Turkey is the traditional protein for Thanksgiving. Most adults don’t cook a whole turkey many other days out of the year, so they are often left wondering how to use the leftover turkey. Turkey leftovers can be transformed into more modern meals by reinventing the other ingredients, as well as the presentation. Gastric sleeve patients are now used to smaller meals, eliminating carbohydrates, and finding new and exciting flavors as they follow their bariatric diet for weight loss. The traditional turkey dinner served on Thanksgiving doesn’t quite fit in with gastric sleeve patient’s weight loss diet, but turkey leftovers sure can!
We’ve gathered some ideas for bariatric patients to use their leftover Thanksgiving turkey:
- Turkey and Avocado Wraps- This is a good meal for gastric sleeve who are in or past Stage 5 of Dr. Shillingford’s post op bariatric diet when they can tolerate raw vegetables. Roll turkey slices or shredded turkey, shredded cheddar, chopped tomato, and avocado slices in a lettuce leaf, and enjoy as a turkey sandwich wrap.
- Turkey Chili- Use shredded turkey in place of ground beef or turkey, along with kidney beans, onions, peppers, diced tomatoes, and chili spices to make a turkey chili. Consider adding pumpkin puree if you have some leftover as well. Top with shredded cheese and plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
- Turkey Salad- For gastric sleeve patients tolerating solid foods, dice up some white meat and dark meat turkey, add a little lite mayo and plain greek yogurt to make a turkey salad. For gastric sleeve patients still in stage 4 of their gastric sleeve diet, using all dark meat may make it moister and more easily tolerated for those still getting used to their sleeve gastrectomy. For gastric sleeve patients still in Stage 3, consider pureeing the turkey salad. For gastric sleeve patients who are further along in their weight loss diet, adding finely diced onion, celery, or even green grapes can add some flavor and texture.
- Turkey and Lemongrass Soup- Use turkey or chicken broth, infuse it with ginger root. Add chopped mushrooms, snow peas, bean sprouts, and jalapeno pepper (if desired), and boil until just about tender. Add your leftover chopped turkey and continue heating until vegetables are soft and the turkey is hot.
- Turkey Buddha Bowl- Combine diced turkey, shredded cheese, chickpeas, diced onion and tomato in a bowl to make a turkey buddha bowl. In a food processor, make a dressing with avocado, garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Pour a small amount of your dressing onto your turkey bowl and enjoy. Or, if you’re still feeling in the mood for Thanksgiving flavors, you could make a turkey buddha bowl with other Thanksgiving leftovers, like Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower rice and a dollop of cranberry relish.
Bariatric patients, including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band patients, can be very inventive with their meals, so use these ideas as inspiration for creating your own leftover turkey meal. Remember to follow the rules of the stage you are in for your post op diet. Chew your food thoroughly, and separate your meal and your water. Portion size is also critical for weight loss, follow the suggested portion sizes outlined in Dr. Shillingford’s post op bariatric diet.
Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA, is a board certified surgeon specializing in advanced laparoscopic, robotic, and obesity surgery. His gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients come from all over Florida, including Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, and Jacksonville, to have their surgery with the Medical Director of Northwest Medical Center’s Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery. His patients also receive excellent care and customer service during their follow up visits in his Boca Raton office. Holidays can be difficult for many people, but Dr. Shillingford would like to help make this time as easy as possible for his gastric sleeve patients to follow their post op diets and continue on their successful weight loss journey.