Everyone loves the holidays. The inevitable clean-up afterwards, though? Yeah, not so much.
Taking down the tree and its ornaments along with the stockings and the Christmas lights just isn’t as much fun as putting them up. The same goes for dealing with all that leftover food. You can only eat Christmas ham and turkey for so long before you get sick of them.
However, it would be a huge waste to just throw them all away, especially since 2020 was a tough year. Being able to feast with your family at Christmas amidst a global pandemic is nothing to sneeze at indeed.
And so, as a public service for our dear, busy readers, here are a handful of ideas for using up your holiday leftovers:
1. Make a sandwich.
Slice up a tomato and wash some lettuce leaves. Spread a bit of mayo on one side of white bread, and then layer the vegetables on it with leftover ham or turkey. Prefer roast beef? No sweat! Just mix some of the leftover horseradish with the mayo, and substitute your favourite slices of roasted meat.
2. Use scraps to make homemade chicken or turkey broth.
If you’ve still got bits of a roast chicken or turkey carcass, you can chop those up and put them in a pot. Throw in some chopped vegetables like carrots, onions, and celery. (You can actually empty out what’s in your fridge at this point). Add enough water to cover the lot, season with salt and pepper, and then simmer over low heat for an hour.
Strain the broth into a bowl afterwards, and then use immediately or freeze until needed.
3. Whip up a tasty omelet.
Beat a couple eggs into a bowl, and then pour onto a frying pan over medium heat. Add some chopped turkey, ham, and/or vegetables. Voilà! You’ve got a quick breakfast or brunch.
4. Roll up leftover meat into spring rolls.
Craving some Asian food but got nothing but leftover ham or turkey? No sweat! You can run over to the nearest grocery store and pick up a pack of spring roll wrappers.
Chop up your leftover proteins finely. If you’ve got a carrot or celery stick left in the crisper, chop those up and throw them in too. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, and then roll them up in the spring rolls before deep-frying.
5. Toss leftovers with some pasta.
This is possibly one of the easiest ways to dispatch leftovers. It’s also one of the most delicious.
You can use whatever pasta you want, whether it’s spaghetti, linguine, or if you’re feeling adventurous, a couple of lasagna sheets. Just remember that leftover ham goes especially well with tomato sauce, and that roast beef is great cubed and served over pasta with white sauce.
6. Top your salad with leftover ham or turkey.
Christmas leftovers can be repurposed into something healthy. Who would have thought?
Wash your favorite greens (e.g., iceberg lettuce or arugula), and toss with your dressing of choice. Top with slices of leftover ham or turkey. Enjoy.
7. Bake a fluffy pie with store-bought pastry.
Leftover turkey is especially great for a quick pot pie. Simply warm it up with some veggies and leftover gravy, top with puff pastry, and then brush with butter before baking.
8. Make a shepherd’s pie.
Sick of eating lamb and potatoes for days? As with leftover turkey, you can turn them into a pie. And you won’t even need any pastry for this one.
Chop up the leftover lamb and simmer it in the remaining gray. (You can also make a quick gravy by cooking a tablespoon of flour in two tablespoons of butter, and then adding some chicken broth till the mixture thickens.) Top with mashed potatoes and bake in the oven until the top turns golden brown.
9. Turn that leftover wine into a frozen dessert.
Don’t throw away that bottle of wine if it’s only got one glass left in it! Turn it into a granita instead.
A grani-what? It’s an Italian dessert made of ice crystals, and it’s rather easy to make. Check out the recipe here.
10. Jazz up a bowl of instant noodles.
If you want to do the least amount of cooking, look no further. Sliced leftovers are a cost-effective and nutritious way to soup up (pardon the pun) your favorite instant noodles. Here are several ideas on how to go about it.
Now, if only you could outsource all the housekeeping chores remotely, right? Perhaps someone will figure out a way to do that someday. But until then, for all your other outsourcing needs outside the home, there’s Remote Staff.
Come to think of it, you could actually hire one of our VA’s and have them help you look for an extra pair of hands at home. Or, you know, look up additional recipes for leftovers or post-holiday cleaning tips so you won’t have to.
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