Talking Turkey After Thanksgiving Day

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - November 23, 2011
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After Thanksgiving, the big question is what to do with all that leftover turkey, so I have devised a few creative alternatives to the plain old turkey sandwich.

Speculations as to the origins of chili are many. It is thought to have been created by people who were poor as kind of a hash to stretch meat, which was expensive. They added a good amount of tomatoes, onions and peppers and spices, and it was served with rice, potatoes or another filling starch.

Residents of Texas prisons in the 1800s claimed it was made as an alternative to bread and water. They would chop tough meat very finely then add seasonings and chilies. Texas chili went national when Texas set up a San Antonio Chili Stand at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Chasen’s restaurant in Hollywood, Calif., probably made the most famous chili. The owner of the restaurant, Dave Chasen, kept the recipe a secret, entrusting it to no one. Chauffeurs, studio people, actors and actresses would come to the back door of Chasen’s to buy the chili by the quart.

Famous people such as comedian and actor Jack Benny, J. Edgar Hoover and Eleanor Roosevelt, craved this chili. During the filming of the movie Cleopatra, Elizabeth Taylor had Chasen’s send 10 quarts of its famous chili to her in Rome.

Happy Thanksgiving!


* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 2 minced garlic cloves
* 3 cups cubed cooked turkey
* 1 can kidney beans, rinsed well
* 1 can Niblets corn
* 2 small chili peppers, diced (may omit for mild chili)
* 1 15-ounce can lowfat, low-sodium vegetable broth
* 1 teaspoon cumin powder
* 3 cups cooked brown
* low-fat shredded Cheddar cheese, to taste (optional)

Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add turkey and brown.

Add beans, corn, chili, cumin and broth. Heat until hot. Serve over rice and sprinkle with cheese, if desired.

Makes six servings.


* 1 tablespoon canola oil, to coat nonstick pan
* 4 stalks green onion, chopped
* 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
* 1/2 cup sliced fresh pea pods
* 1 cup broccoli florets, cut in small pieces
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 3 cups diced cooked
* 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger or 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
* 4 cups cooked rice
* 1/3 cup low-sodium shoyu
* 4 egg whites, lightly beaten

In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir-fry the green onion, mushrooms, pea pods, broccoli and garlic for three to four minutes, just until the vegetables are tender. Add the remaining ingredients except the eggs.

Cook for four to five minutes, or until heated through. Add the eggs and stir constantly for two to three minutes, or until the eggs are cooked through.

Serve immediately. Makes six servings.

Approximate nutrition information per serving:

Calories: 130
Total Fat: 3.3 grams
Cholesterol: 1.0 milligrams
Sodium: 355 milligrams

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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