Whole Story

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Make New Exciting Dishes from your Leftovers

mashed_potatoes1Thank goodness for leftovers! One of the joys of being the holiday host is having delicious leftovers available for subsequent meals. Here are some of our favorite tips for making new, exciting dishes from your leftovers. Mashed Potatoes
  • Mix with some cooked chopped cabbage, kale or other hearty winter green for a quick version of colcannon, an Irish staple.
  • Sauté sliced leeks in butter until soft, then puree with chicken stock and mashed potatoes for a delicious winter soup.
Baked Sweet Potatoes
  • Make a quick sweet-potato bisque by pureeing peeled or mashed potatoes with stock and coconut milk. Stir in a little curry powder for an exotic touch, or add cooked rice and chopped turkey for a hearty main course.
  • Make sweet potato croquettes: mix chilled, mashed potatoes with beaten egg, roll into cylinders and coat with panko breadcrumbs. Pan-fry until crisped and heated through.
Cranberry Sauce
  • Mix with plain yogurt for breakfast or a satisfying snack.
  • Stir some chopped pecans or walnuts into your sauce and serve as a chutney with crackers and cheeses - particularly delicious with Stilton or farmhouse Cheddar!
rootveg_roastedRoasted Vegetables
  • Chop and use in a brunch or lunch frittata or quiche; add a little diced ham or dark-meat turkey for extra flavor.
  • Mix with cooked, cooled grains like barley, wheat berries or brown rice and toss with your favorite vinaigrette for a satisfying lunch or side dish.
Rolls and Breads
  • Make a panzanella (Italian bread salad) by tossing cubed day-old bread or rolls with lots of quartered grape tomatoes, diced red onion, baby greens, and olive oil and balsamic.
  • Don't forget French toast! Rich, dense breads like brioche or honey-wheat work particularly well.
Stuffing or Dressing
  • Make "stuffing muffins" by pressing dressing or stuffing into the cups of a butter muffin tin and baking at 350°F until hot and crisp on top; sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs just before serving.
  • Mix with nuts or dried fruit and use as a filling for halved, roasted winter squash like acorn or delicata.
Turkey Check out our favorite recipes using leftover turkey, or try these quick fixes:
  • For a turkey Cobb salad, spread chopped lettuce over a platter and top with rows of diced turkey breast, crumbled blue cheese, chopped tomato, chopped red onion, and diced avocado; serve with oil and vinegar or your favorite vinaigrette.
  • Boil up your favorite pasta shape, then toss with shredded turkey, prepared pesto sauce, lots of freshly grated black pepper and Parmesan.
  • Toss with whole wheat farfalle or egg noodles and lots of fresh chopped parsley for a hearty side dish.
  • Stir a few spoonfuls into a broth-based soup like chicken noodle or mushroom barley for instant flavor and richness.
What's your favorite trick for using up leftovers?

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Rachel says …

Great ideas! I wish I had enough leftover sweet potatoes to do bisque; it sounds wonderful! I have tons of stuffing left (not because it wasn't eaten, but because I made an extra pan JUST for leftovers) and I think I'm going to try it stuffed in some winter squash. I'm a huge squash fan...just have to make it sweet enough to get my kids to eat it :) Thanks for sharing these GREAT leftover ideas!!

JeanB says …

Yum -- great ideas, thanks a lot! For Christmas I think we'll cook with an eye toward enhancing leftovers so we can try some of these nifty tips.