Time for holiday festivities! The friends, the family, the joy—and the food. For many of us, these are the best meals of the year. After enjoying those big meals and the remnants for a few days, though, leftover fatigue is a real thing. Food waste is also a big problem. Food production accounts for 26% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, but it is estimated that 6% comes from food that is never eaten, due to either being lost in the supply chain or wasted after being purchased by customers.
To reduce food waste, and extend those holiday yummies further, here are some creative inspirations for making holiday foods into more unforgettable meals:
Warm and Hearty Bowls
Take the assorted veggies from your holiday meal, heat, and combine over rice, noodles, or quinoa. Potatoes, yams, carrots, green beans, mixed mock meat products and beans are warming and filling. Top it with leftover gravy or make up a quick batch of this mock turkey version or a cashew sauce to tie it all together.
Scrumptious Sandwiches & Wraps
There are no rules for sandwiches. Mixing sweet and savory- yes. Combining cooked ingredients with fresh- do it. Using a dip, dressing, or relish as a condiment- go for it. Pile up those roasted veggies, mock turkey or ham leftovers, add a vegan or dairy cheese, fresh lettuce, arugula or avocado, and spread the bread or a wrap with hummus, cranberry sauce, or artichoke dip. It’s a special time of the year. Make sure your sandwiches are one-of-a-kind, too!
Vegan Holiday Leftover Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s Pie is the perfect winter meal- simple, comforting, and warming. Use up your holiday veggies and mock meats for the filling…and fill your belly with goodness. Try our recipe
P.S. While you’re at it, try a few new tricks to reduce other kinds of holiday waste for a clean start to the New Year!
- Donate any gifts you received that you don’t really need or love. It will mean a lot to someone in need.
- Save wrapping paper, ribbon, and bows for future celebrations. Did you know that Americans throw away 25% more trash during the holiday period than any other time of year? The extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage!
- Skip wrapping paper for the gifts you give- use a piece of clothing, pretty cloth, or something useful that can be reused or repurposed.
- Use cloth napkins, tablecloths, and real cups & utensils. A little extra washing is worth the peace of mind of reduced waste.
From the Down to Earth ‘ohana to yours, we wish you health and happiness this holiday season and into the New Year. Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!