12 Ideas To Use Up Christmas Leftovers

December 26, 2011
Did you know Australian households will throw away at least $200 million worth of food over the Christmas holidays?


Rosemary Cadden, co-author of Making a Meal of It, gives us 12 ideas for using up some of the festive fare, plus tips on how to store leftovers to make them last longer.

1. Don’t forget to stuff the stuffed turkey back in the fridge. After 4 hours at room temperature, you’re in danger of serving up a dollop of food poisoning with those turkey slices.

2. Follow the suggestion of “Do Something!” founder Jon Dee, who named Boxing Day “National Leftover Day”, and have a party! Impress your pals with turkey mango salad: mix together cooked turkey (or chicken), some ham, chopped cucumber, chopped coriander and finely sliced red onion. Blend together mango, grated rind and juice of a lemon and olive oil for the dressing.

3. Overload of avocados? Treat the kids to avocado and banana ice blocks, and make the big kids avocado shakes – with a taste of honey, lemon, orange or mint.

4. Those bunches of herbs are in danger of drooping. Easy answer: freeze them in sprigs or in ice-cube trays for another day!

5. How’s that ham going? Think about freezing some of it. There’s only so much ham one can take day after day…

6. Soft biscuits gone soggy? Put a piece of apple or bread in the container for 24 hours. Crisp biscuits gone soggy too? Put them in a low oven for a few minutes before serving – you can only do this once though!

7. New Year’s Eve, and space must be found in the fridge for the beer and champagne. Time to use up all those bits of sponge cake, Christmas cake and chocolate cake to make lamingtons, truffles, rum balls and trifle for yet another party!

8. That bumper bag of capsicum seemed a good idea at the time. Never fear. There are lots of ideas for baking, stewing, roasting and, of course, stuffing.

9. What are you going to do with all those bits of leftover cheese? How about quiche, vegie bake, frittata or risotto?

10. Stop crying over sliced onions: use those goggles you got for Christmas to tearlessly chop away. Or you could chop under water – the onions, not you!

11. You’ve neglected the garden and that zucchini plant is going berserk. Slice the biggest one in rounds, brush with oil and pop on the BBQ.

12. The excess food bought before Christmas that has not even seen the light of day since going into the fridge: hmmmm. Good excuse for another party!

What do you do with your Christmas leftovers?

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