What’s Left – How to Give New Life to Leftovers


Chicken Stir Fry

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, Hanukkah’s passed, Christmas is wrapped up, is there anything left to say about food?  Is there anything more to eat? Anything more to cook?  What’s left?

Leftovers.  And better still, combining single ingredient leftovers to create a feast. All it takes is a tiny bit of creativity and a lot of onion.

As you’ve probably gathered if you’ve been reading along for a while, I am incapable of throwing food out and do all sorts of creative (verging on that’s-not-normal) things with leftovers to avoid tossing them in the trash. I recently put half a roasted chicken in the freezer when I was going to be away for four days and thawed it when I came home.  No I don’t recommend you do this (the meat gets soggy) unless you’re going to use it for chicken salad (which I did).  I freeze wine if I think it won’t get drunk (rare, but it does happen), and then use it for cooking. (This I do recommend.)

This dinner (shown above) was my effort to use up turkey that I was not going to put in the freezer, green beans that were beginning to grow wrinkles, carrots that were two days away from full-on limpness and mushrooms that were about to develop slime if they weren’t used within a day.  The best advice I can give for using up vegetables that are not the freshest, is to turn them into a stir-fry.  Add loads of onion, garlic and top with ginger and you will be able to fool even the most discerning of food snobs into thinking that you bought the ingredients at the farmers market that morning.

Here is the basic recipe, but you really can’t go wrong with putting any vegs you fancy, into it …


Turkey Stir Fry

½ cup turkey (or chicken) chopped up

½ medium onion

1 clove garlic

6 large mushrooms (I used crimini but any kind will do)

4 medium carrots

A large fist full of green beans

¼ cup soy sauce

Fresh ginger


Rice (I’m a huge basmati fan as I think it’s the most flavorful of the white rices)


Cook the rice. Cut the carrots into either thin slices or rounds. Trim the ends off the beans. Blanche the carrots beans. (If they’re already cooked skip this step).Sautee the onion, garlic and mushrooms.  Add carrots and beans.  Add turkey.  Add generous amounts of soy sauce. Top with paper-thin slices of fresh ginger.  Serve it over a bed of rice.

-Serves about 4.


Tell us your favorite ways to get rid of all the holiday leftovers!


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