Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry. We all go a little excessive over the Christmas period, we buy loads of food, sometime a bit too much and if you are anything like me, then you will have leftovers.
So what do you do with the Christmas leftovers? How can you use them instead of binning them? Well that is simple. All you need to do is think about what you do have an the best ways to use them and not throw them.
Now I’m sure that you’ll cook some different meats over Christmas, this could be the traditional turkey, beef, lamb or even a gammon. Whenever I cook meats over Christmas, one of the first things that I will do is slice the meat up and I mean the whole thing. Take what you need for your Christmas dinner and cold cuts for snacking on, but portion the rest up in an air tight container (or even tin foil) and it can be kept in the freezer for a later date.
Cheese boards and other cheeses
Christmas wouldn’t be the same if there wasn’t any cheese, well at my Christmas this is true. Did you know that you can actually freeze cheese? You can, and it will last a while, just take it out and use it when you want to. Make sure that you wrap the cheese well, especially the smelly ones otherwise I’m sure your freezer and the food will taste like that cheese.
Another way you can use cheese is by making some a beautiful cheese and breadcrumb topping for roasted root vegetables or even a mac and cheese. Cheese can be used for pizza’s pies, pastas and even a nice risotto.
Now these are easy and simple, check out “To Freeze or Not To Freeze” for what I do with most of my fresh vegetables. Keep them in the freezer and use them when you need to, that way, no waste.
Another option would be to make an awesome soup. I have a soup maker, so it is really easy, I throw in a load of different vegetables (chopped up) into my soup maker, add the stock or water and a stock cube and let the machine do the work. If you don’t have a soup maker, then chop a mixture of vegetables up, add stock or water and a stock cube, add any herbs or spices and boil until the veg is all cooked. Then you can have a nice chunky veg soup or if you have a blender, you can make a smooth vegetable soup, this is perfect for quick lunches or dinners and if you portion them up, they are great for work or whenever you need them.
Now for the bread
I’m sure you will have some bread and it may get a little stale, so you may think, bin! DON’T, stop that and don’t throw it away. You can whizz up the bread and have your own home made breadcrumbs, add some herbs and you have the topping for a mac and cheese or even on cauliflower or broccoli cheese, it adds a nice crunch and different dimension to the dish. You can also use the breadcrumbs in your own home made burgers or even add it to meats like lamb before roasting, just make sure you add the right herbs, I would suggest mint or rosemary with lamb. Finally, you could also make your own croutons, cut the bread into cubes, lightly toast in a frying pan with a little bit of oil, garlic and herbs, these can then be added to soups. They can be stored in an air tight mason jar or even freeze them.
Sausage meat and stuffing
If you have any left over sausage meat, these make some of the BEST meatballs. All you need to do is put the sausage meat into a bowl, add some dry stuffing mix and then make into little balls. You can either oven roast the meatballs or fry without any oil and they will cook. Make up a nice tomato sauce and hey presto, you have a nice meatball dish, just cook some pasta. Check out my meatball recipe here.
These are just some ideas that may help you use up your leftovers and think twice about wasting them. If you have any more ideas, I would love to hear about them.
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