Turkey's becoming more popular
Whenever we hear the word turkey, it evokes images of family, friends, giving thanks, celebration and even football. Typically, November is the month noted as the season for enjoying turkey. Its delicious flavor and nutrition should not be reserved for the holidays but celebrated the whole year round. Due to the increased availability of individual turkey pieces, such as breasts, tenderloins, cutlets and ground turkey, it is becoming increasingly more popular. These alternatives to a whole turkey have made it more convenient for people to incorporate turkey in their diets.
The skinless white meat of the turkey is an excellent source of protein and low in fat. It helps to reduce undesirable low-density lipoproteins. Protein from an organic turkey helps to maintain the optimum levels of testosterone in men. Other health benefits of turkey include cancer prevention, mood-enhancing properties, insomnia prevention and a heightened immune system.
Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan, which is needed by the immune system to help kill cancer cells. Tryptophan makes serotonin. Serotonin helps to improve your mood. Studies have also shown that tryptophan molecules alleviate symptoms of the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis and chronic insomnia.
Turkey is a good source of B vitamins (niacin B3 and pyridoxine B6) and the trace mineral selenium. These vitamins and minerals are important to the production of energy and the prevention of cancer.
Here's a recipe for turkey breast which you might try at Thanksgiving if you're serving a small group.
HERBED TURKEY BREAST
• 1 whole bone-in turkey breast, 6-7 pounds
• 3-4 fresh garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tablespoons yellow onion or shallots, minced
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning (thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, nutmeg)
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, optional
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
• 1 cup white wine
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a roasting pan, place the turkey breast skin side up, on a rack. In a small mixing bowl combine the garlic =, onions, mustard, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice to form a paste. Using a knife, carefully loosen the skin from the meat and spread half of the paste under the skin of the turkey. Spread the remainder over the skin. Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan. Roast the turkey for 1 3/4 to 2 hours or until the meat thermometer registers 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the breast. The skin should be golden brown. Cover with aluminum foil and rest for 15 minutes. Slice the breast in thin slices and serve with the juices from the pan.
Makes 6 servings.
• Per serving: 770 calories, 36 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 285 mg cholesterol, 1000 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 97 g protein
Want a local recipe lightened up? Send it to Light & Local, Taste Section, The Advertiser, P.O. Box 3110, Honolulu, HI 96802 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Carol Devenot is a teacher, recipe consultant and author; her cookbooks and e-books are in local bookstores and at www.globallightcuisine.net.