Creative Recipes for Holiday Leftovers

Studio 512 recently visited the Central Texas Food Bank to see their new community kitchen and chat with Kim Granato, Executive Chef, and Mark Jackson, Chief Development Officer. Chef Kim demonstrated three quick and easy recipes for getting creative with your holiday leftovers. Mark talked about the extreme need for hunger relief during the holiday season and how Central Texans can help. The visit took place in the Food Bank’s new kitchen where, for the first time, they will be able to produce meals in-house for those in need. This will not only save money, it will also allow the Food Bank to serve quality fresh hot and cold meals for the first time to Central Texans facing hunger. Chef Kim presented these great ideas for making the most of your holiday leftovers:

Turkey Pot Pie

  1. Make a little extra pie dough when making your pies and put it aside for the shell of the Turkey Pot Pie
  2. If you have company with little ones around, this is a fun way to keep them busy and entertained. Give them a plastic cup and let them roll out some of the dough.
  3. Use leftover turkey; cut up into ½” cubes or pieces.
  4. I always stuff my turkey with some aromatics to flavor the turkey and drippings when it’s cooking. You can use the carrot and celery in the pot pie. They are already cooked and flavored.
  5. Freeze and bake when or bake then freeze and reheat.

Turkey & Stuffing Lunch “Cupcakes”

  1. Everyone is trying to watch their weight during the holidays. This is a way to still enjoy the leftovers but in a calorie -conscious way.
  2. Place ½ cup of stuffing into a cupcake pan. You could even put a cupcake liner in to make it easier to remove later.
  3. Place 2-3 ounces of turkey on top of the stuffing.
  4. Place 1 tbsp. of gravy over that.
  5. Freeze, then store in a ziplock back for later.
  6. When you are ready to make your lunch for a weekday, pop one out and place in your lunch tray with ½ – 1 cup of veggies and you have a healthy-portioned meal.

Cranberry Smoothie

  1. This morning-after drink will give you a good dose of anthocyanins to get the body back on a healthy track.
  2. Freeze the leftover cranberry sauce after Thanksgiving dinner.
  3. The next morning, place the frozen cranberry sauce, yogurt, 1 tsp. of honey and a tbsp. or so of apple juice in the blender and mix well.
  4. The frozen cranberry sauce will give you the freeze and thickness as well as a healthy morning after drink.

About hunger in Central Texas:

  • There are nearly 471,000 food-insecure people in the Food Bank’s 21-county service area
  • More than 1 in 4 Central Texas children face hunger
  • Many have to make difficult choices between paying rent, buying medication or putting food on the table, especially during the holiday season

The holidays, in particular, can push an at-risk family to the edge. Utility costs soar as temperatures drop and families scramble to provide some semblance of holiday cheer to the bare necessities. At the same time, Food Bank shelves tend to be a little bare, making it challenging for us to provide food to those in need when they are most vulnerable.

Food Bank facts:

  • Serves nearly 46,000 Central Texans each week
  • Distributed nearly 38 million pounds of food last year
  • Still fell short of demand by 30%

There’s no place like hope for the holidays. Find out more about donating, volunteering or advocating at



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