There will soon be a war going on in my kitchen. A dirty, bitter, gruesome war between my desire to use up the mass of Thanksgiving leftovers sitting in my refrigerator and my grave knowledge that if I don't make an effort to undo some of the gluttony that took place over the past weekend, I will be looking a whole lot like Santa Claus, at least in terms of size and shape, by Christmas.
My turkey burger recipe, which is lean yet flavorful, offers a possible solution. Since the burger is made with cooked turkey breast—not raw ground meat as in traditional turkey burgers—the consistency is more similar to a hearty crab cake, but the breadcrumbs yield a crisp outer crust with a flavorful, garlicky interior.
There. Instant virtue. If, however, you choose to follow it up with a huge slice of pumpkin pie, I suppose I can't stop you.
Looking for a faster way to down those leftovers? I've also included a recipe for the ultimate Thanksgiving leftover sandwich. (Note: If you aren't a cranberry relish fan, try red pepper relish as a tasty alternative.)
The ultimate rosemary turkey burger
4 oz. cooked turkey breast
1 sprig fresh rosemary leaves, removed from stem
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/8 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
6 cups fresh spinach
1 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons cranberry relish
(Recipe serves 2)
How to make it:
Combine turkey breast, rosemary, garlic and bread crumbs in food processor until a chunky consistency forms. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and egg until mixture begins to come together, resembling dough. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Form into two 4-inch patties. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook patties for 2-3 minutes on each side, until a dark golden brown color forms. Turn off heat.
In a large bowl, toss spinach together with 1 tablespoon olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Divide between two plates. Top each pile of salad with a turkey burger and 2 tablespoons each of cranberry relish.
The ultimate leftover sandwich
4 oz. thickly sliced cooked turkey breast
1 medium orange, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1/2 small red onion, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
2 oz. goat cheese (chèvre)
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
4 tablespoons cranberry relish (store-bought or homemade)
4 thick slices of sturdy wheat bread
1 teaspoon olive oil
(Recipe serves 2)
How to make it:
Toast bread lightly. While bread toasts, heat the olive oil in a grill pan or frying pan over high heat. Add the orange slices and onion rounds and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until medium color develops and the oranges and onions become quite fragrant. Remove from heat.
To assemble sandwich, divide the goat cheese evenly between two pieces of bread and spread to coat. Spread the other two pieces with the cranberry relish. Place half of the turkey, spinach, orange slices and onions on top of one slice of goat cheese-covered bread. Top with a slice of cranberry relish-covered bread and secure with a toothpick. Repeat process with remaining ingredients.
Plate sandwiches and serve.
BrokeAss Gourmet caters to folks who want to live the high life on the cheap, with delicious recipes that are always under $20. Gabi Moskowitz is the blog's editor-in-chief and author of The BrokeAss Gourmet Cookbook and Pizza Dough:100 Delicious, Unexpected Recipes. She is also the producer of "Young & Hungry," an ABC Family comedy inspired by her life and writing.