by Jenny Atkins, LiveLighter nutritionist and busy mum

The festive period is all about family, sharing and relaxing. Get togethers often centre around mouth-watering feasts and treats.

It's almost inevitable that you will end up with a fridge full of leftovers: cold meat cuts, half-eaten salads, unserved fruits. The big question is... what to do with them?

Here are our easy tips on converting leftovers into yummy new dishes.

Full fridge.

Chargrilled Beef with Avocado and Corn Salsa

Leftover cooked meats

  • Cut cooked meat into slices or cubes and add a bag of salad leaves, tomato, cucumber and carrot for something light and fresh.
  • Be inspired by Mexican flavours! Cook vegies in spices like coriander, chilli, cumin and paprika and add shredded meat or black beans. Add to pita chips with a sprinkle of cheese for an easy meal.
  • Sang Choy Bau – cooked meat & vegies served in a fresh lettuce or cabbage leaf. Quick and fun!

prawn and avocado rolls

Cooked prawns

  • If you are lucky enough to have leftover cooked prawns, try using them together with fresh vegies to make Vietnamese rice paper rolls.
  • Add prawns to rice for a spicy jambalaya. This recipe calls for uncooked prawns, so just add your cooked prawns right at the end.

roasted potato salad


  • A brekkie omelette is an easy way to get a few serves of vegies into your day. 
  • Fried rice is a quick and healthy way to use up leftover meats and vegetables.
  • Mix together leftover roasted vegies to make a hearty salad: pumpkin, potatoes and beans (or whatever you have in the fridge). Add cheese, rice or quinoa to bulk it up and use fresh herbs for added flavour.
  • A sneaky parent trick: slice up leftover vegies, pop them onto a pizza and watch the kids gobble them up! Use a flatbread base or make our 2 ingredient pizza base.

Sorbet recipes


  • Make an easy sorbet using chopped fruit. Freeze and blend with a little juice or water. Another option is to blend the fruit, pour into icy pole moulds and freeze for healthy homemade summer treats.
  • Add cut fruit to your savoury salads to add freshness and sweetness.
  • Make a mix of chopped fresh and dried fruit with leftover nuts to sprinkle over your breakfast cereal or yoghurt. Yum!

We hope this has given you a little ‘food for thought’ and perhaps inspired you to look forward to using those leftovers this festive season.

Happy holidays from the LiveLighter team!

For more healthy holiday inspiration check out our Healthier Holiday Hub.

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