Holiday Leftovers to Use, and Which to Lose
Whew! The cooking is complete, but now you have leftovers that you don't want to eat repetitively. This holiday season see which leftovers to lose and try these unique, easy & healthy ideas for the ones you keep!
After stuffing ourselves with all the holiday treats the last thing we need is to face them again. Once the last piece of plastic wrap is tucked securely over holiday-time foods, it's time to take step back and see which leftovers can go home with your guests. Send desserts, candies and cookies home with others. Try divvying up a variety of each dessert or cookie so each guest can have a sampling of the whole spread. It helps to keep festive tins handy for this, and it will seem like a sweet parting gift. It's a good gift for yourself as well, to lose these kinds of unhealthy leftovers.
But with all of our laboring and love we poured out to prepare those meals, certain holiday leftovers can keep the season bright for a little longer. With this holiday season try these unique and easy ideas for your leftovers!
Turkey gets dry after it's been sitting. Try shredding it and making turkey salad by adding some light mayo, lemon juice, relish, and leftover hard-boiled eggs is just the ticket. To make it more memorable, add tarragon - which plays so nicely with turkey any time of year.
This is definitely a favorite holiday-time treat - and it comes together in a hurry. Just heat 2 cups of salted water, throw in 1 cup of turkey, a stick of chopped celery, a handful of raw baby carrots, and to make it magical - add chopped thyme. Adding thyme will take your turkey soup from something normal to something memorable.
Ham & Cheddar Melt
For leftover ham, try a ham and cheddar cheese melt on leftover
rolls or bread. To go gourmet with this, layer a slice or two of fresh
pear. Everyone will love the new twist on the classic ham sandwich.
For leftover casseroles, try combining a vegetable with them. For example, if you have a rich casserole left over, you can easily add leftover broccoli or zucchini to this dish. You are bumping up the nutritional value with each vegetable you add in.
Roast Beef Sandwiches, Stews & More
If you have leftover roast beef (which may be considered a crime to some) then the possibilities are almost endless for making open faced roast beef sandwiches, shredding roast beef on salads, or chopping the roast beef to become the shining star in your favorite stew. Place a slice of leftover roast beef on an endive leaf, sprinkle with bleu cheese and light sour cream for a delicious hand-to-mouth snack.
If you have leftover cheeses, you can always make cheesy fondue by adding some white wine while you melt the cheese at a low temperature. Use leftover vegetables or make your own croutons to dip in your fondue from your leftover dinner rolls or bread. Just cut the bread into cubes and sprinkle a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and toss them into a 400 degree oven for a few minutes until crispy and golden. These are perfect for dunking into the fondue pot.
For mashed potatoes, try topping these with sauteed mushrooms, onions, and finely-chopped chive for a comfort food you won't forget. With baked potatoes, just use half and add some melted cheese, and turkey on top to make a lip-licking delicious meal. If you microwave this, make sure you add a pinch of water to rehydrate the baked potato so that it doesn't dry out.
Sweet Potatoes & Oatmeal
Leftover sweet potatoes go great on top of oatmeal for a sweet twist on breakfast. Try adding a tiny splash of orange juice to the sweet potato and stir - trust us, you will be shocked at how delicious this combination will be. If that's too over-the-top, a dash of cinnamon will do it just as much justice.
Vegetable Puree Soup
If you have a mixture of leftover root vegetables, like yams, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, acorn squash, toss these into a food processor with 2 cups of hot chicken broth and a pinch of salt, pepper, and nutmeg for a truly delicious soup.
Fruit Compote & Homemade Sangria
For leftover fruits, it's super easy to make a decadent compote to toss on top of your favorite yogurt or whole grain waffle. For pears, apples, cranberries, blueberries or raspberries-- add these to a saucepan with some cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice for a truly sweet treat. To use up leftover fruit salad, rinse the fruit and add a spoonful or two to a glass with pomegranate juice and wine for the fastest sangria ever known to mankind.
For holiday leftovers like ham, turkey, hard boiled eggs and other protein-containing foods and vegetables, these are ideal to keep around. Give leftover holiday cookies, pies, sweets and desserts away, so that you are less likely to go through withdrawal when you are looking to get back on track with healthy eating.