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Lots of leftover turkey? Try these next-day dishes

Leftovers can be a highlight in the days following Thanksgiving, but can certainly add to your waistline. The one exception is turkey! David Zinczenko, author of "Cook This, Not That!," shares two simple and delicious recipes to help you finish off your bird.From "Cook This, Not That! 350-Calorie Meals":Four hundred years ago, when our modern Thanksgiving holiday took root, colonists would spend s
/ Source: TODAY recipes

Leftovers can be a highlight in the days following Thanksgiving, but can certainly add to your waistline. The one exception is turkey! David Zinczenko, author of "Cook This, Not That!," shares two simple and delicious recipes to help you finish off your bird.

From "Cook This, Not That! 350-Calorie Meals":

Four hundred years ago, when our modern Thanksgiving holiday took root, colonists would spend several days thanking the gods for a successful growing season. Today few of us grow our own food, but we do hold on to at least one of our ancestors’ traditions: We celebrate for several days. Wait. What? Who celebrates Thanksgiving for several days? Well, chances are, you do. Think about it: After the family is gone and the feast is finished, you spend the next few days working through half-eaten casseroles, mounds of stuffing, and pies that somehow survived untouched.

That wouldn’t be so terrible if not for the fact that this leftover buffet is preceded by a massive dinner in which the average American takes in 4,500 calories. And unless you harvested that food by hand, expect those calories to transform into flab and plant themselves somewhere around your midsection. Hey, we might not grow our own food, but we still celebrate the growing season — the growing waistline season, that is.

So what’s the solution? Simply put: turkey. It’s one of the world’s leanest sources of protein. A quarter-pound slice of breast meat packs a mere 118 calories and 2 grams of fat. So when friends and family start divvying up the leftovers, send each packing with whatever fatty sides they brought and keep the bird for yourself. Then use these recipes to cut calories and shed holiday flab. You’ll find these and more in "Cook This, Not That! 350-Calorie Meals" or with the recently launched Cook "This, Not That! iPhone app." They’ll help you find lean, healthy entrees that will keep your belly flat through the holidays and into 2011.