Three Tasty Recipes to Power Up Your Plate with Turkey
By Shannon Crocker MSc RD, Vibrant Nutrition Communications
I’m so happy March is finally here!
Not only is our Canadian winter freeze starting to thaw (fingers crossed!), but March is also Nutrition Month. I’m joining registered dietitians across Canada to shout from the rooftops about the health benefits of nutritious foods.
As a dietitian, I promote making meals at home with nourishing, whole foods, including vegetables, fruit, whole grains (e.g., brown rice), legumes (e.g., lentils), dairy (e.g., yogurt) and lean meats (e.g., turkey). These healthy choices contain nutrients you need to be your best.
Why I love turkey!
When it comes to protein foods, turkey is one of my go-to choices. Here’s why my family relies on it for good nutrition:
- Turkey is packed with high-quality, hunger-crushing protein for long-lasting satisfaction and optimal muscle health.
- Turkey is lean, including both the dark and white meat (without the skin). Health Canada recommends you fill one-quarter of your plate with protein foods, including lean meats, like turkey.
- Turkey is nutrient-rich – that means that it has lots of nutrients per calorie.
Health-boosting bonus: Turkey has the added benefit of vitamin B12 (only found naturally in animal foods), and it contains easy-to-absorb iron and zinc.
Here are three easy ways to power up your plate with turkey:
- Make meal prep easy: Cook a whole turkey, a turkey breast or a few turkey thighs on the weekend so you’ll be ready to create quick meals, like sandwiches, pasta, salads and soups, during the week.
Try this: Turkey Grilled Cheese – if you love a comforting grilled cheese sandwich, you’ll love this kicked-up version! It’s nutritious and extra-delicious with the addition of cooked turkey breast, fresh basil and sundried tomatoes.
- Make a smart swap. Try swapping turkey into meals that usually call for red meat. For example, substitute lean ground turkey into your favourite ground-meat recipes, such as lasagna, burgers, meatballs and tacos.
Try this: Effortless Turkey Lasagna – it’s tasty and satisfying, yet not too filling, thanks to the lean ground turkey and loads of veggies.
- Make the perfect pairing. Eat turkey with veggies and legumes for added nutritional value. The zinc and iron in turkey help us absorb those same nutrients in veggies and legumes.
Try this: Cheddar Smokey Turkey & Lentil Burgers. If you haven’t cooked with lentils before, try these burgers for a tasty, easy introduction. Make them in advance and freeze them. For a quick weeknight dinner, simply thaw and cook. Watch the how-to video!
By the way, March is also my birthday month, and I’ve asked my family to cook and share a meal with me as their gift. Here’s my choice: Chimichurri Turkey Breast on the Grill with lemony roasted potatoes and grilled veggies. Watch the how-to video – looks fun and delicious, doesn’t it?
Happy Nutrition Month, everyone!