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Mealtime Makeovers -Thanksgiving–why wait? PDF Print E-mail

I don’t know about all of you, but I hate waiting for the holidays to come around to get a good turkey dinner. Why is it that it has to be holiday time before anyone wants to take the time to cook a good turkey these days?

When the holidays come around I always buy an extra turkey to stick in the freezer for one of those weeks when my craving kicks in. It is so easy to cook as long as you have the time. Plus, you can get at least 4 or 5 meals out of that one turkey alone. To me there is no question, it is so worth it. 

Most of the time I will cook a turkey on the weekend and separate the meat into four or five food saver bags and freeze it. Then when my need for a little turkey fix creeps up on me I am ready for it. I just whip that bag out of the freezer and decide how I want to mix it up this time around.

My little sister, Alyssa, was at my house the other day rummaging, yet again, through my cabinets and freezer looking for a snack. She just happened upon a bag of turkey labeled “Jason’s Turkey.” so I told her he must have hand picked the good pieces for himself and she had better not eat that bag. 

When she left I took that turkey out and decided to make a delicious turkey casserole with it. Now, despite that fact that I, myself, ignored the label is really beside the point since Jason still got to eat the casserole. Don’t you agree?

Trying to steer toward the healthier side of things, I did a little remix on a turkey recipe that I had found some time ago. Please bear in mind that this recipe seems a little time consuming, but it really isn’t once you get cooking. 

I just put on the rice, do a load of laundry and before I know it, I am ready for the last step! It is so delicious and so worth it. Trust me on this one.


Turkey and Wild Rice Casserole


5 cups water

3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain brown rice

3/4 cup uncooked wild rice

1 10 oz container reduced-fat Alfredo pasta sauce

1 cup fat-free sour cream

1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves or poultry seasoning

1/4 tsp pepper

4 cups cut-up cooked turkey

1 bag frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

2 tsp olive oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, heat water, brown rice and wild rice to boiling. Reduce heat and cover and simmer 40-50 minutes until rices are tender. Drain if necessary. 

In a large bowl, mix pasta sauce, sour cream, broth, cheese, thyme and pepper until well mixed. Stir in rice mixture, turkey and vegetables. Spoon into a greased 9x13 baking dish. 

In small bowl, mix bread crumbs and oil; sprinkle over turkey mixture. 

Bake uncovered 40-50 minutes or until edges are bubbly and bread crumbs are lightly browned.