We are often exhausted after the celebrations but still need to make use of all the bits and pieces from Christmas Day. Today’s recipes turn leftovers into another meal enabling us to serve food again without appearing too dry or recycled.

Seared brussels sprouts couscous with cranberries and chestnuts

Photos: Stefan Stafrace, CJ Baldacchino, Marconia SchembriPhotos: Stefan Stafrace, CJ Baldacchino, Marconia Schembri

You will need:
200g cooked brussels sprouts
50g raw cranberries
75g cooked chestnuts
¼ yellow bell pepper
¼ orange bell pepper
¼ red bell pepper
1 large tomato
1 carrot
1 onion
2 radishes
2 cups couscous
250g leftover turkey or meats
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs
For the dressing:
2 tbsp olive oil
Zest and juice of ¼ lemon
1 tbsp apple organic vinegar
Pinch of stevia
1 tbsp fresh herbs
salt and pepper
To garnish:
2 tbsp chopped nuts

Prepare the ingredients for this warm salad by peeling and finely chopping the onion. Grate the carrot. Chop the cooked brussels sprouts, chestnuts and raw cranberries in half.  Dice the coloured bell peppers and tomatoes into small pieces. Finely slice the radishes.

To sear the brussels sprouts, heat a large and heavy pan and add the olive oil. When the pan is very hot, add the onion and start to brown it. Then add the halved brussels sprouts, cut side face down and shake the pan gently to move them about. Add the raw cranberries. Do not leave the pan unattended and cook for about 6 minutes until they are caramelised and tender inside. Finally, add the coloured bell peppers, shake the pan for about a minute so that they soften a little bit and char at the edges. Then add the chopped fresh herbs and remove from the heat. Keep aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the couscous by adding enough boiling water to immerse it in a large bowl. Cover the dish and let it sit with the cover on for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff up the couscous with a fork.

Use a large bowl to toss the couscous with all the other prepared ingredients together. Make a dressing by whisking the olive oil with the apple organic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper, rest of the fresh herbs and a pinch of stevia. Pour the dressing on the couscous salad. Garnish with nuts of your choice and some grated lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm or cold.

This is a lactose-free and dairy-free recipe. For a gluten-free option, use quinoa or buckwheat instead of couscous.

Turkey Devonshir

You will need:
500g cooked boneless turkey, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
1 clove garlic
1 natural stock cube in 50ml water
1 glass white wine
75g pancetta
200g mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp chopped fresh sage
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
salt and pepper
1 large cooking apple, chopped with skin on
5 tablespoons apple organic vinegar
100g mascarpone
100g yoghurt
1 tbsp grain mustard

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Chop the onions and pancetta and gently saute in olive oil in a large casserole dish. When softened add the cooked turkey pieces and toss until they are lightly brown.

Grate the garlic and add to the pot together with the apple and sliced mushrooms. Add the organic apple vinegar, coriander seeds, mustard, sage and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the stock and wine and cover and simmer for 20 minutes then place in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring from time to time. Take out of the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Mix together the mascarpone and yoghurt. Add it to the casserole and gently stir in. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve with rice or quinoa.

This is a gluten-free recipe.

Coconut vegetable soup with ginger

You will need:
1/2 onion
1 large clove garlic
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
a pinch of ground cumin
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 kilo mixed vegetables of your choice [cooked or uncooked]
2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 heaped teaspoon curry powder
1 all natural stock cube with enough water to cook the vegetables
250ml coconut milk [canned or homemade]
salt and pepper to season

For the fresh homemade coconut milk:
100g desiccated coconut
5 cups filtered or bottled water
A pinch of salt
1 date

Place the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Chop the onion and grate the garlic and add them to the pot and stir. Then add the curry powder, the coriander seeds, the cumin powder, the grated fresh ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Add the [cooked or uncooked] roughly chopped vegetables. Then add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow the vegetables to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Use a blender or food processor to blend until the mixture is very smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add the coconut milk and blend again. Serve hot or cold.

With this soup you can use up all the leftover vegetables, whether they are cooked or uncooked.  The ginger and coconut with curry are flavours that blend with any variety of vegetables. This is a gluten-free, vegan and diabetic friendly recipe.

Fresh homemade coconut milk:

Soak the coconut in water over-night. Drain the water and place the coconut in a blender. Add the filtered or bottled water and blend on high speed for 4 minutes until the mixture is milky and consistent.  Pour the mixture into a sieve covered with a clean dishcloth or use a nut milk bag.  Squeeze the rest of the coconut milk by wringing the dish towel until you have extracted as much coconut milk as possible.

Coconut milk is vegan and gluten-free.

Quick sandwich quiche

You will need:
Left over sandwiches to cover the bottom of your dish
6 eggs
75ml single cream
125ml greek yoghurt
150ml milk
250g Gruyère or Cheddar cheese, finely grated
a pinch of smoked paprika
some freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
Optional: 100g crushed cornflakes.

An ovenproof dish of 26-30cm or similar prepared with baking spray.

Lay the prepared sandwiches on the ovenproof dish. Beat the eggs, cream, greek yoghurt, milk and half the cheese, nutmeg, smoked paprika and salt and pepper to season. Pour the mixture over the sandwiches. Refrigerate for an hour. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Mix the grated cheese with the crushed cornflakes and scatter the mixture on top of the sandwiches. Bake for 40 minutes until the top is golden. Serve hot or cold.

This recipe makes good use of leftover party sandwiches which can be frozen and reused to make this quick and convenient bake.

For a gluten-free recipe use gluten-free bread.

Lea’s new book Good Food Everyday is available in English via major bookshops in Malta and Gozo and by mail order via www.midseabooks.com.

You can find more of her recipes onwww.timesofmalta.com.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us