Tip — 13.08.2018

How to use leftovers from New Year’s Eve?

Here are some tips on how to use up your New Year’s Eve leftovers if you want to know how to reduce waste when celebrating at home.

Let’s take a look at the preparation phase before we get to what we can do with the party leftovers. We sometimes fail to be realistic when preparing for special occasions and not just New Year’s Eve. As a host, we may go overboard on courses and serving sizes through worrying that there might not be enough food. We may think to ourselves that “we will eat leftovers tomorrow”, but often still fail to prevent waste. For this reason, when planning a celebration dinner, it is better to be realistic and properly calculate how much food will actually be eaten. Think about the courses and how much one person can eat and make your preparations accordingly. Another useful method for preventing waste is to make a list before you go shopping. This prevents us from being tempted by appealing products that aren’t really needed and reduces impulse buying.

The secret to reducing food waste during the meal is proper serving sizes. If you are serving food buffet-style or on platters, serving small portions may help people to clean their plates. Some hotels with buffets do the same to reduce waste: They put out one-portion servings so that people take just enough for themselves.

Of course, you can always reheat and eat the food later on. You can also give leftovers to animal shelters or compost them. Or you can freeze them straight away and keep them for months. If you store them in small containers, you can take out just enough for however many people there and reheat it.

What about creating new dishes from the same ingredients or meals?


Carrots can be used in soups or in olive oil dishes. You can serve them with lemon as well. After you have eaten the carrots, you will still have the peelings. Mix carrot peelings with olive oil and freshly-ground black pepper and spread as a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes to make delicious carrot crisps to enjoy in your salad or on a sandwich.


Nuts are a popular snack on New Year’s Eve. It is easy to put the leftover nuts back into a jar but if you want to use them in something different the next day, you can make a healthy granola. Mix the nuts with orange juice, honey and a little olive oil and bake. You can even add dried fruit if you like.


If you cook turkey or chicken on New Year’s Eve, you can boil the leftover bones with vegetables to make a delicious turkey/chicken broth. You can also make a sauce from the juices and dripping produced when the turkey/chicken is cooking. You can use this sauce on New Year’s Eve or freeze the leftovers to use later. If you store them in small containers or ice trays, you can thaw them in small portions and use when you are baking potatoes, sautéing vegetables or cooking rice.


Italians make arancini (deep-fried mozzarella-risotto balls) from leftover risotto. Did you know that the cloudy water you get when you rinse rice can do wonders for your hair? This method has been used for centuries in the Far East. First, rinse the rice and let it soak in water. The cloudy rice water that you are left with can be kept at room temperature for 12-24 hours and then refrigerated. It lasts for a week when refrigerated. You can use your rice water after shampooing your hair. Women from the Far East say that the result is shiny hair!


You can always toast your leftover slices of bread the next morning but you could also try baked breads that pair amazingly well with leftover turkey and sauce. Cut the bread into cubes and lightly toast them in the oven. Mix with celery, chestnuts and chopped turkey liver. Top it with the turkey sauce and bake.


Try the jam leftover from your quince dessert with crackers and cheese.


You will have plenty of citrus peels left over from New Year’s Eve and you will probably throw them away. However, tangerine peel is very healthy, can aid digestion and can prevent infections. You can dry the leftover tangerine peel in the kitchen and make tea from them or add them to your meals like in Chinese cuisine. You can also do this with other citrus fruits like orange and lemon.


You can turn any remaining biscuits and cakes (if you’re lucky to have some) into a completely different dessert. First, break up the biscuits and/or into fine pieces using a blender. Gradually add orange juice until you get a dough-like consistency. Make small balls with the dough. Roll them in cinnamon, sugar or coconut and store in a jar.

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