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What do you do with all that leftover turkey?  I welcome it.  It’s a busy time of year and I use it to ‘jump start” some great meals.  It just takes a little planning.  Here’s my strategy:

  1. Peel the meat from the carcass. Divide it into portions, a pound or so in each depending on the size of your family, place it in zipper-type bags.
  2. Set aside enough meat for a few turkey sandwiches. Of the remainder, freeze all but what you’ll use in the first three days.
  3. Save the gravy and the bones with meat attached for soup. If I’m going to make soup right away, refrigerate it or else freeze it for later use.
  4. Find a half dozen turkey recipes you would like to try. You won’t use all of them, but having them available will give you options and something to look forward to for dinner over the next several weeks.

Four Wraps that Work Well for Turkey

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How to Make Sandwich Wrap

Wraps are versatile with something for everyone and every occasion.  Load them with meats, cheese, and veggies to suit.  Spread them with mayonnaise or a sandwich spread or drizzle them with dressing.

For breakfast, you can fill them with scrambled eggs, grated cheese, and snipped bacon or crumbled sausage.  Add salsa if you like for a Tex-Mex breakfast burrito.

And about those trail wraps that we had for dessert: We would smear tortillas with cream cheese and add dry fruit (usually pineapple) or smear them with peanut butter and add dry fruit or jam.  But your kids will enjoy peanut butter and jam wraps without going on a hike.

How to Wrap a Wrap

You can make an open-ended wrap or a closed one.  And everyone seems to have their own best way to wrap a wrap.  This is how we wrap a wrap.

  1. Smear sandwich spread within an inch of the perimeter of the tortilla.
  2. Lay sandwich goodies in a wide swath down the center of the tortilla and to within a couple inches of the left and right edges—kind of a rough rectangle.
  3. To make a closed end wrap, fold both the right and the left edges over the goodies and roll from the bottom.  To make an open-ended wrap, fold only one edge.

If we make a closed end wrap, we cut the wrap in two and eat half at a time.

If the tortilla is a little stiff and hard to wrap and keep closed, try microwaving the tortilla under a paper towel for 15 to 20 seconds.  It will be more pliable.

About Sandwich Spreads

In our test kitchen, we made wraps both with mayonnaise and with sandwich spreads.  Everyone much preferred the wraps made with spreads.  We used Chipotle Ranch, Grilled French Onion, and Mild Jalapeño Chili Cheese and the extra flavor and zest really made the wrap.

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Grilled Chicken and Chipotle Wrap

Grilled chicken makes a wonderful wrap.  Load it up as you like.  The chipotle ranch spread gives it some zip, really improves the sandwich.

grilled chicken breast, seasoned and cut into 2-inch strips
provolone cheese
thinly sliced red bell pepper, each slice cut in half
romaine lettuce
slices of tomato
thinly sliced sweet yellow onions
chipotle ranch spread
spinach tortillas

Spread the chipotle spread lightly on the tortilla.

  1. Place romaine lettuce on top of the spread.  Add the cheese and chicken.  Add the remaining ingredients in your order of choice.
  2. To fold the wrap, fold in the sides of the tortilla and then roll from the bottom up. Cut the wraps in half.

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Zesty Italian Wrap

This Italian wrap gets its zest from the Italian dressing and pepper jack cheese.  The pastrami and pepperoni give it a lot of flavor.

pastrami
pepperoni
sliced olives
sliced tomatoes
grated pepper jack cheese
zesty Italian dressing
tomato basil tortilla

  1. Spread Italian dressing on the tortilla.
  2. Place pastrami and pepperoni slices over the dressing.  Add the tomato slices and olives.  Top with grated cheese and more dressing if you like.
  3. To fold the wrap, fold in the sides of the tortilla and then roll from the bottom up. Cut the wraps in half.

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Tuna Wrap

This is a great wrap for summer. It’s light and refreshing, healthy and flavorful.  This is a great wrap for a picnic or a lunch in the shade at the park.

tuna packed in water, drained
diced celery
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
mayonnaise
salt and pepper
provolone cheese, thinly sliced
cucumbers, thinly sliced
sprouts
spinach tortilla

  1. Mix the tuna, celery, onion powder, and mayonnaise together to make a tuna salad filling.
  2. Spread the filling on the tortilla.  Add a slice or two of provolone cheese.  Layer with cucumbers and sprouts.
  3. To fold the wrap, fold in the sides of the tortilla and then roll from the bottom up. Cut the wraps in half.

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Chipotle Roast Beef Wrap

flour tortilla
chipotle ranch spread
romaine lettuce
Deli roast beef, thinly sliced
Pepper jack cheese
Thin tomato slices

(Note: If you heat the tortilla for ten to fifteen seconds in the microwave before making the wrap it will be much easier to work with and they will stay together better after the wrap is rolled.)

  1. Spread the chipotle spread lightly on the tortilla.
  2. Place romaine lettuce on top of the spread.  Add the beef and cheese.  Add the tomato slices.
  3. To fold the wrap, fold in the sides of the tortilla and then roll from the bottom up. Cut the wraps in half.

More Recipes

Turkey Sandwiches  

Instead of using slabs of turkey for sandwiches—which is certainly good—I think I’ll make turkey salad sandwiches.  These are good.

If you like chicken salad sandwiches, you’ll like this recipe for turkey salad sandwiches.  The filling is given both flavor and color with the addition of dried cranberries.

Ingredients

1 cup cooked turkey, cubed
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Mix all the ingredients together.  Use this as a filling for bread or pita sandwiches.

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Turkey Club Salad

This is made with club sandwich components.  The bacon is cooked in the microwave.

This salad is made with the ingredients of a turkey club sandwich—turkey, bacon, lettuce, and tomato.  You can cook the bacon in a microwave and snip it into bits with kitchen shears.  Top your salad with the dressing of your choice.

Ingredients

green leaf lettuce, torn into pieces
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
3 cups cooked turkey, cubed
4 to 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
four small tomatoes cut into wedges

salad dressing of your choice

Directions

  1. Toss the lettuce and onion slices together.  Arrange the greens on four plates for individual servings or in  a large salad bowl.
  2. Divide the turkey between the plates.  Sprinkle with bacon and arrange the tomato wedges on the plate.
  3. Serve with your favorite dressing.

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Turkey Soup

We don’t have snow yet but there’s a chill in the air.  I want a hearty soup.  This turkey white bean chili is very quick and simple to make . . . and good.

You’ll love this white bean chili.  It’s hearty, spicy, and full of flavor—and easy to make with canned beans. This is comfort food.

Ingredients

1/2 cup diced onions
1 tablespoon butter
2 15-ounce cans white northern beans
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 15-ounce cans chicken broth
1 1/2 cups turkey, cubed
1/2 cup grated Monterey jack or cheddar cheese

sour cream and salsa for garnish

Directions

  1. Sauté the onions in the butter in a saucepan.  Add the beans (not drained), cumin, garlic, broth, and salsa.  Cook until it starts to simmer.  Add the turkey.
  2. Turn the heat to very low and add the grated cheese.  Stir until it melts and thickens the soup.
  3. Serve hot garnished with a couple spoons full of salsa and topped with dollops of sour cream.