If you (or some of your crew) clocked up some serious mileage getting ready for the Christmas dinner get-together, then there’s a surprisingly easy way you can offset it on Monday: turn your leftovers into delicious meals in their own right.
Of course, you could have turkey sandwiches—and if you did have turkey on Christmas day, the sustainable thing to do is to finish it! But if there’s none of that left, then having a meat-free day is a great choice for the environment (as well as our health).
If you’re focusing on meal planning over the holidays, then getting creative with your leftovers is a great way to save time and money—as well as getting a taste of the Meat-Free Monday habit.
You might consider making it a habit of your own for the new year, but just for the coming Monday here’s a suggested meal plan (mostly) using leftovers from Sunday:
Normal-time Breakfast: Eggs of your choice
After a day of heavy indulgence, why not have a light and healthy breakfast with a boiled, poached or scrambled egg and some nice bread, toasted, with delicious coffee (or tea).
This isn’t a vegan choice, but we can enjoy our eggs with an easy conscience if we shop for them ethically. You’ll know they’re from truly happy hens if your brand is harder to come by at this time of year, as hens not raised indoors under artificial lighting don’t lay as much during the darker days of winter. It’s worth ordering them from your farmer’s market stall or paying a bit extra to trusted ethical suppliers.
Late Breakfast/Brunch: Huevos Rancheros
This has been my favorite breakfast of 2016. It started out as a weekend treat, but as I work from home I often have it on weekdays too as it really doesn’t take long at all. For the bank-holiday Monday, why not fry up left-over potatoes to go with it and you’ll have a hearty, filling brunch that will keep you going for hours.
For the tomato sauce, you’ll need roughly three medium tomatoes and a quarter onion per person. (If using tinned tomatoes, add a teaspoon of sugar.) The quantity of chili depends on how spicy you want it. (For less heat, remove the seeds before chopping.) Garlic quantity is also dependent on taste (and it works well without it too).
Simply chop onion, garlic and chili and soften in some oil. Then add the chopped tomatoes and allow it all to stew over a gentle heat for six to ten minutes (depending on the size of your pan and quantity of ingredients). Once stewed to your liking, make a dip of the tomato sauce and add your eggs. (Optional: season the egg with black pepper.) Cover your pan with a lid and continue to cook over a gentle heat for three to four minutes.
Serve with hot coffee.
No Eggs for Lunch: Roasted Veg Salad
This is an eggplant recipe, but if that’s not on your Christmas Day menu, feel free to swap it out with whatever roast veg you did have. (Or maybe, roast a few extra veggies on Sunday, while you have the oven on, so you have lots of leftover options on Monday.)
Afternoon Treat: Naughty but Nice Truffles
These will only fall into the “leftover” category if you made them before Monday and managed not to eat them all (or use the leftover dribble at the bottom of the Bailey’s bottle instead of rum). Otherwise, you’ll have to make them from scratch, but they’re yummy and worth it if you want a delicious, sweet treat that isn’t full of toxic ingredients.
Dinner: Savory Vegan Veggie Crumble
Again, don’t worry about having all of the listed ingredients. Just use whatever leftover vegetables you have—carrots, parsnips and onions make for a delicious combination here. There’s a minimum amount of work involved in prepping this, so it’s perfect for the day-after-Christmas-slump.
Wishing you lots of delicious, nutritious and ethical feasts over the holidays.
Author: Hilda Carroll
Image: Steven Depolo/Flickr
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
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