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Home economist reveals how to avoid food waste this Christmas

With London and the South East under Tier 4 coronavirus restrictions, and the rest of the country advised against mixing households, many families are facing a slimmed-down Christmas

Before the rules for Christmas celebrations changed, families across the country started buying plenty of festive food in anticipation of days of celebrations, so what do you do if your fridge and cupboards are heaving with leftovers or unused supplies?

To avoid food waste, Admiral teamed up with professional home economist Becky Wilkinson, who has worked with the likes of to Mary Berry, Tom Kerridge and The Hairy Bikers, to reveal how to best use your Christmas leftovers. 

Her simple tips include using leftover veg to make a hearty winter soup, pigs in blankets to make mini toad in the holes and excess cheese to create a mac & cheese or rarebit. 

Make mince pie brownies by adding two extra egg yolks to your usual brownie mix and breaking up a handful of mince pies (stock image)

Make your own mini toad in the hole¿s by using an oiled muffin tin to heat the sausages wrapped in bacon and then pour over a pre-made Yorkshire pudding batter (stock image)

Make your own mini toad in the hole’s by using an oiled muffin tin to heat the sausages wrapped in bacon and then pour over a pre-made Yorkshire pudding batter (stock image)

Christmas dinner  

Roast potatoes and Brussel sprouts: Break up the cold potatoes and mash together with the Brussel sprouts, place into a pan and fry until golden brown. Add any leftover herbs or chestnuts to add some extra flavour to make extra tasty bubble and squeak.

Carrots: Heat the ready roasted sliced carrots in a pan and add caraway seeds and vegetable stock. Blend together and heat in a saucepan to make a warming soup. 

Pigs in blankets: Make your own mini toad in the holes by using an oiled muffin tin to heat the sausages wrapped in bacon and then pour over a pre-made Yorkshire pudding batter. Bake until golden brown and well risen. 

Cheese 

Regular cheese: Create triple cheese Mac & Cheese, by swapping your normal cheddar for red Leicester, stilton and broken up brie and use for the topping.

Hard cheese: Crumble any leftover cheese into a bowl and add an egg, a finely chopped shallot and Worcestershire sauce. (You could also add any chopped nuts, if you prefer).  

Add to toast of your choosing and place under the grill to create a delicious Rarebit. 

Turkey    

Turkey, cranberry sauce and bread sauce: Shred the turkey meat down and mix with the cranberry and bread sauce. Place into four layers of hand size filo pastry squares and wrap into ‘money bags’ and then brush with butter. 

Bake until the turkey is heated thoroughly and serve as a TV boxing day snack!

Turkey, ham and gravy: Mix all ingredients together, place into a pie dish and top with ready rolled pastry for a quick and effortless pie.

Other turkey dishes: If you’re fed up with roast dinners, try a turkey ramen or turkey stir fry. 

Alternatively, use the carcass and the meat to make a soup by adding a handful of leftover vegetables, gravy and stock

Desserts 

Mince pies: Make mince pie brownies by adding two extra egg yolks to your usual brownie mix and breaking up a handful of mince pies and stir altogether, then add to a baking tin before cooking until it’s springy to touch.

Panettone: Slice the leftover panettone and use instead of plain bread to create Bread and Butter pudding.

Christmas pudding: Break up the leftover Christmas pudding and mix with a drizzle of a festive liquor of your choosing. Spread the mixture on top of some ready rolled puff pastry and roll up into a large swirl. 

Slice into 2cm rounds and place each piece into a lined spring form cake tin. Glaze with egg and bake until pastry is golden and cooked through for a festive Chelsea bun. 

Break up the leftover Christmas pudding and use a liquor of your choosing to make a festive Chelsea bun (stock image)

Break up the leftover Christmas pudding and use a liquor of your choosing to make a festive Chelsea bun (stock image)

Fruit and mincemeat 

Mincemeat: Using a readymade pastry case, fill with mincemeat and a couple of grated apples, top with a crumble mix and place in the oven until golden brown for a quick ‘Festive Crumble Flan.’

Dried fruits and nuts: Make a homemade granola by gently roasting rolled oats, nuts and seeds with some oil, maple syrup or honey. 

Stir through the dried fruits and allow to cool before storing in a sterilised airtight container for up to three weeks.

Cranberries: Leftover cranberries are perfect for making chutneys to be used all year round. Mix with apples for extra flavour.

Satsumas: Simmer in water until completely soft and blend into a pulp and use in either a classic orange drizzle recipe or freeze once blended to use in the future.


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