It’s time to pack away the Christmas dinner. You glazed the ham perfectly. The potatoes had a flawless brown crust over the top with melty cheese inside. And don’t forget about the bread pudding…oh, man! The problem is, no matter how much you eat there are always leftovers. What do you do with all of this unused food? Throw it out? No, we have some better ideas for you. You can use all of this uneaten food that will help you savor this Christmas meal for longer than just one day.
The first thing you can do is take some of your leftovers and freeze it. Frozen food lasts for up to a month and you can defrost it at any time to make a great meal. Make sure you store everything separately to keep the food’s purity. Now, let’s move on to things you can do more immediately.
The easiest way to use your holiday leftovers are to make a sandwich or, for a healthier twist, a wrap! Just get yourself a couple of pieces of bread or a tortilla and you are all set. You can take your unused ham, add a little mayo, boiled egg and sweet pickle and make ham salad for a little different flavor. If you want an alternative, take the ingredients from your meal and turn it into a fresh salad with cranberries, protein, greens and anything else you want. Let’s move on to dinner.
You can repurpose your X-mas protein into many easy dishes. You can make an easy chicken à la king by stuffing a chicken breast with leftover ham and a little cheese. You can make an excellent stuffed pasta with extra ham or, if you served turkey, enchiladas with a red sauce. You can also make some great sides with your uneaten food. Extra mashed potatoes topped with cheese and bacon become tasty potato cakes. You can include surplus stuffing in a bake or soup with meat and chopped veggies.
Let’s not forget about leftover desserts. Do you have extra fruitcake? Yes, you probably do. Repurpose it into a different kind of dessert such as a trifle or bread pudding. Break up candy canes and add them to fudge or use them to top ice cream. Lets not forget about the leftover eggnog. Use it to make delicious French toast for breakfast or, if you have more time, combined with some sugar and white chocolate to make some succulent eggnog fudge.
If you don’t feel like freezing the extra or you don’t want to use leftovers, there are other ways you can use them besides throwing them away. Try giving your unwanted food to a food bank or compost it for your plants. There’s a way to prevent leftovers before you even start cooking too. Just think about portion size and how much you will actually need. You might be able to cut it and save food and money.