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5 tips to savor all Noche Buena and Media Noche leftovers

5 tips to savor all Noche Buena and Media Noche leftovers

It’s the same scenario every year. You get up, walk barefoot into the kitchen only to discover a fridge-load of leftovers from last night’s festivities.

You start thinking about what to do with a mountain of lumpia shanghai and countless bowls of buko salad, to name a few.

Now, you consider two options: throw away the scraps or let time do the spoilage for you. Both are a big no-no! Leftovers should not be left over– and in fact, you can do a lot with all those staples. You wouldn’t want to enter the upcoming year with a little bit of baggage, right?

Fear not, here are five useful ways to make the most of your holiday dishes.

Photo from UDOU PH

Give your leftover a makeover

Holiday leftovers often reward us with more meals to come. However, not everyone likes to enjoy the same dinner night after night. ‘Tis the season to channel your inner ‘MasterChef’ by incorporating the stars of your Noche Buena and Media Noche into a whole new delicious recipe!

Couldn’t finish the lechon? Transform those lechon bits into lechon paksiw or pinakbet. Too much Christmas ham? Use it for fried rice or a ham and cheese omelet. Got leftover Queso de Bola? Make cheese sticks or a cheesecake with it. Get creative!

Extend the celebration

Don’t stop the party! Take advantage of the long vacation by hosting a potluck leftover reunion with your family and friends. That way, you don’t have to buy new ingredients to cook another meal but maximize what’s left of your Noche Buena or Media Noche.

If you don’t want to bother your guests, you can plan a holiday wine tasting party instead. Whether it’s bibingka or puto bumbong, there’s a wine that goes perfectly well with them. You can also make this an annual post-holiday tradition! Just make sure that the leftovers are still presentable.

Share the spirit of giving

Remember that the season of sharing doesn’t end on the 25th. With blessings overflowing from the feast, it is a holiday practice to give what you have. So, pack and donate your leftovers or unused goods to your local food pantries and homeless shelters. The more, the merrier!

You can also roam around and spread some post-holiday cheer by offering the packed foods to the employees working overtime, to the street children, or to those who are asking for alms. Be the Santa Claus they never had last Christmas.

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Take home leftovers

Encourage your guests to bring their own set of reusable containers to pack up leftovers after the lavish celebration. Instead of stuffing their faces with a little bit of everything, ask them what kind of dish they enjoyed eating. You could not only prevent those leftovers from ending up in someone else’s trash can, but you could also inspire everyone to be waste-free.


If all else fails, think about composting as your last resort. Compost can be made from fruits, vegetables, eggshells, and coffee grounds. Meanwhile, meals such as chicken, stuffing, bread, and desserts would not compost properly. However, the scraps and peels (ex. fruit cores, seeds) that are left behind in the process of making these holiday staples are a go!

How to do it? You can compost safely in your home backyard or in your indoor compost bin. Then, use your compost for your garden or donate it to your local composting facility. By composting, you can turn your leftovers into a product that helps nurture the soil.

Do you have other Noche Buena and Media Noche recycling ideas? Share it to us!

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