It’s that time of year again when the shelves of the fridge are bowing under the weight of all the excess food that didn’t get eaten on the big day. And as none of us want to add to the already huge amount of food that is thrown away every year in Australia, it’s time to figure out what to do with it all.
Now the first thing to do is see which items can be portioned up and frozen. This is because although leftovers can be delicious, nobody wants to eat them every day for the next week. So freeze the things that you know won’t get eaten in the next week.
Once you cleared some space in the fridge by portioning up and freezing some items, it’s a good idea to make a meal plan or menu to use up with what’s left.
The key to a good meal plan is to have different food types every day and keep it simple. And one of the simplest ways to use leftover meat or veggies is in a pie. Just add a white or cheese sauce to veggies, ham or chicken and pop a pastry lid or better still top with mashed potato. Do the same with beef or lamb, just use gravy instead of the white sauce.
On the subject of mashed potato these are one of the all-time hero’s of leftovers, they are so versatile; great for the good old bubble and squeak – that’s fried with veggies if you were wondering. They are also really easy to roll into croquettes, you can add some diced ham, cooked chicken or turkey, and simply coat with breadcrumbs. It’s worth making extra mash just so you have some left over!
Some other things to do with leftovers include turning cooked rice into egg fried rice. Or salvaging roast veggies by turning them into a gourmet roast vegetable salad. Just spritz with balsamic vinegar, place on some rocket leaves and top with crumbled with feta. And if you still have leftovers lurking in the back of your fridge make a festive melt. To do this just chop whatever you have left into bite sized pieces place on Turkish or similar bread, add a little sweet chilli sauce, top with cheese and into a hot oven for 10 minutes. Yum!