December 5, 2023

Nourishing Meals with Christmas Leftovers

We all often fall into the trap of over-buying food at Christmas and then are left stuck with sooo many leftovers that we don’t want to waste. It can be hard to avoid, so why not put a healthy spin on your Christmas leftovers to ensure you are still enjoying nutritious foods during the holiday period. 

Sometimes we feel like if we eat one more meal of cold Christmas ham, we might just turn into one. Try the below instead!

  • Ham salad sandwiches & wraps.

Using your favourite wholegrain bread or wraps, slice up some ham and fresh salad ingredients for a quick and fibrous lunch. 

  • Ham and veggie egg frittata muffins: Whisk up eggs, dice up your ham and leftover veggies to make frittata muffins. These make a fun breakfast or snack option for the kids.
  • Ham & quinoa roast veg salad: A super easy lunch. Quinoa only takes a few minutes to cook, add your sliced ham (or any other cold meat) and leftover roast vegetables plus any fresh produce you would like to add for extra flavour and crunch – spinach, tomato, cucumber, onion, feta etc.

If you are a roast dinner type of family on Christmas whether it be turkey, chicken, pork, you can use this leftover meat for so many other meals!

  • Lettuce wraps: Using some fresh lettuce leaves, wrap your meats and other salad fillings to make some delicious lettuce wraps.
  • Stir fry and Curries: Whip together a stir fry or curry for a quick weeknight dinner using the leftover meat and your favourite stir fry base/curry paste, add steamed vegetables and serve with noodles or rice.

Don’t let those leftover prawns go to waste; use them to create a scrumptious meal that requires minimal effort. 

  • Prawn Salad: Use your prawns as a protein source in a salad of your choosing, avocado and mango pairs very nicely in a prawn salad.
  • Prawn Pasta: Whip together a creamy prawn pasta, add tomato and spinach to increase your vegetable intake for the day.
  • Tacos: Grill your prawns and assemble with guacamole & salad on taco wraps for a delicious lunch/dinner.

It is probably rare that your desserts have leftovers (because they are just too good). However! If you do have any leftovers, you could try:

  • When having mince pies or Christmas pudding, having a piece of fruit with it also, e.g. strawberries, cherries. 
  • Use your leftover fruit to make a fruit salad, enjoy with yoghurt and muesli for a delicious breakfast.
  • Top your leftover pavlova with yoghurt and fruit salad.

Use leftover salads to have with cold meats or as a side for your lunches and dinners. Leftover veggies can be used in pastas, stir frys, curries, frittatas, soups, on pizzas, in fried rice. The possibilities are endless!

Lastly, we would like you to enjoy yourself this Christmas. One day of eating outside your normal eating pattern will not take away from all the amazing progress you have made this year. It is more important to focus on maintaining our regular healthy eating behaviours and how we can bounce back toward these after special holiday periods.

RECIPE OF THE MONTH: Mini Banana Muffins

Who doesn’t love a good solid banana bread in cute little muffin form?? Those bananas that are a little too ripe or have been sitting in the freezing for much longer than you’d care to admit are calling your name right now. 


  • 3 bananas , about 1 cup, mashed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp sweetner of choice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups plain wholemeal flour
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • Spray oil


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C fan forced and spray a small amount of oil in a loaf tin before lining with baking paper.
  2. Mash bananas in a mixing bowl. Add egg, vanilla, sugar, maple syrup, slightly cooled butter (we don’t want to cook the egg!) and cinnamon and stir well to combine.
  3. In a separate small bowl stir together all remaining dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir to combine. Pour into a 12 hole prepared muffin tin.
  4. Bake in the oven for 15-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 few minutes before inverting onto a wire cooling rack.

Note: Alternatively, these could be made into a loaf and cut into 12 pieces.

Give these little morsels a try and let us know what you think!


Do you have any food, nutrition or wellness related topics you would like to hear us write about? Send your questions/ideas to [email protected]

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