Don’t Let That Holiday Food Go to Your Waist!

Don’t Let That Holiday Food Go to Your Waist!


During the holiday season, you bought enough ingredients of food to feed an army. You wanted to be sure you had enough to feed everyone and give them their favorite dishes to take home. However, it’s hard to judge exactly how much food you’ll need, and it turns out that you have a full pantry of extra ingredients. What can you do?

These ideas can help you out because: 

  • They’re easy, so you don’t have to spend much time in the kitchen after your heroic Thanksgiving efforts.
  • They’re flexible, so you can use up what you have without worrying about buying too many more ingredients.
  • They’re healthy, so you can keep your weight under control and have more energy this holiday season.


Roasted Vegetables

Long days in the kitchen throughout the holiday season may make you cringe at the thought of more cooking, but raw vegetables can’t sit around forever. Roasting your remaining vegetables is a perfect solution. This recipe is easy and the result so irresistible that your vegetables will get eaten fast!

You can use almost any fall and winter vegetables of your choice, including turnips, carrots, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash and green beans. Cut them into large pieces – you don’t even have to dice them! – and place in a baking pan Mix a few tablespoons of olive oil with the same amount of balsamic vinegar, turkey broth, and fresh rosemary and pour the mixture over the vegetables. Bake at 450 degrees until the vegetables are cooked. 

Pumpkin Bean Dip

What do you do when you have extra canned pumpkin but don’t want to tempt yourself with another pumpkin pie or pumpkin cheesecake? Go for a different flavor! Instead of a sweet dessert, try a new twist on pumpkin by making a savory pumpkin bean dip. It’s not only healthier than pumpkin desserts, but also healthier than cheesy or creamy dips. You can serve it with freshly cut vegetables the next time you’re watching football on TV with your friends.

You can adjust the amounts of each ingredient to meet your needs, and you can swap ingredients if you want. Just blend together these items.

  • 1 15-oz can of pumpkin (plain pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 15-oz. can of beans, such as kidney, white or black
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional: Mix in some canned corn, parmesan cheese or sliced black olives after you’re done blending.

Turkey Salad

Have your holiday meal all over again – but this time, make it healthy by turning it into a salad. Start with a generous base of spinach leaves, mixed baby greens or cut romaine lettuce. Toss in dried cranberries and walnuts. If you have sweet potatoes in your pantry, bake one and place diced pieces in your salad. Of course, top your salad with turkey to make it more filling and higher in protein! If you can’t imagine a salad without croutons, try using some dry stuffing mix, if you have any left over. 

These recipes let you use up your ingredients in healthy ways so you don’t have to throw them out or use them in recipes that’ll break your calorie bank. Feel free to get creative so you can get the most out of the end of the holiday season!