What to do with your Christmas leftovers

What to do with those Christmas leftovers

What to do with those Christmas leftovers - Credit: Archant

Two weeks after Christmas and, believe it or not, I’m still working my way through the last of the leftovers.

They include a few sweets, chocolate biscuits, savoury biscuits and Christmas cake ? the sort of things that will happily hang around several more weeks without causing a problem.

A little more time sensitive are the remnants of cheese, excess veg and, most challenging of all, a trio of hummus that, to tell the truth, should have been eaten by December 30, according to the “use by” date on the packet anyway.

Some broccoli I’d forgotten about after leaving it in the utility room vegetable rack with the more hardy potatoes and onions was saved from the compost heap by cooking it up in a soup with some leftover Stilton cheese.

But what to do with that trio of red pepper, piri piri and plain hummus?

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Many people, I’m sure, would say that at a week past its use by date hummus should be heading straight for the bin.

But here’s the thing. It looked fine and, more to the point, it tasted fine.

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I know use by dates are there for a reason. According to the NHS Choices website you should never consume food after the use by date, even if it looks and smells OK.

And I certainly wouldn’t if it was a fish, dairy or meat product. But hummus? It’s just mashed-up chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic and sesame seed pulp.

Surely, I thought, it would be OK to trust my own common sense judgement in this case.

So that’s exactly what I did.

In my book there’s very little that can’t be made into a soup, including hummus, in this case cooked up with some onions, garlic, parsnips, garam masala and vegetable stock. The piri piri gave it an extra spicy kick and it tasted surprisingly good.

Two days on, I appear to have lived to tell the tale, despite my decision to play fast and loose with the supermarket use by date on this occasion.

I also got an extra meal from something that would otherwise have been heading for the bin.

n Send me your imaginative food leftovers recipes. Email sheena.grant@eadt.co.uk, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN. Tweet using #ThriftyLiving.

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