Reuse your roast: Three recipes to turn festive leftovers into delicious meals

Plus, creative ways to recycle Brussel sprouts and surplus steak

Use whole masoor for this Lebanese-inspired lentil soup. Photo: Nicole Barua
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During holiday season kitchens and tables overflow with food as people circle around favourite and new dishes to break bread and make merry together.

While this is an occurrence for which I am entirely grateful, a surplus of food can make a person lazy. Having to eat the same dishes day after day does not help.

Luckily, I’ve always enjoyed experimenting with different combinations to create new and unexpected morsels.

In the recipes presented here, I reuse roast chicken in a bountiful soup, beef tenderloin in a spiced Korean-Italian mash-up and breathe new life into Brussels sprouts with a sweet and easy fix.

Lentil soup with roast chicken

Serves 4


150g whole red lentils

90g brown onion, diced

20g celery, chopped

2 green chillies (optional)

5 garlic cloves, minced

750ml chicken or vegetable stock

150g potatoes, medium dice

30ml-40ml lemon juice

25g spinach

130g shredded roast chicken

1½ tbsp olive oil

Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Mint stalks

Handful of coriander + mint leaves


Soak the lentils for 10-15 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot, then saute the onions, celery and chillies. When translucent, add garlic and continue to saute on a low flame.

Add the lentils on a high flame. Stir briskly to mix for a minute or two.

Add the stock with a little salt and pepper and cover the pot.

Once it comes to a boil, turn to a low flame and leave for 3-5 minutes to soften the lentils.

Stir well, then smash some of the lentils with the back of a spoon to help thicken the soup.

Add the potatoes and chopped tender mint stalks.

Cover and leave for 5-8 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked. Season well with crushed sea salt and pepper.

Add the lemon juice followed by the spinach. Let it cook for just about a minute, then turn the stove off. Taste and season accordingly,

Stir in the chicken, then add the coriander and mint leaves.

Serve hot, topped with mint and a wedge of lime on the side.

15-minute gochujang spaghetti with steak bites

Serves 1


2 tbsp gochujang

35g red onion, brunoised

2 garlic cloves, minced

100g whole wheat spaghetti

1 tbsp tomato paste

¼ cup of cheddar or any hard cheese, grated

Squeeze of lemon (optional)

Splash of water

80g steak, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces

1½ tbsp parsley, chopped

Sesame or olive oil

Knob of unsalted butter

Salt and pepper, to taste


Begin by heating salted water for the pasta.

In another pot, heat 1½ tablespoons of oil the knob of butter on a high flame.

Add the brunoised onion and stir, allowing to soften but not brown.

Add the garlic and stir for a few seconds.

Add spaghetti to the boiling water and set a timer as per instructions on the box.

Add the gochujang (gradually if you find it too strong), then stir and add the tomato paste. To loosen to a sauce-like consistency, add 1-2 tablespoons of the pasta water on a low flame.

Add some of the cheese and let it melt into the sauce. Add pasta water one tablespoon at a time to keep the sauce moving.

Once the pasta is al dente, drain and add, stirring to coat the spaghetti.

Stir in most of the parsley and steak, then turn off the stove. If it feels too dry, add up to a tablespoon of the pasta water and stir.

Season with salt and pepper as needed.

Top with more grated cheese and parsley, then add a squeeze of lemon if you desire. Enjoy hot.

Redone Brussels sprouts with honey

Serves 4


2 tbsp olive oil

5-6 garlic cloves, finely diced

500g Brussels sprouts (raw or cooked)

Pinch of sea salt

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp honey

150g chicken or beef chorizo (optional)


If using, remove any skin on the chorizo and dice into medium pieces.

Trim the Brussels sprouts by cutting off the bottom and slicing in half.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, then add the chorizo and stir the chorizo for a minute or two on a high flame, making sure it crisps up nicely but does not burn. Remove and set aside.

In the same oil and on a low flame, add the garlic and gently saute until fragrant. Then remove and set with the chorizo.

Add the Brussels sprouts facedown on the pan in a single layer and allow them to brown on a high flame for about 90 seconds, then switch to a low flame.

Turn when the tops turn a bright green colour. Stir and lay them flat in another layer to cook evenly on a high flame for another half minute (this step is reduced to a minute if you are reusing already cooked Brussels sprouts).

Add a full teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to the pan and stir the sprouts around.

Add a pinch of sea salt and stir well.

Sprinkle the smoked paprika all over on a low flame. Stir again and reintroduce the chorizo a nd garlic, making sure to use all the oil the chorizo has released.

On a slightly higher flame, drizzle the honey all over the sprouts and stir well, making sure nothing burns. Stir for about 30 seconds, check the salt and serve hot.

Note: If you’re not using chorizo, begin straight by sauteing the garlic.

Updated: January 04, 2024, 9:32 AM