Tag Archives: leftovers

Leftover Creamy Ham Pasta

29 Dec

I decided to mix-up what we did with our ham leftovers this Christmas. It’s usually ham sandwiches on the 26th, and on the 27th my Mom makes split pea soup.

I wanted to try something new with all of our leftovers this year. Ever since I made the Acorn Squash Pasta, I have been on a creamy pasta kick. I decided to try it out for a quick dinner this week, and it turned out pretty well!

I needed a quick dinner because I was in the middle of packing – Nick and I are meeting up with friends in Florida for the week (I’m actually writing this from the plane). We’re both very excited, albeit nervous for our livers. The trip is going well so far – as I was packing, I was sure to pack only liquids that were 3 oz or less in my carry-on… I had to take a picture after I made it though security, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of this earlier!


Anyway, on with last night’s dinner. I didn’t measure most of it, just used what I had left over.

What I used:
1 box spaghetti
~2 cups ham, diced
~2 cups green beans, cut into 2” pieces (uncooked)
~½ cup broccoli heads (tree tops? I don’t know the formal word)
~½ cup baby carrots, cut into ½” coins
1 cup roasted red pepper, cut to about 2” long strips

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp chopped white onion
2 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken broth
⅓ cup greek yogurt (I used plain Fage I think)
¼ cup milk
¼ cup parmesean cheese
1 tbsp pesto (I just use it because the bottle was almost empty, you can just replace with tbsp basil
pepper, to taste


I was pretty crunched for time so I made this as quickly as I could. I set a big pot of water on high heat for the pasta, and as I waited for that to boil I cut up the ham, beans, pepper, broccoli, carrots into their aforementioned sizes.

When the water started to boil, I threw the pasta in. The cook time for “al dente” was about 9 minutes. When the pasta had about three minutes left, I added the ham/pepper/etc mixture. In the meantime, I made the sauce. Multitasking is absolutely not my strong suit, so I was proud that I could handle it.


I grabbed a small saucepan and put the olive oil on medium high heat. After about a minute I added the garlic and onion. When the onion started to become translucent, I added the flour and mixed in. After about 30 seconds, I started slowly pouring in the chicken broth and stirred to incorporate.

Once it was mixed well, I added the yogurt and milk, stirred, and turned to low heat. After a minute or so I added the parmeasean cheese and pesto (again, just because I had it leftover).


When the pasta mixture was done I drained the water, put it back into the pot, added the sauce and served after it sat for a minute. There was no need for salt as the ham was already pretty salty, but people used black pepper to taste (my mom really doesn’t like it so I try not to cook with it).

While it definitely wasn’t as creamy as the acorn squash, it was pretty delicious and didn’t make me feel gross (which is how I usually feel after most creamy sauces). And, we still have enough ham left over so Mom can make her soup!



Creamy Acorn Squash Pasta

12 Dec

Creamy acorn squash pasta was one of the last dinners that I made in Graceland. I’m usually not a big fan of creamy pastas, but with these cold winter nights I had just been craving something heavier.

We had some roasted squash leftover from Thanksgiving, but you could just as easily roast an acorn squash, let it cool, and then blend it. The best part is that it was really shockingly easy to make… it just tends to get the dishes little messy!

We drank it with Black Moon IPA, which is a Rock Art/Hunger Mountain Collaboration. I’m usually not a fan of any dark beer but this one hit the spot.


What I used:
1 lb pasta (I used spirals), any time would work.
~4 cups of blended acorn squash
1 cup low-fat plain greek yogurt
~2 cups of shredded (cooked) turkey
1 cup of sliced roasted red peppers
1 tsp maple syrup
olive oil

I brought a large pot of salted water to boil, and cooked the pasta until it was just al dente (that’s how I like my pasta), and then returned it to the pot with a little bit of olive oil.

In the meantime I blended the acorn squash in the food processor. If you’re having trouble getting it to blend and become smooth, adding a couple tablespoons of the yogurt will help. When that was all set, I mixed the squash in a bowl with the yogurt and the maple syrup (just for a touch of hidden sweetness).


While I was doing that, Nick heated up the turkey in a skillet with the roasted red peppers on medium-high. He drizzled some olive oil on top to help the meat retain some of it’s moisture.

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Once the pasta was done and back into the pot, we added the sauce, turkey and peppers in and stirred until the sauce stuck to the noodles.

We topped with salt, pepper, parmesan cheese and ate it as soon as it was cool enough.


(Leftover) Turkey Soup

30 Nov

I can’t believe I’ve been updating so infrequently lately. We’ve had a pretty busy couple of weeks… I finished my second clinical, we hosted Thanksgiving, and I’m starting to pack up for my move home.

Well, we sort of hosted Thanksgiving. We cleaned up the apartment, borrowed some tables, and Nick’s Mother stayed over the night before and did all of the cooking. Growing up, the max we ever had at a Thanksgiving was probably ~8. We had about 30 people here yesterday, which is legitimately more people than I have in my entire extended family. The food, the company, and the organization was more incredible than I ever could have imagined.

We’re still sleeping it off, but I did have the chance to make a turkey soup for dinner today. All of the ingredients were leftovers which was pretty awesome, and it means we’ll have more to eat over the next few days than just turkey sandwiches!

What I used:
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped peppers
2 onions, chopped
3 cups black bean corn salsa (which was equivalent to 1.5 cups each, plus a tablespoon of cilantro, lime juice, and a small jalepeno)
~5 cups turkey
turkey broth (made from the carcass)
red pepper flakes, chili powder, cumin, garlic, oregano, parsley, basil, thyme
cornstarch + water
2 tablespoons butter
cheese + other toppings


What I did:
I melted the butter in a huge frying pan on medium heat, and added the celery, carrots, peppers, and onions in with about ½ cup of broth and cooked until the onions became translucent and the carrots became soft.


Once those were ready, I put them in the crockpot on low with the salsa, turkey, and a dash (½ teaspoon) of each of the spices. I added turkey broth until everything was just covered in liquid. I combined a couple tablespoons of cornstarch with some cold water until it dissolved, and added that into the pot. After some rearranging in the fridge, a stray turkey leg was found, and we (read: Nick) figured it would be a great idea to just throw that in too.

I cooked on low for about 6 hours, topped it with whatever cheese and stuff we wanted, and ate it with buttermilk biscuits… and then instantly fell back into our food coma.