If you’re like most people, your holiday tables are overflowing with food during special family meals. This abundance can lead to a challenge when you have tons of leftovers, because no one wants to eat turkey and gravy every day for a week. You can solve that problem by giving your leftovers a makeover. Here are five quick tips for making the most of your leftovers:
1. Freeze. Turkey and ham freeze well. Slice or chop and separate into 1-2 pound zip top freezer bags and label with the contents and date frozen. Thaw turkey later to use in this Pacific Rim Chili.
2. Mix into eggs. Leftover vegetables, cheese, and proteins are perfect additions to omelets or scrambled eggs for a relaxed brunch, or mix it all together and cook in muffin tins, then freeze for later. Just thaw in the fridge the night before and in the morning, you have a delicious portable breakfast.
3. Sandwich. Sliced turkey and ham are perfect ingredients for paninis, wraps, and sandwiches. Use leftover cranberry sauce as a tangy spread and add leftover salad greens and even cheese from your cheese tray. Make your turkey wrap Thai-style with the addition of this Spicy Peanut Sauce and some crunchy peanuts.
4. Soup it up. Make potato soup with leftover mashed potatoes or roasted root vegetables; toss together veggies, such as green beans, peas and carrots, and roast turkey with broth for a delicious stew; or use unused pumpkin puree (or even leftover sweet potato in its place) to make Curried Pumpkin Peanut Soup.
5. Make Breakfast Better. Get creative in your pancakes and waffles by adding mashed sweet potato, as in this recipe for Sweet Potato Peanut Breakfast Shortcakes. Stir baked apples, a spoonful of sweet potato casserole, or dollop of cranberry sauce into oatmeal with a tablespoon of peanut butter for an extra special, yet quick breakfast —plus, as a Superfood with more than 30 vitamins and nutrients, peanuts and peanut butter will help you take on the day. Bake this Peanut Butter Banana Bread and top with cranberry sauce.
One word about food safety: remember that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommend in their Food Safety Tips for Healthy Holidays that you refrigerate or freeze leftovers within 2 hours of the time they are left out at room temperature. After that, your leftovers should be tossed to prevent foodborne illness. Have a safe and happy holiday season!