In the days after Christmas, I’m always left with a mass of leftovers. There are only so many turkey sandwiches I can eat, but this quick and easy stir fry is a great way to use up your Christmas leftovers.
Disclosure: Thanks to the Central England Cooperative for covering the cost of the ingredients for this post
It’s that time of year again – everyone is thinking about New Year resolutions, you’ve probably given it a bit of thought yourself. Eating more healthily, lose a bit of weight, get fitter, be greener, save some money…you know the kind of thing.
One of the great ways to cut the cost of your food bill is to use up leftovers. According to the Love Food Hate Waste website, the UK throws away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year. That’s not just bad for the environment, it’s bad for our pocket as well – the cost is around £12.5bn per year!
The Central England Cooperative challenged me to come up with a recipe using some of the most commonly wasted foods, and I was more than happy to accept the challenge.
This recipe ticks so many of the boxes above – it’s low in fat, high in protein and the complex carbs from the brown rice I serve it with will help keep you feeling full for ages. It uses up the last bits of leftover meat from the Sunday roast or Christmas dinner, you can throw in any vegetables which are lurking in the fridge, and the rest of the ingredients are all from the storecupboard.
It’s important to make sure that leftovers are stored and reheated safely:
- Cool the leftovers as quickly as possible
- Don’t put leftovers in the fridge until they are cold, as otherwise they will raise the temperature of the fridge
- Use the leftovers quickly – certainly within 48 hours
- If you are cooking the leftovers, make sure that they are piping hot before eating
I have provided a recipe for one person, but it’s really easy to scale this recipe up. I always make sure that I get all of the vegetables chopped and set out in bowls. That way I can quickly cook for each person individually. You need to use an oil with a high smoking point (e.g. rapeseed oil or sunflower oil) and a pan as hot as you dare. This way, each ingredient cooks quickly and fries rather than just steaming in its own juices.
Love Food Hate Waste Turkey Stir Fry (Serves 1)
Half a white onion
7 Brussels Sprouts
A handful of frozen sweetcorn
100g of cold, roast chicken
1tsp rapeseed oil
Cooked brown rice to serve
Slice the onion thinly and cut the mushroom into thick slices. If the mushroom slices are too thin, they don’t have much body when they’ve been fried.
Trim the ends off the Brussels sprouts, and then shred. You could do this in a food processor, but I prefer to do it by hand as it’s easy to over do it with the processor and end up with tiny pieces. I like a bit of crunch in my stir fry!
Shred the chicken – this helps it to reheat quickly but don’t make the pieces too small.
Heat your wok or frying pan to a high heat, and add the oil. Add the onion and stir fry for a minute or so, then add the mushrooms and continue to stir fry the vegetables for another minute.
Add the chicken and cook for another 2 minutes – if you have got your pan hot enough, and the chicken is shredded fairly small, this will be enough to cook the chicken through.
Throw in the Brussels sprouts and a handful of frozen sweetcorn, carry on stirring as they cook. Add a tablespoon of water, and this will allow the shredded to steam a little as they fry.
When everything is cooked through, but while the sprouts are still looking fresh and green, squeeze in about a orange juice. Add about half a teaspoon of runny honey, and a few drops of soy sauce.
Stir everything together, taste and adjust if you feel it needs anything extra.
Serve over the brown rice.
You could replace the orange with a clementine if you have any hanging around after Christmas, or use juice from a carton if that suits better.
I would have loved to add some carrots to this stir fry, if I had any in. Cut them into matchsticks and add just after the onions.
In general, if you are using different vegetables, you need to add the most robust vegetables first so that they have longer cooking time. Delicate vegetables such as beansprouts or mangetout don’t need much cooking.
I used brown rice because it’s what I usually eat with stir fries these days. You could happily replace with white rice if you prefer, or whatever noodles you like to use.
For more ideas on how to reduce your food waste, visit the Love Food Hate Waste website