Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Recipe for Leftover Turkey (or chicken) Salad with Indian Spices, Lemon, and Cilantro

Leftover Turkey Salad with Indian Spices, Lemon, and Cilantro
Here's a Phase One turkey salad to get you back to reality after Thanksgiving!

You can't go wrong with any of my leftover turkey ideas, but this delicious salad with leftover turkey (or chicken) is an especially good option for anyone who wants to get right back on the healthy eating plan after the big day of indulgence.  This Phase One salad features leftover chunks of turkey with a dressing that's partly made with non-fat Greek yogurt and seasoned with Indian spices.  The finishing touch is chopped cilantro, but if you're not a cilantro fan I would just use more green onion.

In a dry pan, toast the cumin and coriander seeds until they start to get fragrant about 3 minutes.

Use a spice grinder or mortar and pestle to grind the spices.

Finely minced the ginger root and jalapeno.

Heat the olive oil and saute the minced ginger and jalapeno about 3-4 minutes.  Let cool.

Chop up the cilantro and slice the green onions.

Zest two lemons and squeeze the juice.  (I would freeze the extra lemon juice.)

Cut the turkey into chunks about 1 inch square.  (I used more than this but forgot to take another photo, sorry.)

When the ginger-jalapeno mixture is cool, stir together the mayo, Greek yogurt, lemon zest and juice, spices, and ginger-jalapeno mixture.

Stir the dressing into the turkey and toss until all the turkey is coated with dressing.  (Use it all, because the dressing gets partly absorbed by the turkey pieces.)

Add the sliced green onion and chopped cilantro and stir to combine.

Chop cashews and serve the salad with a sprinkling of cashews on each serving.

Leftover Turkey (or chicken) Salad with Indian Spices, Lemon, and Cilantro
(Makes about 6 servings; recipe adapted from Lemon Cashew Chicken Salad from Sunset Magazine.

4 cups leftover turkey (or chicken) diced into 1 inch cubes
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, or less (or use more green onion if you're not a cilantro fan)
1/3 cup chopped cashews

Dressing Ingredients:
1 tsp. whole cumin seed
1 tsp. whole coriander seed
1 T olive oil
3 T finely minced fresh ginger root
1-2 T finely minced fresh jalapeno (or more)
1/2 tsp. salt
zest of 2 lemons and 3 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice (Zest the lemons first, then squeeze the juice.  I would freeze the extra lemon juice.)
1/3 cup mayo or light mayo
1/3 cup fat-free Greek Yogurt

In a dry pan, toast the cumin seed and coriander seed until it becomes fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Use a spice grinder or mortar and pestle to grind the spices.  

Finely mince the ginger root and jalapeno.  (Use 2 T minced jalapeno or more if you like it spicy.)  Heat the olive oil in the same pan you toasted the spices in and saute the minced ginger and jalapeno about 3-4 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let it cool.

While it cools wash, dry, and chop the cilantro and slice the green onions.  Zest lemons and then squeeze the juice.   Cut the leftover turkey (or chicken) into cubes about 1 inch square.

Mix together the cooled ginger-jalapeno mixture, mayo, Greek yogurt, lemon zest and juice, salt, and ground spices to make the dressing.  Put the chopped turkey into a bowl and mix with the dressing.  (Use it all because the turkey will absorb some of the dressing.)  Mix the chopped cilantro and sliced green onions into the salad.

Coarsely chop the cashews and serve the salad with a sprinkling of cashews on each serving.  

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
This turkey salad is a great choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet, especially if you use low-fat mayo for part or all of the mayo. 

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Salad Ideas with Leftover Turkey (or Chicken)
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Turkey Salad with Grapes and Walnuts from The Perfect Pantry
Shredded Chicken (or Turkey) Salad with Green Olives, Celery, and Green Onion from Kalyn's Kitchen
Turkey Salad with Apple and Celery from Sassy Radish
Brown Rice Salad with Leftover Turkey, Red Cabbage, and Pecans from Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
Chicken (or Turkey) and Apple Salad from Budget Bytes

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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  1. I am definitely going to pass this onto my mom! She's going to need it after the big day. :)

  2. It's posts like these that make me jealous that I don't get to host Thanksgiving (and probably never will, it's the only holiday we travel for to spend with my hubby's extended family.) Leftovers are the best part!

  3. Joanne and Cara, I definitely agree that leftovers are one of the best things about Thanksgiving (besides seeing the kids, of course!)

  4. I am a huge fan of grinding fresh spices in small batches and use it right away. This is a great recipe Kalyn, definitely trying this one.

  5. Thanks Prerna; my nephew and I loved the spicy dressing when we tested it!

  6. I can already imagine the wonderful aroma of those toasted spices! I'm not a cilantro fan, as you know, but I think a little bit would really make the difference in this salad. Maybe I'd use half cilantro, half parsley.

  7. If I don't have a spice grinder- or really the budget to buy more spices, would it be horrible to use ground coriander and ground cumin?

  8. Misty, that will still be good, no worries. I might use just a pinch more of each.

  9. I just made your recipe using chicken. I had to alter it a bit. Since I only had ground spices I couldn't toast them, and I forgot the fresh ginger so I had to use ground. I love that there is so much less fat in this because of the greek yogurt (which by itself I can't stand so I would never have thought to use it!) We can't have regular onions or garlic in our house, so finding a recipe with this much flavor that doesn't require either is exciting. We tossed the salad on top of some fresh warm pita and it was awesome!

  10. Kalyn, I've been away for a few years but I'm back and on the SBD. I have tried many recipes on your blog (no dud in the bunch) but this is my favorite: delicious, healthy and full of my favorite flavors. I also like that it lasts in the fridge for a few days. The internet is full of misinformation and garbage but I can always trust your site to provide the best information on nutrition and good food. Thank you. JenRN

  11. Thanks Jen, and welcome back! I do try to stay up on what is considered "healthy" but it's always changing. I do agree totally that the internet is full of misinformation.


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