Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Asian Flavors to Avoid Holiday Food Burnout

Just before a holiday--especially one involving a feast--we tend to go on something of a fast. With all of the preparations and housecleaning going into Thursday's meal, the last thing I want to do is make a big supper to throw off my schedule!

A fried egg sandwich, a small plate of french toast, Little Debbies and some filling-but-forgettable fast-food have each already been eaten this week; today I long for something better. Yes, something healthy, light and tasty seem to be calling.

I often turn to asian flavors just before (and intermittently throughout) the holidays--because I love asian foods, and because it allows me to get away from those often over-used American flavor profiles of the season.

I'm thinking a noodle bowl is just right for tonight.

The Noodle Soup Oracle is a fun way to inspire economical pre-holiday fare as well as ideas for using all your Thanksgiving leftovers in clever ways. For dinner I've decided on whole-wheat noodles in a simple chicken broth, topped with broccoli and spicy peanut sauce. Simple, and something that promises to be delicious.

Asian meals are also a great way to turn those holiday meal leftovers into new, interesting dishes for your family. Here are some of my favorites that can easily be adapted to use your leftovers:

Pajeon (Korean Pancakes) are a great use for any leftover veggies on-hand.

Curry cannot be overlooked as a perfect way to transform any leftover meat, poultry and vegetables into something extraordinary. Use turkey and add whatever vegetables you have on-hand. Curry in a Hurry and my Quick Chicken Curry for Two are two good recipes to start with.

This Stir Fry Broccoli with Hoisin Sauce, Cashew Nuts, Orange and Baby Corn can be adapted to include your leftover meat/poultry and other vegetables.

Chez Pim's Pad Thai for Beginners is a great tutorial for asian food-loving cooks of all skill levels; another great opportunity to use some leftovers in a new and interesting way.

Thai Basil Chicken is great transformed into Thai Basil Turkey with Cashews (or leftover pepitas or any kind of nuts from that bowl on your coffee table) and other veggies you might have.

Last, but certainly not least, is the lovable noodle bowl. Use the Noodle Soup Oracle for freestyle fun, or prepare a more traditional bowl of Vietnamese Pho.


Sam said...

There's some good ideas here. When we have leftover turkey at Christmas we always make turkey curry, have done for as long as I can remember!

Amanda said...

Yum, turkey curry... that sounds really appetizing about now, Sam. I see that in our forecast this weekend, for sure!

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