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3 Delicious Recipes Using Leftover Food as Ingredients

This Christmas, make sure that no food is wasted with these recipes!

You’ve had your fill of lechon, hamon, and queso de bola during the Noche Buena feast—to the point that your taste buds have become umay (sated) from their flavors—but it seems there’s still more! 

However, as umay as you are, remember to be grateful for these blessings that have graced your table. As Pope Francis says, “Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry.” (Read: This Christmas, Pope Francis Wants You to Think of Five Things)

Make sure that no food is wasted with these leftover recipes!

Leftover Lechon: Turn It Into Lechon Wraps

Photos from

Paksiw is a very obvious and Pinoy answer when talking about the classic Christmas staple, lechon. But this quick reworking of a leftover roast pig is easy to make, requiring only a few steps and ingredients. Even the culinary challenged can whip it up!


  • 3 cups slow-roasted pig, cut into strips
  • 1 small bunch lettuce
  • 4 stalks spring onions
  • Equal parts mayonnaise and mustard, plus honey to taste 
  • Hoisin sauce 
  • 8 small tortilla wrappers


  • Slice leftover lechon into strips. Heat in the microwave oven or  toaster oven. 
  • Lay strips of lechon on a tortilla wrapper. Add either curly lettuce (best matched with mayonnaise and mustard sauce) or a stalk of spring onion (best paired with hoisin sauce). 
  • Wrap and enjoy! 

Leftover Christmas Ham: Turn It Into Ham and French Toast

Photos from

Give this sweet breakfast treat a salty-savory kick by topping it with slices of the Noche Buena Christmas ham. Feel free to substitute ingredients from this recipe with those you already have in your kitchen or that are readily available in your local grocery. 


  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1 c. half and half (a mixture of cream and milk)
  • 1 ½ tbsp. pure maple extract (plus more for serving)
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • Kosher salt (or rock salt)
  • Unsalted butter (for the griddle)
  • 8 thin slices of country ham (or Christmas ham)
  • 8 slices of Texas-toast-style bread (or plain sliced bread) 


  • Whisk together eggs, milk half-and-half, maple syrup, vanilla, nutmeg, and ½ teaspoon of salt in a bowl. 
  • Heat griddle or large non-stick skillet over medium heat; butter. 
  • Working in batches, lay 1 slice of ham on the griddle. Quickly dip one slice of bread into the egg mixture, then place on top of ham. Cook until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Serve warm with maple syrup alongside.

Leftover Queso de Bola: Turn It Into Queso de Bola Sticks

Photos from LCC Supermarket Facebook and Philippine Daily Inquirer / PressReader

Besides pairing it with wine or making it a sandwich filling, queso de bola can be reinvented into a snack that family and friends will love. Ask them to help you put it together using this recipe! 


  • 8 slices of loaf bread
  • ¾ c. butter, melted
  • ¾ c. grated queso de bola 


  • Preheat the oven to 300°F. Trim crusts from the slices of the loaf bread. Slice each piece into 4 “fingers.” Arrange in a cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Invert the bread and rebake for 5 minutes more. 
  • Dip each piece briefly in butter. Brush each piece with butter as an alternative. 
  • Roll in cheese and transfer to a cookie sheet. 
  • Rebake for 15 minutes more or until toasted. Transfer to containers with tight-fitting covers. 

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