Find out why this protein-rich bird should be in your oven, with five recipes to get you started
With Christmas inevitably comes your mum’s turkey. Turkey meat has a reputation for being bland and dry but, cooked right, not only does it taste good but it can do you good too. It even gives the hallowed chicken breast a run for its money!
Why should turkey be on your plate?
Turkey is a rich source of protein, as well as iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorus. vitamin B6 and niacin.
Low in fat, particularly the white meat, turkey is great for a clean bulk or for leaning up. You get around 150 calories in a portion of cooked turkey breast.
Eating turkey can lower cholesterol levels and can help keep insulin levels stable.
Turkey can also boost your immune system and act as an antioxidant.
Turkey is also a cheap meat, and contains more protein per gram than beef, pork or chicken.
How should you cook turkey?
Cooking turkey the right way has filled many a cook book over the years, as well caused numerous arguments in the kitchen.
If you’re cooking a whole bird then, for Nigella, “the only turkey is a brined turkey.” Submerged in salted, spiced water overnight, the turkey is guaranteed to avoid drying out.
When it comes to cooking time, it may be less than you thought. A whole turkey can be cooked in as little as 1.5 hours.
If you’re cooking turkey steaks, a minute or two each side in the frying pan before 4-8 minutes in the oven should do the trick.
Fry the turkey steaks in a non-stick frying pan for 1-2 mins on each side to brown, then transfer to a roasting tin. Scatter the tomatoes around, then roast in the oven for 4-8 mins, depending on the thickness of the turkey, until the steaks are just cooked through.
Rather than feed all the leftover Christmas turkey to the dog, set it to one side and knock up some healthy meal prep that can be frozen ready for on-the-go lunches and last-minute dinners in the New Year.
Here are five of the internet’s healthy turkey recipes:
“Add in some sliced apples, walnuts and celery and serve on a bed of lettuce for a protein-boosted update on the infamous Waldorf salad. (Feeling adventurous? Mix in some cranberry sauce to give it a tangy bite.)”
“Heat up 3 corn tortillas, add ¼ cup of shredded cheese, and ½ of an avocado. Place your protein on each tortilla. Add 1 cup of roasted broccoli and cauliflower as a side dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.”
Lime, chilli and coriander gives these burgers an Eastern twist.
Turkey Meatloaf Cups
“These turkey meatloaf cups are full of protein, but they have just enough mozzarella to keep things interesting. And, they’re SO EASY!”
Turkey Meatball Soup
“It’s hearty and comforting and reminds me of something my grandmother would make. It’s easy and helps the soup come together quickly. The mushrooms add and element of umami, and the lemon juice gives it a hint of acid.”