Do you always end up with a bunch of holiday leftovers that you eventually have to throw out? Here are some tips to make sure that food doesn’t go to waste.
Pack and send: If you are hosting a holiday dinner party, plan ahead and make sure you have resealable plastic bags or containers so your guests can take some leftovers, including desserts and cookies.
Freeze food: Certain foods such as soups and casseroles store really well in the freezer and can be eaten later.
Plan ahead: Most leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for three to four days, so look at what you have and plan some meals. If in doubt, don't hesitate to throw food out to avoid harmful bacteria.
Share the wealth: Help those who are less fortunate. Food banks will accept homemade baked goods that do not need refrigeration to remain safe. These include cookies, cakes, fruit pies and breads. Use this link to find a food bank near you.
Reinvent leftovers: Use leftovers in interesting ways. Make omelets, quiches, tacos, salads and sandwiches. Try tossing leftover vegetables and proteins with rice or noodles for a quick and easy stir fry.
Mix it up: Combine greens and vegetables with high-calorie foods such as mashed potatoes to reduce and space out calories.
If you have questions or concerns about your family’s nutrition, call 1-800-793-3474 to make an appointment with a Swedish pediatrician. Our primary care providers also can help. Find one near you.
Try this leftover recipe:
Easy Pot PieBy Katy Wilkens, MS, RD
Nutrition and fitness manager, Northwest Kidney Centers
1 medium baking potato
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup dried onion flakes or 1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 pound mushroom, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups water
3 cups frozen mixed vegetables
3 cups of cooked leftover chicken, turkey or beef
1 box (package) Pillsbury piecrust dough
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2-3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped; or 1 teaspoon dried sage
1. Put the potato on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for five to seven minutes
2. Peel and dice potato, then reserve it
3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet and brown onion and mushrooms
4. Add flour, stir until browned; about three minutes
5. Add water, stirring until mixture thickens
6. Remove from heat. Mix in parsley, sage and frozen vegetables. Then add diced potato and meat
7. Unroll pie crusts; put one in a pie pan and add filling. Top with second crust
8. Seal and crimp edges
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, until crust is golden
Makes eight servings
• Calories 346
• Carbohydrates 30 grams
• Protein 21 grams
• Fat: 13 grams
• Sodium 242 milligrams