Profitt Report: Breathe new life into your holiday leftovers, cut back on food waste

Photo credit: MGN

Your holiday meal might be delicious and indulgent, but most of us get tired of the same old leftovers after a few days. The solution to food/money waste? Give your leftovers new life.

“No matter what the holiday menu might be, you can create this at home regardless of what you had,” said Brad Valley, a chef in Saginaw County.

Valley knows how it goes: you stirred, measured and cooked for hours to prepare for that holiday meal. The last thing you want is to put a ton of effort into cooking afterwards.

“Simple recipes where you maximize your food budget,” he said, “really just simple stuff, don't get all chefy and creative.”

First up, Valley shows us how to turn our leftover mashed potatoes into mashed potato pancakes.

“Add two eggs, a quarter cup of flour to two cups of mashed potatoes, that's it that's your base,” he said.

Add in whatever seasons sound good, such as garlic, salt, pepper and chives. Stir together plop a dollop into hot oil, Valley used olive oil.

“If you wanted to add ham or if you had a roast or standing rack of ribs or something for dinner, you could dice that up real small, shred it, mix it in with potatoes, have your potatoes with it,” Valley said.

He eats his mashed potato pancakes with sour cream or applesauce.

Next, Valley said your main dish can easily become a quiche.

“Four eggs two cups of cream, that's all you have to know about the quiche,” Valley said.

The rest is up to you: if you have leftover ham, you could dice it up and throw it in the quiche. If you have leftover veggies from a vegetable tray, those would taste good in your quiche, too.

“There are three things that are going to happen with your veggie plate. One, it's going in the garbage. You might pick at it for a day, convert it into something else, usually what I’ll do is use that for stocks. Or they can go into a quiche,” Valley said.

Take a pie crust (pre-made or homemade, both are fine) and layer the bottom with cheese. Add in your fillings of choice (ham, veggies, etc.), then more cheese on top. Valley said it’s important to keep it loose, don’t pack down the fillings.

Next, pour in your egg-cream mixture.

“You’ll bake that at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes until it's set,” Valley said. You’ll know the quiche is done when you shake it, and the consistency looks like Jell-O.

Vacuum-sealed, Valley keeps a few of these in the freezer for up to a year.

“It’s a quick easy dinner, you can call the significant other and say, ‘hey, pop one of those quiche in, I’m going to be home late,’ and you've got dinner,” Valley said.

If you don’t vacuum seal the quiche, Valley said they’ll be good in the freezer for about 60 days, tops.

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