Left-Over Anything (Turkey) Stew: $0 – Dr. Plastic Picker

Left-Over Anything (Turkey) Stew: $0

| Posted in A to Z: Dr. Plastic Picker's Less Plastic More Plants Cookbook for Kids!, Our Tween/Teen, Vegan Dreams - Less plastic, More plants, More Fiber

The stew is on the top right-hand corner.

November 27, 2020

This is the second year we cooked on this National Holiday. Last year we cooked our first Thanksgiving Turkey and had the resulting yumminess of turkey broth and turkey soup afterwards https://drplasticpicker.com/cooking-a-turkey-saved-money-used-less-plastic-and-finally-felt-at-home/. The entire home-made feast cost us $22 with plenty of leftovers for my parents house and our large household of six.

This year, we have decided to rename for our family this day as Indigenous Foods Day, National Day of Mourning of the Day that the Wampanoag Tribe was Shafted. It’s important to remember the myth of this day. But it’s still a day that can be filled with family. We just didn’t glorify the theft of native lands part. So this year due to COVID, we still had a family -filled day and I was off social-media for the most part. I respected our children’s privacy as my daughter does not like me posting some of our memories here. I will keep them to marinate in my brain then.

My contribution to yesterday’s dinner (let’s just call it Turkey Day) was Left Over Turkey Stew. This recipe is modified from Cave Girl Cuisine. I guess it’s paleo but more importantly there are tons of veggies and it’s a food-waste recipe! Please click here for the original blogger and to give them credit. http://www.cavegirlcuisine.com/recipes/paleo-leftover-turkey-stew/ This is the ultimate in plant-based as this recipe has a lot of vegetable and herb goodness! Carrots, celery, onion, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic!!!



  • • 1 tablespoon preferred cooking oil
  • • 1 small onion, diced
  • • 2 large carrots diced
  • • 3 stalks of celery diced
  • • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • • 1.5 cups diced cooked turkey (I reduced the turkey as we are trying to reduce our meat intake)
  • • 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, including juice
  • • 5 cups turkey broth
  • • 1 teaspoon dried minced garlic (I put intsead a dash of garlic salt)


  2. Press the “Saute” button on Instant Pot. Heat the oil. Place the onions, carrots, and celery in the oil and stir-fry for 3-5 minutes until onions are translucent.
  3. Add the potatoes, diced tomatoes, and turkey broth. Stir. Add thyme, and minced garlic (or a dash of garlic salt). Add chunks of left over turkey meat.
  4. Lock lid. Press the “Soup” button and cook for the default time of 30 minutes. When timer beeps, quick release pressure until lid unlocks. Remove thyme stems and discard. Taste. Add salt and pepper as necessary (this will vary depending on how salty your broth is or isn’t).
  5. Serves 6 bowls

The stew turned out really great. I’m definitely going to put this on repeat not just for holidays, but on the regular fall and winter rotation. I love that it helped me use vegetables that I don’t cook as often and that are so affordable and readily available in the house. I had all the ingredients in the house already, so our out of pocket expenses is $0. I think this is fair since it’s a left over stew recipe.

Otherwise since our in-laws bought the 15 pounds turkey (we were trying to do a vegetarian Turkey Day but they brought home the bird!), I didn’t have to pay for the bird. My mother-in-law is a bit anemic so she needs to eat a little bit more turkey, which is a good source of dietary iron. Otherwise here is the out of pocket cost breakdown of our meal. I just estimated butter, but it seemed that between the turkey (we did the herb butter recipe again) and what the kids were making – there was a lot of butter around. The house smelled great but butter is not cheap (nor is it healthy).

ItemCostLeft OversWho cooked
Mrs. Cubbison’s Traditional Boxed Stuffing$10.661 servingTeen Son
Idahoan Buttery Homestyle Mashed Potatoes$2Tween Daughter
Butter (Organic Unsalted Butter) $3Costco
Left Over Turkey Stew$02 servingsDr. PP
Breyer’s Ice Cream$4YesMr. PP
Apple Crumble$03 servingsTween Daughter

The rest of the food literally was what we had in the kitchen and would likely have gone to food waste. Our fridge is actually less full than when we started! We really tried to minimize food waste, and we have some left overs but very little. The carrots we used were baby carrots my mom was going to toss, and gave to me. The celery that was featured in the stuffing and the stew are from the same bag I bought over a week ago. It was the last bits. The apples were ones about to be on their way out, and I was going to make into apple sauce anyway. Instead our daughtet was inspired to make Apple Crumble for the first time, and the brown sugar and oats we already had for that dish. The onions is from our big stash of onions on the counter that are always there. Even the potatoes in my stew were the last two from the big 5lb pounds I bought a few weeks ago and looked like they needed to be used ASAP.

We had a very nice dinner, and zoomed with my siblings and their families including my sister’s family on the East Coast. The cousins got to “see” each other virtually and formed new memories. And all in all, it was a wonderful meal and a wonderful day. Thank you for letting me recount what we cooked and how much it cost us. When I relook at this post, it will then automatically bring up those lovely memories of laughter and tears and quiet moments that my daughter does not want me to share. And I respect and admire that about her. That my tween wants privacy and has a strong sense of needing me to respect her boundaries, photographically and experentially and able to insist upon it – this is a moment that I know I am doing a good job raising a great kid.

And with that, this is what I fed my two kids! Left over Turkey (or anything) Stew. Nothing fancy. Simple. Cheap. Lots of vegetables. If Dr. Plastic Picker can make it, trust me anyone can! LOL. Hope you #optout and don’t overconsume this day after the Day the Wampangoag Tribe was Shafted.

The stew was so good. Anything fresh is good. Instapot is getting so much use these days.

If you were wondering where Mr. Plastic Picker was, he was working the holiday which is double pay. If you had read yesterday’s post, you would have known that. LOL. https://drplasticpicker.com/it-shouldnt-be-free-you-appreciate-it-if-you-pay-for-it/ But he did work from his home office, and came down for dinner and got to hear all our shenangans. I cleaned the entire kitchen afterwards at about 8pm using my beer vinegar. The kitchen is really clean these days. I try to wipe everything down at night (even the stove top yesterday) because that is what my sister does. I just needed my own home-made vinegar to give me motivation.

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