Cook once, eat twice meals for the holiday season

Creating meals with leftovers that can be repurposed helps you save valuable time in the long run.

MINNEAPOLIS — Cooking in December can be a pain because there is so much other stuff going on between holiday shopping, parties and the extra baking.

So how about making a meal that you can turn into something else with the leftovers?

Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian, Melissa Jaeger, joined KARE 11 to offer up some suggestions.

Recipe #1: Spicy Honey-Garlic Pork Meatballs

1 (1 lb) pkg lean ground pork (or can substitute ground turkey or lean ground beef)

¼ cup Hy-Vee whole-wheat bread crumbs

¼ cup sliced green onions, plus additional for garnish

1 Hy-Vee large egg, beaten

1 tbsp refrigerated ginger paste

¼ tsp Hy-Vee black pepper

4 cups brown rice, cooked, hot (for serving)

½ cup assorted vegetables, stir-fried (for serving)

2 tbsp chili-garlic sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large-rimmed baking pan with foil; lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. 

Gently combine ground pork, bread crumbs, green onions, egg, ginger paste, salt and pepper. Shape meatballs with a 1¼-inch cookie scoop or moistened hands.

Place meatballs on a prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until an internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. 

For sauce combine honey and chili-garlic sauce in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high for 1 to 1½ minutes or until hot, stirring halfway through. Toss with meatballs. Serve over hot cooked rice with stir-fried vegetables. Garnish with sliced green onions, if desired. 

Dietitian tip: To cook meatballs in a skillet, spray a large nonstick skillet with Hy-Vee nonstick cooking spray. Working in batches, cook meatballs in a skillet over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, turning often (until reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees). Drain on paper towels. 

This meal combines protein (pork or ground meat of choice) and fiber (brown rice, whole-wheat bread crumbs, vegetables) to help fill you up and keep you full longer.

Take these delicious meatballs and turn them into the perfect quick sliders for dinner the next night.

Recipe #2: Leftover Meatball Sliders

¼ cup Hy-Vee apple cider flavored vinegar

¼ tsp Hy-Vee black pepper

1 cup Basket & Bushel broccoli slaw

1/3 cup thinly sliced white onion

4 Hy-Vee white slider buns, split 

4 slices Hy-Vee sliced pepper jack cheese, halved

2 tbsp Gustare Vita Olive Oil

12 leftover Spicy Honey-Garlic Pork Meatballs in sauce

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Stir together vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add broccoli slaw and onion; toss to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Meanwhile, line a rimmed baking pan with foil. Open buns; arrange bun bottoms and tops in a prepared baking pan with cut sides up and edges touching. Brush with olive oil and top with cheese. Bake for 3 to 6 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the buns are golden brown. 

Place meatballs with sauce in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes or until meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. 

Drain slaw mixture. Spoon slaw mixture and meatballs on bun bottoms. 

To serve, top buns with slaw and meatballs to sandwich. 

Dietitian recipe tips & tricks:

Swap for whole-wheat slider buns to up the fiber content of this lunch or dinner and serve with a salad kit for a quick vegetable side.

Watch the latest coverage from KARE11 Saturday in our YouTube playlist:

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