Leftover Land: Re-invent your Christmas Food

thanksgiving-dinnerFor all the preparation that goes into the holiday season (time, effort, and the lion’s share of your budget), it seems to be over in a blink of an eye.

All of sudden  it is time to clear the mounds of wrapping paper from the living room floor, assemble new toys (for the young and old) that have now been opened, and of course- clean up the kitchen aftermath from your holiday dinner.

If you are one of those tireless folks who slaves all day to prepare a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, there is a certain frustration and challenge that comes with the leftover food from your celebration. The thought of recycling old food favourites not appealing this year? Try something different.

Hot Turkey Sandwich

A large roaster turkey, from an economic standpoint, is one way to really get mileage out of a single meal- in terms of being able to generate additional meals in the days to come.

However, beyond the recreation of the same plate, you can use that turkey to come up with some yummy ideas that are different.

Try a hot turkey sandwich. How easy (and delicious) is it to slap turkey in between two pieces of bread and cover with gravy? You can use up some of those mashed potatoes on the side too. Boil up some frozen peas, and you have yourself a complete (and different meal).

Turkey Pasta

Chop some of that leftover turkey and add in a pan with some butter to frozen mixed veggies. Add a container of cream cheese and spices of your choice (or buy flavoured cream cheese like herb and garlic) and stir until cream cheese is melted and the veggies and meat are cooked through. Toss with  cooked pasta (something short and stubby, like rigatoni or rotini). You may have to add a little milk if the sauce is too thick.

Turkey Salad

After several days and nights of rich food, do you long for something lighter and crispy? Wash lettuce and tear into bite sized pieces. Cut up pears and bits of blue cheese. Chop turkey and mix together with lettuce, fruit and cheese. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top.

For dressing, simply sprinkle olive oil and white wine vinegar on top.


Stuffing is one of those awesome supporting characters.  It is never the “main event”, but is yummy and adds that quintessential flavour to a celebratory meal.

You can use stuffing in a number of places (including in sandwiches with leftovers!).

Leave the turkey hemisphere altogether and add leftover stuffing with cheese and a beaten egg to ground beef. Mash together in a loaf. Bake for about an hour at 375, and you have yourself a flavour-packed meatloaf.