Our yearly Thanksgiving plans have slightly changed. Instead of the Friendsgiving we’ve been going to for the past 5 years, we’ll be having a quiet Thanksgiving at home, just the two of us. This means there are going to be piles + piles of leftovers, because I have to cook all of my favorite dishes.
Maybe I should take a lesson from Christina and make everything “for two.”
The sudden change in plans is due to our big pup, Kenna (aka: Beans – our 75lb great dane/labrador mutt), needing TPLO surgery to fix her torn ACL. Major bummer. The backstory is long, but we basically don’t have any other choice at this point. Surgery is next Tuesday. We figured this timing would be best since Chris has a few days off for the holiday to help with the recovery, which is incredibly intense and demanding for the first 12 weeks. She’ll have to be watched like a hawk the first few days and weeks especially. We’ve already come up with a plan on how to make our house as safe as possible for her to avoid slips and falls. Chris is building a ramp up the basement steps for easier access outside, we’re keeping her on carpet only and not on the hardwood floors (to avoid Scooby Doo running), we bought a tall x-pen so she can’t dart and run when she hears the mailman or UPS, and the list goes on…
While it will definitely be a change for all of us for many weeks and months, it’s for the best. We were trying to heal her using conservative management but after a recent setback we know surgery is the best option.
We’ll each try and go solo to say hi to our friends on Thanksgiving but will spend most of the day cooking at home and loving on our furry buddy. It’s sad to miss our big Thanksgiving tradition, but we are completely confident with our decision and are looking forward to keeping things really low-key at our house. We have too much to be thankful for to let this get us down. Also, I’ve already stocked up on wine.
That said, our leftovers will be plentiful. And while I love leftovers I know it’s going to get old come day 3. So this year I’m trying to come up with a plan to repurpose some of the leftovers into completely new recipes!
Take your basic mashed potatoes, photographed above.
Okay, I lied. Those potatoes aren’t totally basic mashed potatoes. I mixed half Yukon gold and half sweet potatoes in this mixture. If you’re not a huge sweet potato fan this cuts the flavor and sweetness down a lot but gives plain mashed potatoes a little something extra. I then followed my simple recipe for Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes for a traditional, simple side dish.
So now, what to do with the leftovers?
I decided to make soup! I knew the mashed potatoes would add a thick and creamy texture, as well that lovely, potatoey-flavor. I added lentils for extra heartiness, protein, fiber, and flavor.
I kept the spices simple with cumin seeds, garam masala, and turmeric.
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For a bit more texture and green veggie goodness I added my favorite Earthbound Farm Organic Frozen Green Peas (seriously, the best) and the Earthbound Farm Zen blend baby greens. (Did you know they also sell onions + potatoes?) I’m consistently impressed with the quality of EBF’s frozen vegetables (and fruits!).
They were the perfect additions! I love the texture “pop” from the peas!
You would never guess this came from part of Thanksgiving leftovers. Errr, pre-Thanksgiving leftovers.
Crunchy toppings are always recommended.
For roasted chickpeas: Preheat oven to 350°. Toss chickpeas with oil, sat, pepper, and garlic powder on a baking sheet. Toast until split apart and fully crisped (30-40 minutes). Stir frequently. Quinoa toasts up nicely, too, and takes just 10-15 minutes.
Thanksgiving Leftovers: Red Lentil Mashed Potato Soup gluten-free, vegan // yields 4 servings
- 1-2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
- 3/4 cup diced yellow onion
- 2 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 4 cup low (or no) sodium vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes*
- 1 cup red lentils, picked through and rinsed
- 1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups EBF frozen green peas, thawed
- 2 cups EBF Zen blend baby greens, or baby spinach
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. One hot, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Stir frequently until softened, 6-8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add a bit more oil, then add the garlic, garam masala, cumin seeds, and turmeric. Stir constantly for about 1 minute or so until very fragrant (this toasts the spices – be careful not to burn).
Slowly pour in the broth, then add in the potatoes and lentils. Stir to combine the potatoes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then stir and reduce heat to a constant simmer. Stir in the maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Cook until the lentils are broken down and very tender, about 22-30 minutes. Stir every few minutes. Puree soup in a blender, partially blend with an immersion blender in the pot, or leave as is.
Stir in the peas to heat for about 5 minutes (longer if frozen) and then stir in the greens for another 2 minutes. Taste and add more salt, pepper, and/or garam masala if desired.
Serve hot with crunchy toppings like roasted chickpeas, quinoa, croutons, crackers, etc.
*Mashed potatoes made with really any kind of potato will work for this (red, yukon, sweet, yams, etc.) or a mixture like I made above. You just want to be sure there aren’t a ton of flavors in your leftover potatoes. Garlic, salt, and pepper are perfect. If you have a light amount or herbs or have mixed in goat cheese (or similar) that could also work well.