When I was much younger, my mother would say something in an attempt to make me finish my food. She would say, “There are a lot of starving kids in the world who need food and here you are wasting them!” I’m pretty sure a lot of us have heard this statement or a variation of it during our childhood years (I can’t be the only one!), and while I can certainly tell my mother that those children’s bellies would not be filled if I do finish my food, I have learned that wasting good food is never a good thing, especially now that I pay for my own.
According to the EPA, more than 36 million tons of food is wasted annually in America. Now, I don’t have the documents to support this statement, but I’m pretty sure a lot of those wasted food were leftovers from dinners/parties that sprout like mushrooms during the holiday season. Since I believe wasting food is not really a habit we like to cultivate in our households, I will share with you, dear readers, some recipe ideas that will hopefully put your leftovers to good use.
Disclaimer: I do not claim these to be my own recipes. I have just found these recipes online and collected them over the years. These are merely recipe ideas and you would need to research for the correct measurements and complete recipe and instructions on the internet.
- Christmas Pudding Crumble. You will need butter, flour, apple, pears, cranberry sauce and demerara sugar. This would be great for those of you who made too much Christmas pudding as well as cranberry sauce. I tried this last year and all I had to buy was the demerara sugar since everything else can be found in the household.
- Chicken Tomato Wrap. This is perfect for those days when you want to just whip something up when you’re feeling peckish. You will need honey Dijon salad dressing, mayo, leftover chicken breast, green pepper, tomatoes, tortillas, lettuce and Swiss cheese.
- Cranberry Meatballs. This is another way to recycle your cranberry sauce. You will need cooked meatballs, cranberry sauce, orange juice, sugar, pepper and ginger. Simple yet delicious.
- Turkey Cranberry Arugula Sandwich. Another leftover recipe idea for snack time. Ingredients are load bread, mayo, Dijon mustard, leftover turkey breast meat, cranberry sauce and baby arugula leaves. Try this recipe if you’re trying to get your kids to eat veggies.
- Creamy Turkey Turnover. Let’s admit it. Even after you’ve had your Christmas dinner and sent some leftovers to your relatives and friends, there’s still some turkey meat left. This is one good thing to try out with your leftover meat. You will need thawed puff pastry, leftover turkey meat, frozen peas, mushroom pasta sauce, egg and poppy seeds and voila!
There you have it, dear readers – five recipe ideas that will help put a new flavor into your leftovers. While consuming all your leftovers do not mean that all those starving children will have their bellies full, you can at least help the world in your own little way through waste reduction this season.