Christmas leftover tips from top chefs, organic producers and more
Christmas is a time for giving, so make sure your festive spread keeps on doing just that with this no-waste guide from our friends at the Soil Association
Festive cheer, presents, naps, wine, spirits: chances are your Christmas will feature of few of these things. But if you're anything like us, there's a single thing that's likely to be in more bountiful abundance at this time of year than all of them put together: food.
'Tis the season to put thoughts of prudence aside when it comes to how much you eat. But that means we get through a pretty enormous amount of food. And that's why buying ethically and thoughtfully can have a huge and lasting impact.
As we often say, well-sourced organic food doesn’t just do good; it tastes amazing. That's why this year, to celebrate the launch of the Organic Feed Your Happy Christmas campaign, the Organic Trade Board and the Soil Association has recruited sustainable food champions and chefs Anna Jones, John Quilter, Gill Meller, Abel & Cole and Anna Bury of Eversfield Organic to show us how to make the most of our leftover organic produce.
So without further ado, here are some top tips from the best in the business to help you make the most of your organic Christmas leftovers so nothing – not even the trimmings and veg scraps – goes to waste:
Abel & Cole
The organic producer suggests making a 'throw it all in' Boxing Day pie
The pie's the limit! Chop your Christmas leftovers – anything from organic roasted veggies to turkey and ham – into chunks and fold into a rich creamy sauce spiked with wholegrain mustard and organic herbs like thyme or tarragon. Swirl into a casserole dish and top with a lid of shortcrust pastry, boosted with a grating of any leftover hard cheese for good measure. Slide into the oven and bake until bubbling and golden.
The chef and award-winning author on his festive leftover routine
At some point between Boxing Day and New Year's Eve I'll always make the last of the organic roast ham into a big hearty gratin. I make a rich white sauce with the remaining organic ham stock, cream, mustard and parsley, into which I add softened leeks and all the leftover roast ham. This all gets piled into a baking dish and topped with some breadcrumbs and a generous grating of any organic Christmas cheeses we still have sitting around. It's delicious with a simple salad and good bread.
The food writer and organic #FeedYourHappy Ambassador discusses the endless recipe possibilities
I always find that Christmas is a tricky time to keep on top of everything and can lead to lots of wastage. With delicious organic produce, the ingredients have so much flavour that you can make curries, soups and risottos with the leftover meat and it will create the most delicious stock for weeks to come.
The YouTuber and ethical organic coffee company co-founder shares his favourite leftover meal
I like to live by the 'cook once and eat twice' mentality. With a big bird, there's bound to be leftovers, and I never like to see anything go to waste. Although I love a turkey curry, an organic burger is one of my favourites and a delicious way to use up those leftover legs. It's all about cooking with the best produce, which is why I sourced an organic turkey from Eversfield Organic Meat for this recipe. It's food as it should be and it tastes great. The leftovers in a burger taste so good, it's almost another centrepiece!
Of Eversfield Organic offers her top tips for making leftover bones last a little bit longer
You can't beat a good, rich and nutritious turkey broth in the days after Christmas. We always boil up the bones from the turkey in the pressure cooker to create a tasty broth and add any leftover meat and veg to fill it out. Not forgetting a hunk of sourdough bread to dunk!
What organic means
There are fewer pesticides.
There are less additives and preservatives.
It is always free range and high welfare.
There is no routine use of antibiotics or any GM ingredients.
Visit feedyourhappy.co.uk for more info.
This Christmas, the Organic Trade Board and the Soil Association is all calling on people to celebrate the joy of organic with others by sharing the organic foods that feed their happy. Share your organic Christmas with hashtag #FeedYourHappy. Or visit soilassociation.org/Christmas to find, try and buy everything you need for an organic Christmas.