Waste Not, Want Not: What to Do with Christmas Leftovers
Christmas has come and gone, you partied hard and spent time with your family and loved ones. It’s definitely time to rest, but you have one more thing to figure out before rest & relaxation. What to do with Christmas leftovers? We have some ideas for you so that you can get to R & R much sooner.
When we have a big party or family get together, we always make way too much food. It’s better than letting people starve, am I right? But usually I find myself with a lot of leftover items and because I simply hate throwing food away or letting it go bad, I like to find ways to repurpose it, give it another twist and send it out into the world.
7 ideas on what to do with Christmas leftovers
1. Give it to people who need it more
This is the Christmas spirit, isn’t it? It could be pretty amazing that someone who doesn’t have a home or too much money would get to taste some of your lovingly prepared dishes. So, if you’re sick of having lots of ham and turkey, mashed potatoes or salads, you can make some tiny packages, in air-tight containers, and donate the food to whomever you like.
Enquire about this at your local church or homeless shelter, maybe talk to your friends and do a food collection so that you have more. Or if you already know someone you need, make a nice gesture. It’s surely the holiday thing to do.
2. Fry your mashed potatoes
If you made a staggering quantity of mashed potatoes, then we have a nice idea for you. Add some flour, onion, and egg to the bowl and ka-pow! You have a very nice patty you can fry in a skillet with a bit of oil. The awesome thing about this is that you can adjust the patty mixture to your liking. Add your favorite ingredients and make them your own. You can serve them with meat or have them as a snack.
3. Make a frittata with your veggies
Make a Christmas leftover frittata using whatever you have leftover from your dinner, be it roast veggies, pumpkin, or ham. Just add some eggs and the already cooked ingredients that serve as fillings. That sounds to me like an amazing brunch or breakfast to have when you’re staying at home. Whisk some eggs and milk together, heat some vegetable oil in a skillet or pan, and chop some fresh onions and throw them in that pan. Preheat your oven after that. And add your leftover sausage or ham, already cooked mushrooms or veggies. Pour the eggs on top, cook a little and then pop in the oven.
4. Make salads
I love to make leftover salads by mixing up fresh ingredients, like cheese and spinach, with cooked ones, like mushrooms, eggplant, and zucchini. It’s all a nice dance of flavor and texture and different degrees of warmth. Heat up the cooked veggies a little, fry the leftover turkey meat in a wok with oil for just a minute, and then add everything to a bowl. I love these improvised meals and especially the fact that I will never recreate them. That’s one way of keeping things unpredictable in the kitchen.
5. Make sorbet from fruits
One of the staples of Christmas dinner in my extended family (and probably yours) is having a giant fruit bowl for guests, so that you can have something simple and healthy among other, heavier foods. But what do you do if your guests focus on the cookies and don’t feel like peeling the kiwis? One idea would be to make sorbet. You can cut all of your fruit, then freeze the pieces. Then take them out of the freezer and throw them in the blender with some coconut water. The results are breathtaking. You can add a bit of crunch when you serve: your favorite crushed nuts or crackers.
6. Leftover ham ideas
And yes, the obvious idea for this type of Christmas leftovers is to make a ham sandwich, but I have a feeling that you might find this idea boring. So, let’s think outside the box for a moment. You can use the ham to make some wonderful pasta carbonara. Just chop up the ham, then fry it to make it wonderfully crispy. Add it to your usual recipe for carbonara and you’re good to go.
7. Leftover turkey ideas
If you’re not cooking ham, you’re probably cooking the famous bird. So what to do with turkey Christmas leftovers? So many things! You can add them to salads like I previously recommended. You can make it the meat in stir-fries, you can add it to a custom-made couscous dish, or a fried rice dish. If you have some ready-made stock or broth, you can make a delicious soup with turkey meat. Make a turkey pot pie or even a turkey chili.