It’s the season yet again – for family celebrations, games, presents 🎁 and most of all… making way too much food 🍖!
That means only one thing: leftovers.
Leftovers are great and can save you time ⏰ and money 💰 overall.
To start with, here are a few top tips for making the most of your meals this holiday season:
Think ahead about how you can create extra meals
It’s your chance to get creative – whether it’s making extra portions for the freezer ❄️ to reuse later in the week or saving the extra chicken from dinner in a sandwich 🥪 for lunch another day.
Preparing extra food deliberately and with intention will mean one time at the stove translates to lots more meals down the track!
Store your leftovers the smart way
Glass containers are reusable and sustainable, and you can easily see what’s inside 👀. That way, you don’t lose track of what you’ve got stored away for another day. Label and date your containers with a piece of tape so you don’t leave anything there for too long!
Think of leftovers as ingredients
Components of your meals don’t have to make up a whole extra meal in and of themselves – extra veggies can form the base of a soup 🍲, for instance. Chicken can become part of a Caesar Salad 🥗. You might make a stock 🥣 out of leftover bones or veggies. Transform the parts of your meal into something entirely new.
Have a dedicated leftovers night
If you’ve got too many leftovers stored, dedicate one night a week to eating only the stored leftovers. Take that night as a break from cooking and enjoy a little extra time for you 🙌!
Okay, all that said, it’s time to move on to the main event… Christmas 🎄!
Here are a few recipes to make the most of your Christmas meal:
Leftover Recipes for you to Enjoy!
Turkey and Ham Pie
Use up all your extra Christmas turkey to make a turkey and ham pie 🥧. You will need:
· 600g chopped turkey breast meat, chopped
· 600g cooked ham, in thick slices
· Shortcrust and filo pastry for the base and top
And for the sauce:
· 75g of butter
· 75g plain flour
· 200ml turkey or chicken stock
· 250ml double cream
· 3 tbsp wholegrain mustard
· 2 leeks
· A pinch of thyme
Make the sauce by heating the butter 🧈, adding the leeks and thyme until soft. Stir in the flour and let it bubble 👨🍳. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil. Add the cream and simmer it until thick. Stir in the mustard, then add the turkey 🦃 and leave it aside to cool. You could easily prepare this way ahead of time and freeze to store, if you prefer to keep this on hand for much later on.
When you’re ready to assemble, place your shortcrust pastry along the base of a baking dish, add in some sliced ham or turkey along the bottom, then add the sauce, in layers. Then top with the filo pastry, crimping the edges. It’s a good idea to cut a small hole in the top for steam to escape. For an extra golden lid, use a beaten egg yolk 🍳 and paint it across. You can also prepare this a day ahead and chill.
Once you’re ready to cook it, heat the oven to 200C or a fan/gas 6. Bake for 45-50 minutes. You can eat it either warm or cold, as you like it! 😄
Root Vegetable Lentil Bowl
Make the most of your extra Christmas veg 🥕with this healthy meal. You will need:
· 600g leftover root veggies like carrots and parsnips
· 250g puy lentils, cooked
· 1 tbsp of harissa
· 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
· 150g baby spinach
· Coriander and/or mint
· 1 clove garlic
· 30g mixed nuts, toasted
· 1 lemon, zested and juiced
Heat the oven to 200C or fan/gas 6. Slice up your veggies into chunks and toss them with harissa and oil and add salt and pepper 🧂. Roast on a baking tray for 45-50 minutes and then toss the spinach through for the last 5 minutes so that they wilt.
Make a dressing with oil, coriander/mint, garlic, and nuts, all blended in a food processor until smooth. Add in lemon juice 🍋 and zest.
Warm the lentils up and toss in the veggies and spinach. Serve in bowls and top with your herb dressing 🥣. Perfect!
Macaroni and Cheese
Use up your cheeseboard with a creamy mac and cheese 🧀! A family favourite and perfect comfort food for the cold season. You’ll need:
· 350g pasta, preferably macaroni
· 500ml milk
· 2 tbsp butter
· 1 garlic clove
· 3tbsp plain flour
· 250g mix of cheese – whichever you have!
Cook your pasta 🍝 according to instructions and set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add garlic 🧄 and then slowly add the flour and mix. Allow it to make a paste. Take it off the heat and slowly pour in the milk 🥛, while whisking steadily so the sauce doesn’t lump. Return to the heat and thicken for 5 mins, then add the cheeses and let them melt. Add the pasta in last.
For an extra crunch, heat up your oven to 180C or gas/fan 4. Put your mixture into a baking dish and top with any additional cheeses, grated – preferably hard cheeses. Bake for 25-30 mins until golden. Voila! 🙌
There you have it – three great recipes you can use to make even more out of your Christmas feast.
We wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season 🎅. Enjoy this precious and exciting time and happy holidays!