Stuff the Turkey, Not the Trash

Holiday season panic, we all experience it.

How much food do I buy? Is this turkey big enough? Are you sure we have enough food? Where am I going to put all of these leftovers? Who is going to eat all of these leftovers?!

Millions of pounds of leftover food is thrown away every year. In fact, it is estimated that Americans throw away 204 million pounds of turkey meat during the Thanksgiving holiday (Natural Resources Defense Council, 2016). What if there was a way to plan more accordingly and load off some of those leftovers? To reduce wasted food this holiday season...

  • Plan ahead: Have an accurate head count to plan portions accordingly. Use Save the Food's new Guest-imator calculator to help estimate how much food you will need based on the head count and number of desired leftovers.
  • Cook with imperfections: Purchase imperfect produce to use in cooked dishes, such as bruised apples for apple pie.
  • Share: Encourage your guests to bring a container they can take leftovers home in.
  • Make creative leftovers: Enjoy your Thanksgiving leftovers days after by creating new dishes like turkey soup or hot turkey sandwiches.
  • Freeze: Be realistic about the leftovers you can eat; freeze the extra that won't last in the fridge.

From our family to yours, be grateful and not wasteful this holiday season and help us reduce wasted food in New York State.

Reposted from

Need some creative leftover recipes? Catskill Center staff are providing their favorites to creatively use Thanksgiving leftovers!

Stuffing Egg Nests: Too much stuffing leftover, check out this recipe from Collin Adkins on our staff:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Coat a muffin tray with a thin layer of olive oil or non-stick spray.
Scoop stuffing to into each cup of the tray 3/4 full.
Press the stuffing to the edges of the cup to form a small basin.
Crack an egg into each cup. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake 10 minutes for slightly loose yolks, 15 for hard-cooked.

Pumpkin/Sweet Potato Muffins: Lots of sweet potato or pumpkin left over? Here's a great recipe from Sarah McGinnis!

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen -

1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 - 1 1/3 c mashed pumpkin or sweet potato (canned works too - just make sure it's 100% pumpkin, not sweetened pie filling) 
1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
(optional) - raw sugar for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350. Put liners in a standard 12-cup muffin pan. 

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. 

In a larger bowl, whisk pumpkin, applesauce, eggs and brown sugar.

Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until just combined. Spoon batter into muffin cups (about 3/4 full) 

(optional) sprinkle the tops with a little raw sugar

Bake 25-30 minutes (rotating muffin pan halfway through the bake time) until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 

Cool in pan for a few minutes before serving or moving to a cooling rack. 

* Can easily be made vegan by substituting flax eggs or other egg substitute