Revamping holiday leftover tips from UM culinary program

MISSOULA, Mont. - As many start cooking for their Thanksgiving meal, it’s also time to get out the Tupperware for another key aspect of the holiday... leftovers.

According to the EPA, over 70 billion pounds of food waste reaches landfills each year. This contributes to methane emissions and wastes energy.

To keep leftovers out of the garbage, students and chefs from the Big Sky Culinary Institute at the University of Montana gave some tips.

Instructor Amy Nack advised leftovers should be finished or frozen within a week of Thanksgiving.

In her household, they get pretty creative by adding chili powder, peppers and onion.

“We’ve even done tamales where you just take the cooked meat, chop it up and add some seasons,” Nack said. “You can do tacos, you can do tamales… anything that you can use it as a filling.”

Second-year student Andrew Miller sticks with the holiday flavors when it comes to leftovers.

He makes an open-faced sandwich or mixes everything in a bowl.

To add more flavor, he keeps it pretty simple.

“I usually just embrace it [with] more gravy,” Miller said. “I love gravy, so that is the sauce to cure it all. I usually just smother it.”

Both Nack and Miller also suggested making soups and stocks from boiling the carcass.

As for making sure food stays safe on Thanksgiving, Nack said to refrigerate leftovers within four hours of when they’re cooked.

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