According to an Electrolux group survey, one-third of all the food the world produces ends up in the bin. However, one-ninth of the world’s population does not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. Something to think about when emptying the festive food scraps into the trash. These lovely leftovers can be frozen and added to casseroles or soups at a later date. Meat left-overs can often be added to vegetables or fruits and served as salads. Waste not!

Once I thought that taking a ‘doggie’ bag of my uneaten restaurant dinner home was rather gross. However, after witnessing the perfectly good discarded food thrown out by many eateries I’ve changed my mind. The ‘doggie’ bag is now my ‘goodie bag’ and as long as it is refrigerated quickly then it’s breakfast or lunch the following day. 

Yes, maybe compost the limp salad leftovers because at this time of the year one can enjoy a variety of fresh salads every day.  

Mesclun, diced ham and a mustard vinaigrette is a simple but simply super salad. Or try traditional crunchy lettuce broken into small chunks and topped with blue cheese and chicken and drizzled with lemon juice; or cubed rock melon tossed in a chilli vinegar dressing then combined with bean sprouts and cold salmon.  


Calendula petals add flavour and colour to this salad. They’re optional of course but the petals are loaded with antioxidants.

Dressing: 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
pinch each: sugar, chilli powder
1/2 cup each: red wine vinegar, olive oil
Croutons: 8 slices soughdough or French stick
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Salad: 2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/3 telegraph cucumber, diced
1 each: large red and green capsicums, seeded and diced
4 shallots, diced
1/4 cup each: chopped parsley, mint
1 1/2 cups diced ham
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and coarsely chopped

To make the dressing, whisk the garlic, sugar, chilli powder and vinegar to combine. Gradually whisk in the oil.

To make the croutons, preheat the oven to 180°C. Combine the olive oil, garlic and oregano. Brush on both sides of the croutons. Place on an oven tray and bake for 5 minutes. Turn the croutons over and continue baking for 5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Cool.

Combine the salad ingredients on a platter. Just before serving, add the croutons, drizzle with a little of the dressing and lightly toss. Serves 4.


To add interest, use a variety of different coloured cherry tomatoes.

Sesame Dressing: 1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon grated root ginger
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon each: sugar, chilli paste
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Salad: 75g vermicelli noodles or angel hair pasta
2 shallots, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup lychees, halved
200g skinned and boned cooked chicken, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs eg Vietnamese mint, parsley, chives

Place all the dressing ingredients — except the sesame seeds — in a blender. Pulse until smooth. Add the sesame seeds and blend for 30 seconds. 

Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Drain well and cool. 

Combine the noodles and remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss together with the dressing. Serves 2.


Or substitute chicken for the turkey. 

200g roasted cold turkey
1 small onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 medium cooked potatoes, cubed
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
1/2-1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
1/4 cup toasted cashew nuts, pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
1-2 cups assorted lettuce leaves, optional 

Cut the turkey into small cubes. 

Mix the onion, celery, potatoes, mayonnaise, salt, pepper and curry powder. Add the turkey and nuts. Serve on a bed of lettuce, if using. Serves 2-3.


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