An after-Thanksgiving dairy-free and gluten-free menu planner

Turkey Sandwich with Arugula-Walnut Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes

By this time, you are probably in the midst of shopping for or planning your Thanksgiving dinner.  If you are still looking for ideas, you may want to check out Elana’s Pantry. She recently posted her Thanksgiving spread and it looks delicious.

However, have you thought about how you could use your Thanksgiving leftovers to create new, yummy dinners for your family? If you would like to add some variety to your post-Thanksgiving dinners, here are some ideas.

We all think of turkey sandwiches and turkey soup when trying to figure out ways to use up the turkey meat.  But if you are looking for some fresh and creative ideas, I’ve created this week’s menu planner just for you.  Not only are these recipes very quick and easy to make, they utilize what you already have in the fridge in order to make a delicious and new meal.

This week’s after-Thanksgiving menu includes:

Thai Style Turkey Sandwich

Thai Style Turkey Sandwich


  • Turkey Sandwiches with Arugula-Walnut Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes
  • Inspiration Turkey Soup
  • Thai Style Turkey Sandwiches with Cilantro and Lime
  • Spiced Kuri Squash with Turkey
  • Turkey Sandwiches with Charmoula Mayo and Caramelized Onions (recipe below)

Side dishes:

  • Rosemary Potato Bread
  • Winter Squash Soup
  • Cranberry Sweet Potato Bread
  • Pomegranate Almond Salad
  • Lemony Green Beans

Of course, if you don’t want to do sandwiches, you can also put GF pasta with the pesto and tomatoes, eat the Thai salad by itself and smother the turkey (or chicken) with the onions and mayo.  It would all be delicious.

Or, if you’re a vegetarian, this week’s menu can be used with fish, grilled portobello mushrooms or your choice of beans.

Also, if you didn’t host this year’s dinner and don’t have leftover turkey, you can buy chicken breasts and bake them for the sandwiches and soup.

You can check out the recipes for the “Kuri Squash with Turkey” and the “Rosemary Potato Bread” by clicking on the menu items above.  I am also including the recipe for “Turkey Sandwiches with Charmoula Mayo and Carmelized Onions” below.

Turkey Sandwich with Charmoula Mayo and Carmelized Onions

Turkey Sandwich with Charmoula Mayo and Caramelized Onions

Find more great holiday recipes at Just the Right Spice

Find more great holiday recipes at Just the Right Spice

Turkey Sandwiches with Charmoula Mayo and Caramelized Onions
Servings:  Makes 4 sandwiches


1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 large sweet onions, slivered lengthwise

salt and pepper to taste

8 slices of cooked turkey (white or dark meat) You can also use baked chicken slices.

8 slices of gluten-free bread or Rosemary Potato Bread

Charmoula Mayo:

1/2 cup each of loosely packed cilantro and parsley

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

2-3 dashes of cayenne

1/3 cup slivered almonds

1 cup soy-free mayo or 2 Tbsp. olive oil


  1. Start by heating the olive oil in a cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat.  When hot, add the onions and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown, for about 30 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. While the onions are cooking, make the charmoula mayo.  Put all of the charmoula mayo ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.  You can replace the mayo with olive oil if you don’t want to use mayo.
  3. Make the sandwiches by layering the turkey meat, charmoula mayo and caramelized onions.  Enjoy!
  4. Vegetarian?  Try grilling or sauteing Portobello mushrooms in place of the turkey for the sandwich.

    If you try any of these recipes, I would love to hear about it in the comments.  Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!


How to bake gluten-free

Rosemary Potato Bread, photo by Sarah Schatz

For years I avoided delving into the process of creating gluten-free baked goods because it simply seemed too daunting to me. At the time, I didn’t know of any good gluten-free baking books and part of me believed that gluten-free really wasn’t going to taste that great, so why try?  I got by with gluten-free frozen breads but I always felt like I was eating to to fill my stomach, instead of actually enjoying what I was eating.

This usually led me down the path of “eating wheat or spelt in moderation” which always came back to kick me in the bud.  I have now learned that for me, I have to stick to my gluten-free diet completely, otherwise I slowly start to go overboard with my consumption of glutenous products.

But one thing that truly helped me with this transition was the discovery of “good” gluten-free baking.  It truly opened my eyes (and taste buds) to what gluten-free baked goods can taste like with the right combination of gluten-free ingredients.

And to be quite honest with you, once I got over the “withdrawal hump,” I actually didn’t crave them as much.  This may happen to you, too.  I also don’t miss regular bread because the gluten-free alternatives can be so good.

I will add one more note here about gluten-free baking.  It takes patience.  Patience with yourself to keep trying, even after you bake something that doesn’t turn out well.  To me, learning to bake gluten-free was like performing experiments where I often felt like I was chemistry class!

If you are new to this as I once was, it can be overwhelming to look at a list of gluten-free ingredients and know where to even start. It can seem overwhelming to even think about where to buy them, how much it is going to cost and what to do with them once you have them! If this is you, I am writing this post for you.

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