We’re just a full day away from turkey, trimmings and all those perfect pies. While some seasonal favorites just shouldn’t be altered, Julia Walker, RDN, CDE, CD, certified adult weight management/certified diabetes educator, does have a trio of suggestions to lighten your plate, but not your favorite flavors. Try incorporating one of these options into your spread this year.
Healthy Roasted Turkey
1 12-pound fresh or frozen turkey, thawed if frozen
2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
2-3 medium ribs of celery, coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots (about 1 cup), coarsely chopped
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
3 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
3 medium garlic cloves, crushed, or 3 teaspoons bottled chopped garlic
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Place the turkey on a cutting board. Using kitchen shears, remove any loose or hanging
skin around the neck cavity of the turkey. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Loosen the turkey skin away from the meat by inserting your hand between the meat and skin and gently pushing down. Pull the wing tips up and back and tuck them under the turkey.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the Italian seasoning and oil. Rub the mixture on the turkey breast and drumsticks, underneath the skin. Sprinkle the pepper over the entire turkey.
4. Fill the turkey cavity with the celery, carrots, onion, thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Lightly spray a roasting pan and rack with cooking spray. Place the turkey with the breast side up on the rack. Roast for 30 minutes.
5. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Loosely cover the turkey with aluminum foil. Roast for 1 hour 45 minutes, or until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. (The total roasting time may be up to 3 1⁄2 hours to reach 165°F). Remove from the oven.
6. Remove the foil and spoon the pan juices over the turkey to baste it. Recover the turkey and let it stand for 15 minutes at room temperature. Baste 2 or 3 times during the standing time (removing and replacing the foil each time). Discard the skin and any visible fat before slicing the turkey.
Festive Turkey Rice Salad
2 tablespoons plain rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive o
il (extra virgin preferred)
1 tablespoon honey1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 1/2 cups cooked wild or brown rice
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked skinless turkey breast
1/3 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
1 bunch chopped green onions
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lime juice, oil, honey and ginger.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the rice, turkey, cranberries and green onions. Pour the dressing over the salad, tossing to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
Nutrition Facts, per serving:
Calories 203; Total Fat 3.0g; Saturated Fat 0.5g; Trans Fat 0.0g; Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5g; Monounsaturated Fat 1.5g; Cholesterol 29mg; Sodium 25mg; Carbohydrates 30g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Total Sugars 9g; Protein 15g; Dietary Exchanges: 11⁄2 starch, 1⁄2 fruit, 11⁄2 lean meat
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets (about 6 to 7 cups)
1⁄4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄2 teaspoon minced garlic
Pepper, to taste
1. Fill a large pot with water to a depth of about 2 inches. Place a collapsible steamer basket in the pot. Make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the steamer. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Put the cauliflower in the steamer. Steam, covered, for 15 minutes, or until very tender. Remove from the heat. Carefully uncover the pot away from you (to prevent steam burns). Drain the cauliflower well in a colander.
2. Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor or blender (or transfer it to a large bowl and use an immersion, or handheld, blender). Add the yogurt, Parmesan, and garlic. Purée until creamy. Don’t overmix. Stir in the pepper.
Nutrition Facts, per serving:
Calories 41; Total Fat 1.0g; Saturated Fat 0.5g; Trans Fat 0.0g; Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0g; Monounsaturated Fat 0.0g; Cholesterol 2mg; Sodium 71mg; Carbohydrates 5g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Total Sugars 2g; Protein 4g; Dietary Exchanges: 1 vegetable