Who doesn't love a left over's party? With 40% of food being wasted each festive season, I am pretty excited about National Left over's Day. Besides, it's another great excuse to get your friends over and share all their food.
Don't forget to bring in gratitude. Take time to be grateful and reflect on where the food has come from, the love that has gone into making it, and how truly lucky we are for having so much abundance. This means savoring and enjoying the food, instead of gorging ourselves on it without thought.
I don't know about you, but some of my best concoctions have come from leftovers. If only we wrote them down...
1. Got a carrot going spare? Have it for breakfast.
Grate 1 large carrot into a bowl, add 50g rolled oats, 4 tbsp apple juice or milk, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and 2 tbsp chopped apricots or raisins. Mix well, then chill overnight. To serve, mix in 50g natural yogurt and top with chopped walnuts.
2. Cook your salad leaves.
If your leaves are starting to turn limp, stir-fry iceberg or Gem lettuce with some sesame oil, garlic and soy sauce for a speedy Asian-inspired side dish.
3. Capsicum ends chimichurri.
Grab a bunch of wilting herbs, plus all your left over roasted capsicum ends, 1/4 cup of water, 1/2 cup of olive oil, paprika, lemon juice and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Throw it all in the blender. Perfect for pouring over meat and fish. Keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks too.
4. Whizz up old bread.
Whizz up leftover herbs and stale bread in your food processor to make herby breadcrumbs, then freeze. Use from frozen for a great coating for fried or baked fish, or add cheese and make a topping for baked mushrooms.
5. From-the-fridge Pizza.
Mix 2 tbsp curry paste with 2 tbsp mango chutney and 1 tbsp tomato purée. Spread over 2 naan breads, top with 1 thinly sliced red onion, 1/2 chopped red pepper and a handful of chopped cooked meat – chicken, ham or salami all work well. Tear a ball of mozzarella into small chunks and dot over the pizzas. Bake at 200C/180C fan/gas 4 for 20 mins or until the naans are crisp and the cheese has melted. Scatter with coriander and serve.
6. Slice-now-use-later ham.
Thinly slice any leftovers from a joint of ham, then stack in 2-3 slice bundles (enough for a sandwich) between layers of baking parchment. Put the sliced ham in a sandwich bag, freeze, then remove and defrost a bundle at a time, whenever you want to make a sandwich.
7. Marmalade Martini.
A glam way to use up that last spoonful of marmalade in the jar. Pour 50ml gin into a nearly empty jar of marmalade. Put the lid back on and shake the jar well to combine. Add 2 tbsp orange liqueur (I used Cointreau), then juice 1/2 lemon and the juice 1 clementine. Shake well, strain into 2 chilled Martini glasses and serve.
8. Mixed root veg coleslaw.
Use a combination of leftover uncooked carrots, celeriac and beetroot with shredded cabbages or sprouts. Mix with a dressing of mayonnaise, lemon juice and a little mustard, and serve with cold meats, cheeses and jacket potatoes.
9. Speedy yogurt flatbreads.
Mix natural yogurt with an equal quantity of self-raising flour and a sprinkling of cumin seeds. Divide the dough into walnut-sized balls, roll as thinly as you can and cook on a hot griddle pan for 1-2 mins each side.
10. Stale pittas and tortillas.
Break up stale pitta or tortilla wraps, lay on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt. Grill until turning golden brown at the edges. Eat like crisps or for a Lebanese-style salad, scatter over lettuce, tomatoes, parsley and cucumber, dressed with lemon juice, olive oil and sumac.
11. Perk up cooked rice.
Fry 1 chopped onion in a drizzle of oil, add 2 tbsp mild curry powder and 300g cooked leftover rice. Flake through some hot smoked fish – mackerel, salmon or trout all work well. Heat for a few more mins, then scatter with chopped parsley. Serve with a poached egg for a hearty breakfast or lunch.
12. Zero-waste jam.
Use any ripe fruits you've got hanging around. Add 1 1/2 cups of water, 2 tbsp of lemon juice, 2 tbsp of chia seeds and a dash of vanilla essence. Place it all in a pan, bring to the boil and cook for 5 mins. Lower the heat and cook for another 10-15 mins until it forms a creamy texture. Let it cool and pour into an air tight jar. The perfect zero-sugar jam to add to meats or to your smoothie bowl. Always good on fresh bread too;)
In case you missed our last blog on festive waste facts, you can hit the link. It's bound to secure your left overs gathering. And besides, It's the right thing to do! #MakeYourImpact
Merry Christmas WodUp Tribe!