down.

Each serving contains 407 calories, 3g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 48mg cholesterol, 716mg sodium, 70g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 30g sugars, 25g protein, 35Est GL.

Photography by Matthew Kadey

Gluten-Free Turkey Wild Rice Stew


Gluten Free Stew is always a great way to enjoy leftover turkey meat and to sneak some more disease-fighting vegetables into your diet. Lemon zest adds a pop of bright citrusy flavor. Soaking wild rice ahead reduces its preparation time by about half. If you skip this step, simply extend the cooking time until the rice is tender.

3/4 cup wild rice
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, sunflower oil or canola oil
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
½ pound cremini or white mushrooms, sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
5 cups gluten-free chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1½ teaspoons dried sage
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
1 pound sliced cooked turkey
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

1. Cover wild rice with a generous amount of water and let soak overnight or several hours. Drain and rinse.

2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Place sweet potatoes, celery, mushrooms, onions, garlic and salt in the pan and heat until onions soften, about 6 minutes.

3. Add wild rice, broth, bay leaf, sage, pepper and chili flakes to the pan. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and simmer covered until rice is tender, about 30 minutes.

4. Remove bay leaf and stir in turkey and lemon zest. Heat until warmed through.

5. Ladle hot soup into serving bowls and garnish with parsley.

Each serving contains 235 calories, 3g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 13mg cholesterol, 376mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 8g sugars, 15g protein, 19Est GL.

Photography by Matthew Kadey

Curry Turkey Noodle Bowl


Here’s a fresh take on staid old turkey leftovers. A bright curry sauce, nutty soba noodles and roasted meat combine to create a bowl of yum. This can be served for lunch or dinner as a welcome break from the heavy dishes that tend to dominate the holiday season.

⅓ cup raw cashews or raw sunflower seeds
⅓ cup light coconut milk
-Juice of ½ lime
1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon fish sauce, optional
2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, chopped
½ pound gluten-free 100% buck- wheat soba noodles*
1 cup frozen peas
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 cups sliced cooked turkey
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Place cashews in a bowl, cover with water and let soak at least 2 hours. Drain cashews and place in a blender container along with coconut milk, lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce (if using), curry powder, ginger and garlic. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

2. Prepare soba noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles in a colander and rinse. Drain and rinse again. Place noodles in a large bowl.

3. Prepare peas according to package directions. Add peas, carrots and scallions to noodles and toss with curry sauce.

4. Divide noodle mixture among serving bowls and top with sliced turkey and cilantro.

Each serving contains 413 calories, 9g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 48mg cholesterol, 791mg sodium, 54g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 3g sugars, 33g protein, 30Est GL.

Contributing chef Matthew Kadey, RD, (muffintinmania.com) is author of The Muffin Tin Chef and The No-Cook, No-Bake Cookbook (Ulysses Press).