3 recipes to turn holiday leftovers into delicious meals
During the holiday season, kitchens and tables overflow with food as people rummage around favorite and new dishes to break bread and enjoy together.
While this is something I am absolutely grateful for, excess food can make a person lazy. Having to eat the same dishes day after day doesn’t help.
Fortunately, I’ve always enjoyed experimenting with different combinations to create new and unexpected morsels.
In the recipes presented here, I repurpose roast chicken in a hearty soup, beef tenderloin in a seasoned Korean-Italian blend, and breathe new life into Brussels sprouts with a sweet and easy solution.
Lentil soup with grilled chicken
150 grams of whole red lentils
90 grams of brown onions, cut into cubes
20 grams of celery, chopped
2 green peppers (optional)
5 garlic cloves, chopped
750 ml of chicken or vegetable broth
150 grams of potatoes cut into medium cubes
30 ml – 40 ml lemon juice
25 grams of spinach
130 grams of grilled chicken
1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
A bunch of coriander + mint leaves
Soak the lentils for 10-15 minutes.
Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot, then sauté the onion, celery and hot pepper. When it becomes translucent, add the garlic and continue to fry over low heat.
Add the lentils over high heat. Stir gently for a minute or two.
Add the broth with a little salt and pepper, then cover the pot.
When it boils, reduce the heat and leave it for 3-5 minutes until the lentils are cooked.
Stir well and then mash some of the lentils with the back of a spoon to help thicken the soup.
Add potatoes and chopped mint stems.
Cover and leave for 5-8 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Season well with sea salt and ground pepper.
Add lemon juice, then spinach. Leave it on the fire for about a minute, then turn off the stove. Taste and season accordingly,
Add the chicken, then add the coriander and mint leaves.
Serve hot, garnished with mint and a slice of lemon on the side.
15-minute gochujang noodles with meat pieces
2 tablespoons gochujang
35 grams of red onion, grilled
2 cloves garlic, minced
100 grams of whole wheat pasta
1 tablespoon tomato paste
A quarter cup of cheddar cheese, or any hard cheese, grated
Lemon squeeze (optional)
Splash of water
80 grams of cooked steak, cut into small pieces
1 ½ tablespoon parsley, chopped
Sesame or olive oil
A cup of unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Start by heating salted water to prepare the pasta.
In another pot, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil and a knob of butter over high heat.
Add the fried onions and stir until cooked but not brown.
Add the garlic and stir for a few seconds.
Add the spaghetti to the boiling water and set the timer according to the instructions on the package.
Add the gochujang (gradually if you find it too strong), then stir and add the tomato paste. For a sauce-like consistency, add 1-2 tablespoons pasta water over low heat.
Add some cheese and let it melt into the sauce. Add pasta water a tablespoon at a time to keep the sauce moving.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it, stirring to coat the spaghetti.
Add most of the parsley and steak then turn off the stove. If it feels too dry, add up to 1 tablespoon of pasta water and stir.
Season with salt and pepper as needed.
Top with more grated cheese and parsley, then add a squeeze of lemon if desired. Enjoy the heat.
Prepare Brussels sprouts with honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
5-6 cloves of garlic, cut into small cubes
500g Brussels sprouts (raw or cooked)
A pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon honey
150g chicken or beef chorizo (optional)
If using, remove any skin on the chorizo and cut it into medium pieces.
Trim Brussels sprouts by cutting off the bottom and cutting them in half.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, then add the chorizo and stir for a minute or two over high heat, making sure it crisps well but doesn’t burn. Remove and set aside.
In the same oil, over low heat, add the garlic and stir gently until fragrant. Then remove it and set it with the chorizo.
Add the Brussels sprouts face down in the pan in a single layer and cook until browned over high heat for about 90 seconds, then switch to low flame.
Turn when tops turn bright green. Stir and lay flat in another layer to cook evenly over high heat for another half minute (this step is reduced to 1 minute if you are reusing already cooked Brussels sprouts).
Add a full teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to the pan and swirl the sprouts around.
Add a pinch of sea salt and stir well.
Sprinkle smoked paprika on all sides over low heat. Stir again and reintroduce the chorizo and garlic, making sure to use all the oil that the chorizo has released.
Over a slightly higher heat, drizzle the honey all over the sprouts and stir well, making sure nothing burns. Stir for about 30 seconds, check for salt and serve hot.
NB: If you’re not using chorizo, start right away by sautéing the garlic.
Updated: December 25, 2023 at 7:00 AM