If you're hosting dinner or a Christmas Party this year, chances are that this question has crossed your mind. Being a good host(ess), you certainly don't want to run the risk of having too little to offer guests, but what if you've gone too far in the other direction??
-This one's a no-brainer, but I've got to mention it: turkey soup. It's a great way to get ALL the meat off the bone and after you've served turkey soup for one meal, you can strain out the liquid stock and freeze it for future use. Keep the meat aside for use in salads, and snacks, and give the 'bits' to the dogs! (*Be extremely careful that you've removed ALL the bones as they can splinter and cause an emergency trip to the vet if they're eaten by our four-legged family members!*)
-This may also be glaringly obvious, but as your party winds down and you see excessive amounts of food left and just a few guests, offer to send them home with containers of whatever's left. This is not often turned down, especially since there were likely SO many choices of things for guests to eat that they may not have tried everything!
-Take leftover roasted veggies and slice thinly and use as part of your dinner salad the next day.
-Whip those extra baked yams with a touch of olive oil and serve as a puree one evening when you've got a big hike the next day!
-Throw leftover steamed veggies, roasted potatoes and raw veg from your crudite plate into a large pot, add some water and make a nice veggie soup to accompany a different type of protein for dinner, once you're a little tired of turkey!
-Many things can be frozen, just package in air-tight containers so they'll store properly.
-Did you buy too many ingredients that you didn't even use? If they're non-perishable, what better time of year than the holidays to make a charitable donation to your local food bank? Things like canned pumpkin & other fruits, canned veg, unopened packages of almost any non-perishable foodstuff would be welcomed.
Finally, here's what NOT to do:
*DON'T fool yourself into thinking it's a good idea to just eat all the leftover pie and stuffing yourself and 'deal with it in the New Year'! You'll set yourself back even further if weight loss (or maintenance for that matter!) is one of your goals!
Keep healthy and stay fit during the holidays; you'll be that much further ahead in 2009!