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Don't waste food: Here's how to use your Thanksgiving dinner leftovers

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and even sweet pecan pie melting in your chunky cheeks. It was all so delicious yesterday. Today, not so much.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LEFTOVERS")

MILLIE JACKSON: (Singing) All you're getting is my leftovers. You're digging out of my leftovers.

MARTÍNEZ: You went back for seconds and thirds of everything just hours ago. Today, you can't even look at another bite, even though you feel a little guilty.

ANNE-MARIE BONNEAU: In the U.S., up to 40% of the food we produce goes uneaten.

MARTÍNEZ: Anne-Marie Bonneau is the author of the cookbook "The Zero-Waste Chef." Her ideas for your leftovers go beyond turkey sandwiches and pie for breakfast. She says you can find a way to use everything on the table, right down to the cranberry sauce.

BONNEAU: I like to make my own fruit-bottom yogurt with it. It's delicious. So I'll just take a big spoonful and put it in a small dish and top it with yogurt.

MARTÍNEZ: Bonneau says you can even use that unfinished bottle of wine.

BONNEAU: You can make really delicious vinegar from leftover wine. Let's say you have a cup left over. You can stir in a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and let it sit for about a month, and you'll have delicious vinegar.

MARTÍNEZ: Bonneau says to think of your Thanksgiving leftovers as resources.

BONNEAU: Save the turkey bones and make broth. When you're prepping, you can save the little bits and pieces of vegetables, and you can either freeze them, or you can use them right away to make free vegetable broth.

MARTÍNEZ: She recommends putting some pastry dough over turkey leftovers and gravy to make a turkey pot pie, or even turkey shepherd's pie if you have uneaten mashed potatoes. But what happens on day three or day four when eating leftover turkey feels like a chore?

BONNEAU: Use the freezer. Freeze that leftover turkey. Take it out a couple of weeks later or a month later and cook something new with it.

MARTÍNEZ: And don't forget, there's no reason your household has to shoulder this burden alone.

BONNEAU: I would tell guests, bring a container. Who doesn't like leftover Thanksgiving dinner?

MARTÍNEZ: And don't be afraid to employ a little guilt. Remember, finishing up all those leftovers is good for the planet, so win-win.

(SOUNDBITE OF MILLIE JACKSON SONG, "LEFTOVERS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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