Turkey is a great lean protein. A mere 4 ounce serving provides 65% of your daily protein requirements. Turkey has selenium, an essential component for thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxodant defense and immune function. Turkey also contains vitamin B6, which is important for energy production and the breakdown of glycogen. When purchasing turkey, aim for lean, ground turkey instead of deli meat, due to the higher salt content. Below are 5 simple recipes to give you a different dose of protein.
Homemade Turkey Sausage
1 pound lean ground turkey
3/4 tsp. AlsoSalt (optional)
1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
Crumble turkey into a large bowl. Add spices. Shape into eight two-inch patties. In a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook patties over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side (or until no longer pink).
Healthy Turkey Meatloaf
1 pound ground turkey
2 egg whites
1/2 cup salsa (low-sodium)
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and in a large bowl, combine turkey, eggs, salsa, peppers, onions and bread crumbs, and pepper. Mix well with hands and then press into a loaf pan. Bake for 25 minutes.
Pumpkin Turkey Chili
1 tbs. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped red bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey
1 can organic black beans (slightly drained)
1 can diced tomatoes (low salt)
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. cayenne
1/2 cup greek yogurt or sour cream (optional)
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and saute the onion, pepper and garlic until tender. Stir in the turkey and cook until brown. Drain and mix in black beans, tomato and pumpkin. Season with chili powder and cayenne. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with sour cream.
1 package ground turkey (93/7)
2 cups Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup egg whites or egg beaters
2 tsp. minced onion
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1/5 tsp. garlic powder
pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place the ground turkey in a large bowl and add 1 1/2 to 2 cups bread crumbs. Add the egg whites and spices and mix together with two spoons, so you are constantly folding in the spices. Make 1 inch balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with foil (and sprayed with cooking spray), about 1 inch apart. Bake for around 20 minutes, or until the turkey gets a brown crust on top. Throw them in a pasta sauce and simmer, or eat them with veggies or a yogurt dip for a clean snack.
Sweet Potato Turkey Shephard's Pie
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, grated
4 ribs celery from the heart, chopped
4 tsp. olive oil
2 tbs. flour
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (low-sodium)
a few dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 10-ounce box frozen organic peas
1/3 ripe banana, sliced
a few dashes hot pepper sauce
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or vegan cheese)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large pan, combine sweet potatoes and enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside, reserving the pot. In a deep skillet, heat the extra-virgin olive oil over high heat. Add the turkey and cook. Stir in the onion, carrots and celery. Season with pepper and cook for 5 minutes.
In another small pan, heat 2 tsp. olive oil over medium heat. Whisk in flour for 1 minute, then whisk in broth and season with worcestershire sauce. Simmer for a few minutes until thick, then stir into the turkey mixture. Stir in the peas and remove from heat. Add remaining 2 tsp. olive oil to the sweet potato pot and melt over medium-low. Add the sweet potatoes back to this pot with banana. Add hot sauce and mash until combined.
Top the turkey with the sweet potato mixture and smooth the top. Cover the sweet potatoes with cheese and bake until the cheese is completely melted, about 5 minutes.