I was always one of those kids that turned my nose up at the sight of leftovers. My aversion to them even crept into adulthood. It was mostly a texture and smell issue for me, and I believe this sensory response accompanied some of the toxic issues I was having in my gut.
Fortunately, with gut healing and the commitment to a clean healthy lifestyle, I can now embrace the ease of leftovers and enjoy finishing a meal the following day without gagging or forcing it down. Of course there is also the added benefit of not wasting and the sustainable repurposing of the food which is a rewarding accomplishment in and of itself.
This recipe is the perfect example.
Growing up, my mom used to make turkey tetrazzini with the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. With a family of seven to feed, this was a perfect recipe for a post holiday dinner. She’d mix the turkey with a béchamel white sauce, cheese and noodles then bake it in the oven. The sauce definitely did a good job of dressing up the leftover dry turkey, but I still didn’t totally dig it.
This Thanksgiving, we had a ton of leftover turkey and green beans. While staring at the leftovers, I remembered mom’s turkey tetrazzini. Along with the memory of the food, my mind wandered to all my fond memories of our time together as a family in Vermont where we spent the holidays. So when I thought of the turkey tetrazzini, I felt all warm and fuzzy.
Inspired by my walk down memory lane, I decided to reinvent her recipe using dairy free and gluten free ingredients. I searched for a paleo recipe and found one that I adopted. I used red lentil pasta and the leftover green beans, some sautéed onion and a coconut milk cream sauce, no cheese. The result was actually quite tasty. Cappello’s linguine would be awesome for this recipe, but I didn’t have any on hand or zucchini noodles would also work well.
The sauce was slightly runny and settled on the bottom of the pan while the casserole cooked. So next time, I plan to mix all the ingredients before putting in the baking pan and perhaps may add a few more tablespoons of flour to help thicken the sauce (the recipe below has been adjusted for that).
The day after it was even better – the leftover leftovers, ha!
Even if you don’t make this until next thanksgiving its worth the wait 🙂
Paleo Turkey Tettrazini
2 pounds of leftover turkey meat
4 cups of cooked grain free pasta
1 pound steamed green beans
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced in to thin moons
1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
For the Sauce:
2 cans full fat coconut milk
Juice of one lemon, about 3 tablespoons juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 organic eggs
1 1/4 cups coconut butter
1 clove garlic, peeled
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup arrowroot powder (I’ve adjusted this amount from my initial recipe)
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box. Once done, drain and set aside. In a large sauté pan, cook the onion with the oil until tender and translucent.
While the onion is cooking, make the sauce. Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a large baking pan. In a large bowl mix the noodles, vegetables and sauce. Pour into the baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or until heated through and the sauce is bubbly. May need to stir a few times during cooking to keep sauce from settling to the bottom and drying out the top.