Leftovers Reinvented: 10 Healthy Tips

Don’t think you’ll ever be hungry for one more Christmas cookie? Think again! Instead of tossing those holiday leftovers to avoid more over-indulging, use them to your advantage. Here are some practical tips and recipes to help you reduce food waste and space out the calories.
Related To:

Don’t think you’ll ever be hungry for one more Christmas cookie? Think again!

Instead of tossing those holiday leftovers to avoid more over-indulging, use them to your advantage. Here are some practical tips and recipes to help you reduce food waste and space out the calories.

1. Give It Away Now! -- If you hosted the holiday festivities, plan ahead and have resealable plastic bags and food storage containers handy to send guests home with goodies. This works perfectly for cookies, candies or other sweets.

2. Zip It Good -- Make sure to store all leftover foods in airtight containers; this keeps things fresher longer and gives you more time to finish off the stash.

3. Chill Out -- Utilize your freezer -- soups, cooked vegetables, breads, pastries and cookies all freeze very well and can be thawed for later indulging.

4. Recreate the Plate -- Serve small portions of leftover turkey, roast beef or ham along with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables for sandwiches, salads, wraps or a light main course.

    Try:

5. Mix It Up -- Toss left over veggies and seafood with small portions of pasta or brown rice.

6. Veg Out -- Reduce portions of high calorie favorites by adding fresh or frozen vegetables to creamy soups or leftover mashed potatoes.

7. Go Nuts -- Add remaining nuts and dried fruit to a simple and light spinach salad.

8. Be Creative -- Combine herbs and roasted root vegetables along with a pinch of low fat cheese to make quesadillas, minis pizzas or omelets.

9. Safety First -- Most foods will stay fresh for up to seven days, but if it looks or smells even a little funky, throw it out!

10. Feel the Burn -- Work off some of those extra calories! Make sure to get some exercise in the weeks following holiday get-togethers. Prep leftover plates and march them to your neighbors (especially any ones up a hill).

Keep Reading

Next Up

10 Healthy Holiday Desserts

Here are 10 healthy holiday desserts everyone will love.

10 Healthier Cookies for Your Cookie Swap

If you’re going to a cookie swap or holiday party, here are 10 cookies you can feel good about baking.

8 Things to Make with Leftover Holiday Ham

In only a few minutes, you’ll transform what was once a holiday dinner into kid-friendly fare from pizza to breakfast cups, mini sandwiches and more.

Healthy Holiday Parties

What to eat (and stay away from) while entertaining over the holidays.

Healthier Holiday Apps

Healthy appetizers for holiday gatherings

8 Healthy Holiday Hacks

Celebrate the holidays with decadent, flavorful food while lowering the calorie load with these healthy tips.

Holiday Nuts the Healthy Way

Head to the store and pick up these tasty nut mixes to roast and serve at your next holiday gathering — or, prepare your own spiced nuts at home with our easy recipes.

Holiday Havoc? Calm Down with These Smart Tips

Get on track for the holiday food madness with these tips for navigating the chaos!

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.