Light leftover recipes – healthy ways to use up the rest of the meal

Chicken Stuffed

One of the biggest conundrums that hosts face after the holidays is the glut of leftover food. Even if you’re just a guest, chances are good that you get sent home with more food than you know what to do with. While you could recreate the meal with smaller portions, that can get a little boring. Try the following four ways to use up those holiday leftovers in a healthy and satisfying way.

Turn mashed potatoes into potato pancakes. While mashed potatoes are one of those comfort foods that many people can eat over and over again, they make a great base for potato pancakes. Add cheese and chive to the potatoes, scoop a dollop of them into a frying pan and pat them flat to turn them into a completely different tasty meal. Or, keep the pancakes plain and top them with light sour cream or plain yogurt and salmon as an equally tasty alternate take.

Stuff that stuffing into something else. The great thing about stuffing is that no matter what your recipe is, it will usually taste great when stuffed into something else. So, go heavy on the veggies and try stuffing bell peppers or onions with that leftover dressing or stuffing. Cook the stuffed vegetables in the oven with the stuffing in them for a quick and easy meal, or char the peppers over an open flame or grill before stuffing them for a more sophisticated touch. The extra protein and carbs in the stuffing will help to add just enough depth and heartiness to this otherwise light meal. Rest assured, a moderate portion of this dish will help you stay satisfied without packing on the pounds.

Make veggies your next appetizer. If you’re left with an excessive amount of vegetables from the holiday meal, don’t fret — they won’t go to waste. Incorporating them into your lunch or dinner as an appetizer is a healthy and tasty way to use them up. Try baking focaccia with them, or use them to top a tart. Extra asparagus or green beans can be covered in light breadcrumbs and baked for a crunchy pre-meal or game time snack that isn’t just junk food. You could even try pureeing and adding them to sauce for a little extra nutrition. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Don’t pho-get about the turkey. One of the silver linings to being a host is that you usually get to keep the carcass of the turkey. Rather than discarding it, why not use it to make for a flavorful broth? You could take the classic route and make a broth as a base for a soup, or you could try putting an Asian twist on it by making it a pho. Simmer the broth with peppercorns, ginger, star anise, and sugar, then add extra turkey, onions, bean sprouts, herbs, and Thai chili peppers right before eating. This highly customizable soup should be a hit with the whole family.

Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes [Cooking Light]

Healthy Tips: Using Up Holiday Leftovers [Food Network]