During Christmas and New Years many of us find ourselves with surplus leftovers from the Christmas turkey and ham to cheese, fruit, bread and cake!
I know that finding ways to eat up all of these is sometimes little stressful, or worse dull.
Leftovers can be tricky to use in a new and exciting ways during the weeks that follow, however there is just one simple rule. Keep it simple, light and always have variety.
I stress the last part about variety. I know from experience as one year after Christmas my mum used up all the left over ham in a very large macaroni and cheese – the result was my brother and I were left eating macaroni and cheese for at least the next 8 days.
And to this day have never eaten it since.
The following are not recipes as such, but more guideline and tips on how to create salads from some of your leftovers.
Firstly ham and turkey both freeze fabulously. Simply slice and package 4 or 5 slices of meat and freeze. Use it within 2 months on sandwiches, in omelettes or in pastas.
Bread can be dried out in the sun and blitzed in the food processor to make breadcrumbs, or torn and char grilled on the barbeque and added as an extra crunch to salads.
Fruit can be cut up and frozen and used in smoothies and frappes during the rest of summer.
Christmas cake and puddings can simply be eaten over the next month as long as they get wrapped up well after each use, or crumbled and mixed through ice cream.
The important thing to remember with leftovers are that the more you take them out of the fridge the shorter their life span will be and make sure that your left overs are frozen with in 36 hours of serving them.
Leftover Turkey and Pomegranate Salad
6 – 8 slices of left over turkey
1 pomegranate, seeded
1 Lebanese cucumber
200g baby spinach leaves
100g walnuts, chopped
30ml extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons (60ml) good quality red wine vinegar
Tear or slice the turkey into bite size pieces. Slice the cucumber lengthwise in half and then into thin slices.
In a bowl whisk together the walnuts, vinegar, salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the olive oil.
In a large bowl toss the spinach leaves, pomegranate seeds, cucumber and dressing together.
Serve with the turkey scattered on top.
Leftover Ham, Peach and Cheese Salad
6-8 slices of left over ham
2 large peaches cut into wedges
Left over Brie, Camembert or Cheddar
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
60 ml white wine vinegar
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onions and garlic and cook on a medium heat until they are translucent.
Transfer them to a bowl and whisk in the rest of the olive oil, mustard and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
For the salad tear or slice the ham into bite size pieces and toss with the peaches and rocket.
Toss the salad with the dressing and top with cheese broken or sliced into bite size pieces.