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Outside of turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day, many of us find something unappealing about using leftover food for today’s meals. However, there are some quick, easy and super tasty ways that you can give yesterday’s food a new lease of life. Here we’ll give you some ideas for making leftover meals that are both delicious and different from the original dish.

Why should you use leftover food again?

Using leftover food to create tasty new meals is a great way to ensure that you are taking steps to reduce waste and reduce your own personal carbon footprint. It’s also great for stretching your creativity in the kitchen and taking lunchboxes with leftovers to work rather than buying lunch from a café or shop can save you a huge amount of money over time.

Safety tips for cooking with leftovers

Making the most of leftover meals is a great idea, but there are a few things you should keep in mind when cooking with leftovers:

  • Be careful storing leftovers: Try using glass instead of plastic containers. Glass is reusable and sustainable. Also, take care not to store cooked and uncooked meats close to one another as this can cause cross-contamination.
  • Never reheat chicken: This can give you digestive issues.
  • Don’t reuse old cooking oil: This can produce toxic fumes.
  • Avoid using already cooked rice again: Bacteria spores in uncooked rice are not killed off during the cooking process and multiply if reheated. This can lead to vomiting and diarrhoea.

Three perfect leftover meals to create at home

There are lots of easy meals you can create at home using leftover food, but some dishes take particularly well to leftover ingredients. Here are three examples:

  1. Homemade pizza
    Get creative by roasting leftover vegetables and popping them on your own homemade pizza base for the perfect vegetable pizza. This is a great recipe to try with your family, getting everyone involved to decorate their own, healthy, delicious veggie pizza.
  2. Vegetable risotto
    Got a lot of vegetables over from a roast? Why not use them to make a lovely vegetable risotto? Risotto is a great way of using whatever vegetables you’ve got in the fridge, and it goes a long way so it’s perfect for family meals.
  3. Soup
    This butternut squash and spinach soup recipe is delicious as it is, but you can also mix it up with blitzed leftover vegetables and even leftover roast chicken for an extra protein boost. It’s also an excellent way of getting veggies into your kids.

Now you have some great leftover ideas for using yesterday’s food for today’s meals! You can now be sure that you are reducing your carbon footprint while still creating nutritious and delicious meals.