On the coldest days of the year, I like to keep the temperature in the house warm and cozy but I do not like spending a fortune to do so. I have found that the best way to accomplish that goal while simultaneously providing something savory for Dan and I to eat is to use the oven to roast meats or make casseroles.
To further maximize our household budget during the winter, I always look for sales on meats (since the cost of meat can be a food budget buster). Recently, I came across a fantastic sale that a local grocery store was running on whole roaster turkey breasts. The store was selling them for only $0.88 per pound (with the purchase of $25.00 in groceries), which was almost half the national average retail price, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). I usually do not shop at this retailer but that deal was just too good to pass up, so I bought two seven-pound frozen turkey breasts. I made one and then froze the other for use at a later date.
The first turkey breast provided us with a nice dinner and turkey sandwiches for a couple of days. However, even after doing that, we were fortunate to have some turkey left over. So, to add some variety to our diet while making use of our remaining turkey, I created my Turkey Vegetable Pie recipe.
To add some pop to that meal, I used a blend of sage and rosemary along with sweet potatoes, mixed vegetables, and onions in my base. I was going to buy phyllo dough to use in place of a pie crust but I checked my freezer first and found that I already had puff pastry so I used a half sheet of that on top of the Turkey Vegetable Pie (because I hate to buy things if I already have an acceptable substitute!). The puff pastry gave the pie a golden finish with a bit of crunch yet still helped to avoid the heaviness of the pie shell.
By adding complementary ingredients and spices, I turned something that we had eaten for a few days into a tasty, new meal that did not in any way feel like the standard leftover meal that is typically thrown together just to clear space out of the refrigerator.
What do you enjoy cooking in the kitchen on the coldest days of winter?
Do you have any suggestions for using turkey leftovers?
- 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- 1½ cup sweet potato, chopped
- ½ teaspoon rosemary
- ½ teaspoon sage
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour
- 2 cups turkey or chicken broth
- 2 cups shredded turkey or diced chicken
- 12 ounces frozen mixed vegetables
- ½ sheet puff pastry
- Saute onions and sweet potato in 1 tablespoon olive oil until vegetables start to soften (about 5-7 minutes). While sauteing add rosemary, sage and pepper to the vegetables.
- Stir in ¼ cup whole wheat flour to coat the vegetables and cook for 1 minute. Whisk 2 cups of turkey broth into the vegetables. Cook and stir occasionally for 10 minutes until broth is thickened.
- Add in 2 cups of turkey and mixed vegetables. Put mixture into a casserole dish. Top with a half sheet of puff pastry. Brush 1 teaspoon of olive oil over puff pastry.
- Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.