3 Ways to Revive Your Holiday Leftovers by WeightWatchers

You plan for the meals. You plan for the guests. Maybe you even plan for the feeling of equal parts relief and exhaustion once the holidays are actually over. But what about all the leftovers?

3 Ways to Revive Your Holiday Leftovers You plan for the meals. You plan for the guests. Maybe you even plan for the feeling of equal parts relief and exhaustion once the holidays are actually over. But what about all the leftovers?
The good news is, traditional holiday meals have got it all: protein, fiber, fat, and carbohydrates. A typical plate—say roast turkey with Brussels sprouts, green beans, and mashed sweet potatoes—ticks all the nutritional boxes, which is key for helping blood glucose (blood sugar) levels stay steady, says Angela Goscilo, MS, RD, a registered dietitian and senior manager of nutrition at WeightWatchers®.
The challenge, however, is making them as enticing the second (or third…) time around. “When you’re pulling leftovers out of the fridge or freezer, you always want to bring in a fresh element,” says Leslie Fink, RD, a registered dietitian and recipe editor at WeightWatchers. Top off a ham sandwich with sliced apples, for example. “Bringing in something new makes everything pop from a flavor perspective and a texture perspective.” Naturally, we’ve got a few ideas.
Make a sweet and savory sandwich or wrap:
  • • Pile your favorites—green beans, turkey, or ham, all of it—on a tortilla or large lettuce leaf with a few sprigs of parsley. Then wrap and roll.
  • • Spread whole wheat bread with honey mustard. Add reduced-fat Swiss cheese and leftover turkey or ham. Then top it off with fresh tomatoes and leftover Brussels sprouts for a little crunch.
  • • Make a traditional grilled cheese a touch more gourmet. Spread Brie on whole wheat bread and add some non-starchy veggies like baby spinach or collard greens. Top it off with a spiced apple chutney made with minced shallots and ginger, diced apples, and a touch of apple cider vinegar—cooked until jam-like over medium heat.
  • • Try a mash-up of a BLT and a club sandwich by layering crispy turkey bacon, juicy tomatoes, crunchy lettuce, and leftover turkey with mashed avocado.
Make breakfast way less basic:
  • • Fill an egg omelet with turkey or ham, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts—then add some chopped fresh herbs.
  • • Leftover roasted vegetables? Pack them into a fiber-filled egg frittata by baking them in a sheet pan and topping with diced tomatoes.
  • • Make a smashed veggie hash. Chop up veggies and add them along with sweet potatoes and any other side dishes you like to the mix. Brown the ingredients in a skillet, then make small wells in the hash. Crack an egg into each well, cover the pan, and cook over medium heat until the eggs are to your liking.
  • • Just put an egg on it. Fink notes that pretty much any carb—like leftover rice or potato latke—does well heated up in a pan and paired with veggies and a cooked egg.
Get set for soup season:
  • • If you made a turkey, keep the carcass—the bones make an excellent foundation for a flavorful broth. Then, freeze the broth itself in an ice cube tray so you can grab a cube as you need it. “I like adding a little broth to a stir fry or cooking whole grains like brown rice in the broth instead of water for extra flavor,” says Fink.
  • • Start with your favorite bean soup recipe, then add leftover turkey and thinly sliced kale for the last 15 minutes of cooking.
  • • Swap chicken with turkey or ham for a cold-season-classic noodle soup. Boil chopped carrots and celery in broth for five minutes, then add broken whole wheat or chickpea angel hair pasta and simmer until just cooked. Stir in shredded leftover turkey or ham, frozen corn, and dill, and heat until warm. Want to pack in more veggies? “Try a package of baby spinach or coleslaw mix—aka shredded carrots and cabbage,” says Fink. “No prep is needed and they cook really quickly.”

WeightWatchers is committed to supporting people living with diabetes and during January, February, and April 2023, WeightWatchers will donate $1 from every membership purchased via the promotional link to the American Diabetes Association®. Learn more about the WeightWatchers Diabetes-Tailored Plan.

Related Articles

  • Perfect Meals by the Plate

    Perfect Meals by the Plate

    Cookbooks and websites are great sources for finding recipes, but sometimes you need help putting together a whole meal! The Diabetes Plate Method is a simple way to build healthy, balanced meals with no carb-counting or measuring needed. Here we have 6 simple, balanced meals, featuring recipes from Diabetes Food Hub to help you plan meals this week.

  • All About Leafy Greens

    All About Leafy Greens

    Leafy greens are nutritional powerhouses. They are tremendous sources of vitamins A, C, K, and several B vitamins, full of phytonutrients, have lots of fiber, and low in calories. Leafy greens are superfoods.

  • How Family Meals Provide Health Benefits

    How Family Meals Provide Health Benefits

    Life gets busy. But carving out time to sit down, put devices away, and share a meal together may be a simple way to deepen our relationships and manage stress.

  • 2-for-1 Meals: Making the most out of leftovers

    2-for-1 Meals: Making the most out of leftovers

    Saving leftovers is a great way to get more meals out of less cooking. But eating the same meal two or more days in a row can get boring! Shake things up by repurposing your leftovers instead of just reheating them. Try these “Double Up” recipes—make extra one night, and repurpose it in a whole new dish later in the week.

  • Slideshow: Weeknight Chicken Dinners

    Slideshow: Weeknight Chicken Dinners

    Busy weeknights call for quick and easy recipes that can go from pantry to plate in less than 30 minutes (and without leaving a mess in the kitchen). We’ve compiled our favorite diabetes-friendly weeknight dinners featuring chicken that can be ready in a snap and come together with just a few dishes.

  • All About the Benefits of Basil

    All About the Benefits of Basil

    Basil is one of the most popular herbs, bringing flavor and vibrancy to everyday meals. With its enticing aroma, distinctive taste, and numerous culinary applications, basil has become an essential ingredient in cuisines from around the globe. From Italian classics to Asian delights, this versatile herb adds a fresh and aromatic touch to a variety of dishes.

Recommended for You