Christmas is the season of over-catering. In the frenzy of feeding large groups of friends and family it’s easy to over-estimate supplies and end up with perfectly fine food in the bin. Travis Harvey, Head Chef from food rescue organisation OzHarvest shares his tips…in the form of a Christmas carol! We’ll leave you to sing along in your head.

(Also, don’t miss Travis’ baked eggs recipe at the bottom of the page, created especially for Green Villages readers).

  • On the first day of Christmas, the leftovers could be … sandwiches or salads stuffed with roast veggies, ham or turkey.
  • On the second day of Christmas, carve all your turkey and ham from the bone … to make sure it stays fresh. Slices of ham and turkey can be frozen in a container for up to 3 months.
  • On the third day of Christmas, some yummy leftovers could be … Xmas pudding bitesize balls, rolled and dipped in melted chocolate and desiccated coconut.
  • On the fourth day of Christmas, a gorgeous soup leftover could be … the ham bone cooked up to make a nutritious pork broth, or use the off cuts for a tasty ham and pea soup.
  • On the fifth day of Christmas, a great tip to avoid leftovers could be … portion control! Use 250g per person as a guide for serving meat, recipes that serve 6 people should feed twice the amount when served buffet style with other dishes.
  • On the sixth day of Christmas, a trifle or dessert tip could be …. serve in small glasses or individual jars, which are easier to store and will last longer than in a big bowl.
  • On the seventh day of Christmas, a great tip for prawns could be … peel before storing, throw them in a stir fry or rice paper rolls, or freeze for up to three months. Also, freeze the shells before disposing to prevent a smelly bin!
  • On the eighth day of Christmas, frozen fruit tips could be … pop your left over fruit salad in the freezer, perfect for adding straight into a breakfast smoothie (always peel bananas before freezing).
  • On the ninth day of Christmas, a tip for roast veggie leftovers could be … combine with ham, eggs, cheese, olive oil and flour to make Boxing Day Breakfast fritters.
  • On the tenth day of Christmas, an amazing leftover toastie could be … ham teamed with camembert or any leftover cheese, add some cranberry sauce for festive flavour!
  • On the eleventh day of Christmas, your leftovers could be … turkey and roast veggies combined with your favourite spices to make a great curry.
  • On the twelfth day of Christmas, your fridge should be empty! Make a list before you go shopping.

If like many Aussies, you serve Christmas lunch and dinner buffet style, use this top tip to avoid wasting food. Make sure plates, bowls and platters of food are only topped up when necessary, rather than serving the entire dish at once. This allows you to keep food hot in the oven or cold in the fridge to avoid the dangerous temperature zone (5 to 60 degrees).

Baked eggs with leftover smoked ham and veg

This a simple breakfast recipe that uses up quality ham from Christmas lunch. You can add leftover veg to bulk it up and add more flavor; potato and pumpkin are great additions. If your frying pan doesn’t fit in the oven, or you prefer not to heat the oven for just a few portions, simply cover the pan with a well-fitting lid and leave on a low heat until the eggs are set.

Serves 2
50ml olive oil
100g leftover ham, diced
1/2 cup leftover veggies, diced
2 spring onion, chopped
1 punnet cherry tomato, halved
fresh herbs or leftover spinach
4 egg free range eggs
Crumbled feta

Preheat the oven to 190º. Heat the olive oil in a 20-25 cm frypan on a medium heat.

Sauté the ham and vegetables until lightly coloured, add the spring onion, spinach and cherry tomatoes, season and cook until softened.

Crack the eggs over the tomato mixture with the feta and place in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until egg whites are set.

Serve with buttery sourdough toast.

Find more great recipes like this in OzHarvest’s cookbook Urban Harvest (a last minute gift idea) or on SBS food.

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