Making a feast from leftovers

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Following your Christmas feast, you’re likely to be left with a mountain of leftovers.

But don’t let the food go to waste – health experts have a wealth of ideas on how to turn the excess into a variety of healthy dishes.

Leeds-based charity Heart Research UK has put together a list of tips for the staples of the festive table, the turkey and the accompanying vegetables.

Cooked turkey can be turned into a delicious protein-rich curry along with tinned chick peas, potatoes, chopped tomatoes and onions. It’s easy to prepare in advance and suitable for all the family – serve this dish with low-fat yoghurt and brown rice.

Use up turkey and roast veg in a delicious casserole made with apples and and low salt vegetable stock. Add wholegrain mustard and a little honey and enjoy with crusty bread or potatoes.

Turkey, chicken or ham can be made into a delicious pie, with a sauce using chicken stock and low fat crème fraiche. Top with leftover mashed potatoes and bake.

Christmas dried fruit and nuts can be a tasty addition to salads, along with turkey or other meat, too. Leftover oranges, cranberries, raisins or sultanas can be mixed with balsamic vinegar and wholegrain mustard for a delicious healthy dressing.

Don’t waste leftover veg either – the classic Bubble and Squeak is an excellent way to use it up. Make it by mashing the vegetables with potato and lightly frying in a little rapeseed or olive oil.

Create a super-simple winter warming bowl of vegetable soup. Scoop leftover veggies into a pan with low salt stock, simmer until warmed and mixed and blend into a healthy soup.

* Feeling weary after all the festivities?

“With so much to do and so many people to see, the Christmas season can take its toll on your physical and mental health, but adopting a few healthy changes here and there may save you feeling exhausted”, said Dr Gary Bolger, Chief medical officer at AXA PPP healthcare.

His tips to keep energy levels up are to keep moving to boost concentration and mood. Even a brisk walk will make a difference. Don’t miss having a healthy breakfast and for snacks through the day, reach for fruit and nuts if you can. Make sure you take a break, especially if driving long distances.

Louise Barnes with her son Daniel. Picture: L. Barnes

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