Recycling Leftover Food
(The Freeman) - January 6, 2017 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The recent yuletide holidays were, as is the tradition, marked by the family coming together. The home kitchen was, thus, operating in high gear. The increased number of people at home meant bigger, more abundant dinners.

Given the widespread superstition of drawing prosperity on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day by overflowing the dining table with food, for sure heaps of leftovers cramped  the fridge the whole week afterwards. Most leftover foods often go to waste. This is sad, considering the high cost of food these days. And sadder, because in fact leftover food can be recycled and made into other delicious dishes.

With some creative imagination, there’s a way around the taste fatigue from the great holiday meals. The taste buds may be tricked by turning the leftover lechon and ham that came aplenty during the New Year celebrations into something else. And, yes, even the New Year set of round-shaped fruits that was laboriously procured for good luck can be recycled as well.


¦ Lechon Empanada – It’s like the typical empanada, but with lechon paksiw as stuffing. 

¦ Lechon Wraps – With leftover lechon made into strips, rolled in tortilla wrappers with lettuce, spring onion, and mayo-mustard and hoisin sauces, these are sure to be a delight for everyone. 

¦ Ceasar’s Salad – Small chunks of lechon mixed in the green salad is certain to draw the interest even of those who normally shun greens.


¦ Ham Sandwich – Slices of leftover ham make exciting sandwiches, with sandwich spread or mayonnaise added.

¦ Ham Omelette – It’s very simple and quick to make, but chunky flecks of ham in the usual omelette will just rouse up the tired taste buds.

¦ Ham-and-Cheese Baked Potato – It’s simply baked potatoes added with ham and cheese. All ingredients may be cut into same size chunks or the ham and cheese used as topping on baked potato cut in halves, and it’s good as it is.


¦ Fruit-Infused Water – Watery leftover fruits, like lemon and watermelon, dissolved in water are equally refreshing alternatives to soda drinks – only healthier.

¦ Fruit Smoothies – Slices of leftover fruits mixed with ice and run in the blender quickly produce a good, thirst-quenching smoothie.

¦ Fruit Pops/Fruit Ice Cubes – The kids, especially, will find fruit ice pops irresistible. Or, fruit ice cubes are good to add in a glass of water, iced tea, or lemonade for a fruity twist.


These few examples are not all that can be done with leftover foodstuff. These are simply intended to prime start the imagination; there’s surely a lot more leftover-saving ideas that anyone may think up. Good food should end up in the stomach – not in the garbage bin. - Angeli Korina Dizon, Jannica Manlupig and Mary Antoinette Samontañez

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