With the countdown to Thanksgiving officially on, I'm bringing back an oldie but a goodie -- Spinach and Cranberry Salad with Stuffing Croutons.

While there is much to anticipate about Thanksgiving dinner, I'm also already looking forward to the leftovers!  If your family tends to cook for a small army, like mine does, then there will be plenty to go around.  

And there are many delicious Thanksgiving leftover inspired meals that you can create, so don't be shy when leftovers are on offer.  I find, if you go in with a game plan, and think of it like a free grocery shopping trip (like my cheap, I mean frugal, self does), you'll end up saving time and money in the days that follow.  Plus, you'll have some really great dishes to enjoy all week long.

This Spinach Salad with Stuffing Croutons is one of my favorite dishes.  Whether you serve it at Thanksgiving dinner or you use your leftover stuffing post Turkey Day, I promise it will be sure to impress. 

Stuffing Croutons
Total Time: 70 minutes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 

What you'll need 
10 tablespoons stuffing 

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. 
2. Scoop 1 tablespoon of stuffing and form into a cube.  Repeat 9 more times to make 10 croutons. 
3. Place stuffing cubes onto a baking sheet. 
4. Bake for 1 hour. 
5. Remove from oven.  Let cool.
6. Place the croutons on a plate, and allow them to continue to cool in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.
_
Spinach and Cranberry Salad
Total Time: 15 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes

For the salad 
4 cups spinach salad
1 cup cooked green beans 
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
slivered almonds
dried cranberries 
stuffing croutons

For the dressing
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup white wine vinegar
1 lime, juiced
1 shallot, pressed with a garlic press
1 clove garlic, pressed with a garlic press

Directions
1. Add spinach, green beans and onion to a large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle on cranberries and slivered almonds. 
2. Top with stuffing croutons.
3. Mix together dressing ingredients.  Add dressing just before serving. Toss well.
*Note -- you probably won't need to use all of the dressing. I'd apply about half of the dressing, toss, taste and decide if you need more. 
4. Serve and enjoy!
_Just in case you need a stuffing recipe too.  Here's our family recipe.

Mom's Stuffing
I know everyone says their Mom makes the best stuffing, but my Mom really does make the best stuffing! It is so good, that I have to share her recipe.  Caution, the quantities aren't reduced for two.  This recipe makes 4 quarts, which should generously serve about 10-12 people.

What you'll need
2 bags unseasoned Cubed Country Style Stuffing (I prefer Pepperidge Farm)
1 package sage flavored Jimmy Dean sausage
1 package reduced fat Jimmy Dean sausage 
4 celery stalks (aka celery ribs), chopped 
1 small onion, chopped
49 ounce can chicken stock
16 ounce carton chicken stock
1 egg 
1 tablespoon butter

Directions
1. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Sauté celery and onion in butter.  
2. Add sausage.  Brown sausage, while stirring frequently, until sausage is cooked through, about 15 minutes. 
3. Add bread cubes to a large mixing bowl.  Top with sausage, celery and onion.  
4. Pour in 49 ounce can of chicken broth.  Mix well. 
5. Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight.
_6. Before baking, add the additional 16 ounces of broth and 1 egg.  Mix well. 
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
8. Transfer stuffing to a 4 quart baking dish.  Bake uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes.  Serve and gobble, gobble!
 


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