What to do with leftovers?

5 ideas for leftovers

Five Ideas To Help Clear Your Fridge of Festive Leftovers

Have you been entertaining at home a lot this summer? Had a fridge constantly full of food and leftovers?

What can we do with all that food? Each year Australians waste about 7.3 million tonnes of food. According to The Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment, that’s equal to one in five grocery bags or 300kg per person, costing the Australian economy around $20 billion each year.

There’s also a considerable amount of water used to produce the food we waste. Food producers will use about 25% of their water on food we throw away.

Using leftovers is not just about making sandwiches for days. There are actually some other very simple recipes, which will impress your friends and family and stimulate your taste buds.

Here’s five ideas you might want to try…

1. Brunch Bites

Pancakes are always a crowd pleaser. Sweet or savoury, you can use leftovers to make the best pancakes you’ll have ever made. You can also make them fit into your post-Christmas diet – keto, paleo, vegan and/or gluten free.

Do you have a fruit platter, berries, apples or bananas left over from kids and family visiting over the holidays? I like to make Irena Macri’s Apple Pancakes with Cinnamon Yoghurt and Raspberry Coulis (recipe below. These pancakes help to use up apples or left over berries and coulis sauces. Irena also makes a delicious version with bananas and blueberries.

If you prefer savoury bites, Ottolenghi has a delicious vegetable pancake which is very easy to make. His version has asparagus and spring onions, but I’ve used a range of different veg, like cauliflower, zucchini and green beans. Top with any seafood you have leftover like prawns along with chillies and coriander and you have a quick, easy and extravagant breakfast or brunch dish.

You might like to try a rosé or sparkling wine with either pancake option.

2. Lazy Lunches

If you have a large family Christmas, there’s normally more than one Christmas ham, meaning you have ham left over for days and days.

I like to use mine up in zucchini slice or fritters, frittata or quiche which helps to extend the deliciousness of Christmas in very easy lunch fare.

But if you also have leftover roast veggies in the fridge like potato, pumpkin or carrots you could also try this yummy recipe from taste.com.au – Ham and Potato Cakes with Rocket Pesto. You could make any pesto or no pesto at all, but do use up your salad bits to serve up with these yummy cakes. Pour a glass of chardonnay and your lunch is made.

3. Snack Time

If you’ve got roast veggies add them to a homemade hummus.  Lots of cheese off-cuts? Make an exotic style of cheese toastie like Donna Hay’s Quince, Brie and Turkey Toastie or try Indira Naidoo’s Sage and Cheddar Biscuits. You can use cheddar and any other hard cheese bits you have left in the fridge for these biscuits. They are a perfect match with a sparkling or crisp white wine.

4. Dinner in a Dash

Who doesn’t love tacos? Make the best tacos ever with roast pork and crackling leftovers guided by Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Crispy Pork Tacos. As Jamie suggests, you could also use roast chicken or beef, fish and seafood you have left over. Another cool option for your meat leftovers is Vietnamese Banh Mi or Banh Xeo, which are flavourful and delectable ways to reinterpret your roast meats. Marsanne makes a lovely wine to accompany any of these ideas.

5. Sweet Cheats

So I had cream, chocolates, cherries and pudding leftover from Christmas and the easiest thing I thought to do with this combination was to make a Christmas pudding trifle. Delicious magazine has collated 30 amazing trifle recipes, and the one I was inspired to create was the Panettone, Chocolate and Cherry Trifle, replacing the Panettone with the Christmas pudding I had left. You might find another recipe in this collection to suit your leftover library. With thirty options to choose from, there’s likely to be at least one trifle recipe that works for you, even if you’re not a trifle person.


Apple and Cinnamon Yoghurt Pancakes with Raspberry Coulis
by Irena Macri

Makes 8 pancakes.
Vegetarian | Paleo | Contains Nuts | Contains Dairy


4 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp honey
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup tapioca flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
1-2 apples diced or grated
coconut oil for cooking
1 & half cup raspberries or any berries you have in the fridge, including frozen berries.
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tspn butter or ghee
1 tspn ground cinnamon
1 cup preferred yoghurt


In a large bowl whisk the eggs, vanilla essence and honey until frothy. Add the almond meal, tapioca flour and coconut flour, whisk until combined. Add in the apple and combine all together. If you feel it needs a little more liquid, add a tablespoon of water or milk.

Heat some coconut oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Drop tablespoons of mixture into the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until golden and cooked through. Cook in batches adding a little extra oil when needed.

Put the berries into a saucepan over medium heat. Add the maple syrup, butter or ghee and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until smooth and well combined.

Stir the cinnamon through the yoghurt and serve on the side of the pancakes, and the berry coulis over the top.