3 Ways to Reinvent Easter Leftovers

Wondering what to do with those Easter leftovers?  Here are 3 creative ways to reinvent popular holiday fare that's perfect for lunch or dinner.

1.  Lamb Shawarma-Style

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Give leg of lamb an exotic makeover!  Shawarma is an Arabic meat preparation in which seasoned meat, usually lamb, beef, veal, chicken or turkey, is roasted on a spit then thinly shaved.  It is served plated with accompaniments or in a wrap similar to a Greek Gyro.  Create your own at home by thinly slicing your leftover lamb and serving it on Mediterranean (pocketless) pita with hummus, shredded lettuce, cucumber and tomato and a drizzle of tahini (sesame paste).  

2.  Soupe de Legumes

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This just a fancy French name for vegetable soup.  It's an easy and delicious use of leftover veggies that I learned and enjoyed on my many visits to France.  Puréeing the soup results in a velvety smooth consistency without the fat and calories of cream-based soups, especially if you're using an immersion (stick) blender or other heavy duty blender.  

1 onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 quart vegetable or chicken stock

1 tsp dried herbs or 1 Tbsp fresh

2 cups leftover cooked veggies  - any combination (e.g. Green beans, carrots, potatoes...)

Salt and pepper

Parsley for garnish (optional)

Gently sauté onion, celery and carrot over medium heat, stirring frequently, until softened but not brown.  Add garlic and herbs and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds - 1 minute.  Add stock and bring to a boil.  Add veggies.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes or until heated through.  Purée and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve garnished with fresh parsley.  

Note:  The color of your soup will vary depending on the veggie combination used. 

Tips:  Soup too thin? Add more cooked veggies and purée.   Too thick?   Slowly add more stock while pureeing until desired consistency is reached.  Want more protein?  Stir in some cooked white beans, shredded chicken or top with crispy crumbled bacon.

3.  Pickle those eggs!

 Image and recipe for Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs on epicurious.com

Image and recipe for Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs on epicurious.com

Here's a really fun idea from Epicurious to pickle hard boiled eggs in a variety of colors using natural dyes.  There's a different recipe for each color.  So pick one and give it a try.  Call some friends and serve them up with beer and pretzels!