Let’s talk about turkey!  It’s hard to picture a holiday dinner celebration without the turkey. Thanksgiving is coming, but don’t just think of the holiday; now, turkey seems to be a staple on salads, sandwiches, and ground for tacos, spaghetti, burgers and in chili.

Turkey comes as the actual bird (fresh or frozen), ground and processed, as you find in the deli case.

Here are a couple of quick facts about turkey:

  1. Turkey should cook until it’s internal temperature reaches 165°F to reduce the risk of food borne illness.
  2. Dark turkey meat generally contains more vitamins and minerals but also has more fat content and calories than white meat.
  3. Removing the skin of a turkey also removes much of the fat content. It is easy to remove the skin to eat a leaner, less fattening meal.

turkey burger tipsHow do you prepare your turkey? Try it differently each time you cook a bird or even a breast. It is delicious baked, roasted, grilled, fried, smoked, rotisseried or even slow-cooked. Regardless of how you prepare it, always remember that the internal temperature should reach 165°F at its thickest part.

The nutrients in turkey depend upon the cut. Although the breast of the turkey has less fat and calories than most other cuts of meat, do not assume that just because a product is made of turkey that it’s better for you. If you make turkey burgers, the amount of dark meat in the ground turkey can make your burger have just as much saturated fat as a beef burger. Be sure you are eating the white meat when preparing meals with ground turkey.

Processed turkey (including hot dogs and turkey bacon) are high in sodium. If purchasing turkey from the deli counter, the store should be able to tell you which brand of turkey will meet your dietary needs. Even pre-packaged, frozen turkey burgers can be full of salt and preservatives, so always remember to read the labels. Again, just because it’s turkey doesn’t mean it’s the best option for you.

When purchasing, go for fresh, lean, organic turkey that is pasture-raised without antibiotics. Factory-farmed turkey is generally injected with salt and other preservatives during processing. To avoid too much salt and preservatives, choose unprocessed turkey.

You now know how to choose turkey, so let’s talk about turkey and adding it to your diet. A fresh or frozen turkey is generally available year-round, so it’s an easy addition to your menu planning. Try adding turkey in some of these ways:
• Add it hot or cold to a salad for added protein
• Use it instead of chicken in curries
• Add it ground to casseroles, tacos, spaghetti sauce, or anywhere you would previously have used ground beef
Make your own stock from the turkey bones and add the meat to soups
• Combine toppings like lettuce, tomato, and mustard to make a great lettuce wrap with sliced or ground turkey
• Make delicious burgers and meatballs


Although we call this a holiday dinner, it is a meal that could be made any time of year.  Don’t have turkey?  Make the same recipe but use chicken or even pork tenderloin instead.

One-Pan Holiday Dinner

One-Pan Holiday Dinner

Do you have a smaller gathering this year? Or are you looking for a way to cover all of the traditional flavors in a fraction of the time? Try this delicious one-pan meal.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Servings 4


  • ¼ cup melted butter or ghee divided
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 lb boneless skin-on turkey breast
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • cup coconut palm sugar divided
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes cut into 1" cubes
  • ½ lb Brussels sprouts ends trimmed and halved lenghtwise
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice


  • Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Combine half of the butter with rosemary and thyme. Cover turkey with mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place in the middle of prepared sheet pan.
  • In a large bowl stir together remaining butter, half of the sugar and maple syrup; add sweet potatoes and toss to coat. Spread potatoes across one side of the pan. Roast for 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, wipe bowl clean. Add Brussels sprouts, oil and garlic powder and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a small oven-safe dish, combine cranberries, juice and remaining sugar. Remove pan from oven and stir potatoes. Add Brussels sprouts and dish of cranberry to remaining area on the pan and roast until turkey is cooked through, potatoes are soft, cranberries have burst and Brussels sprouts are crisp tender, about 25 more minutes.
Keyword Anti-Inflammatory, Brussels Sprouts, Entree, Poultry, Side Dish, Sweet Potatoes

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