Stuffing our faces during the holiday season doesn’t compare to the amount of leftovers sitting on the table nor the additional amounts of food left untouched on our kitchen counters. Although the aroma seems to be alluring, there’s no way to push past our level of fullness in order to pick up another forkful of anything.

This moment of being completely stuffed is where packing and storing food has come into fruition. Not only can we safely store our leftovers but we can also get excited about reusing our leftovers to create dishes that weren’t originally on our holiday dinner menu. Learning how to pack allows us to make magic out of our food when the time comes.

Packing and storing process: After truly getting an idea of what’s left over, it’s time to start reaching for Ziploc bags and plastic containers. Before the packing begins, if you have meat cut it into smaller pieces and portion food in small sections. This allows more flexibility when it comes to unthawing and warming the leftovers. It is important to label food with expiration dates.

When it comes to freezing food, be sure to use moisture tough substances to avert freezer burn. Food that you don’t plan to eat within the next three to four days should be placed in the freezer. Finally, be mindful not to leave your precious desserts out, store them in a cool place.

Reuse leftovers: There are a lot of creative ways to make new and delicious recipes with leftovers.

Turkey Casserole
Ingredients:
1 (6 ounce) package STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Turkey
4 cups chopped leftover roasted turkey
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, green beans, peas), thawed
3/4 cup KRAFT Mayo Real Mayonnaise or MIRACLE WHIP Dressing
3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/8 teaspoon paprika

Directions:
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare stuffing as directed on package Spread the stuffing onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Combine turkey, mixed vegetables and mayo; spoon over stuffing Mix potatoes and cheese; spread over turkey mixture. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake 30 to 40 min. or until heated through.

Recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com

Meaty Macaroni & Cheese
Ingredients:
1 pound cooked elbow macaroni
1 pound shredded turkey meat
3 cups medium sized sweet potatoes, diced then cooked in salt water until tender
1 cup cooked peas
1/2 chopped onion
5 sage leaves, minced
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup cranberry relish
1 1/2 quart milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
4 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 cup grated fontina cheese

Directions:
In a large pot add butter, onion, sage and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add flour, whisk and cook for another 5 minutes. Add milk and continue to whisk till milk comes to a boil and thickens.  Whisk in the mascarpone, fontina and one cup of the cheddar cheese. Once cheese is melted and sauce is smooth, fold in the turkey meat, sweet potatoes, peas and pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking dish, cover with remaining cheddar cheese and bake at 350F for 20 minutes until browned on top. Serve with a tablespoon of cranberry sauce.

Recipe courtesy of foodrepublic.com

Potato Croquettes
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of milk
Salt
½ teaspoon of pepper
½ teaspoon of chopped green onion
2 egg yolks, beaten
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups of mashed potatoes
1 egg, beaten
Sifted dried bread crumbs
Peanut oil, enough to fill pan 1/2-inch

Directions:
Add milk, salt, pepper, chopped onion, beaten egg yolks and flour to mashed potatoes. Chill and then shape using an ice cream scoop. Dip in the beaten egg, then roll through bread crumbs. Fry each croquette in shallow oil until brown on all sides. Leave at least 2 inches of space between each croquette to avoid crumbling while frying.

Recipe courtesy of foodnetwork.com

Jalisa Bannerman

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