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Let's Talk Turkey

Growing up I remember turkey was only available on celebrated seasonal holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Today fresh and frozen turkey is available all year round. Turkey is a leader in the 'lean' meat class, especially turkey breast. It's also compatible for all 4 Blood types. With the wide variety of fresh cuts available today it's easy to incorporate turkey into our daily menus.

Turkey is an excellent source of high-quality protein. All the essential amino acids are present in abundance, explaining why turkey provides excellent food energy and the building blocks necessary for the renewal and maintenance of body tissues.

Turkey is both a good source of niacin, which the body needs to release energy from carbohydrates, and phosphorous, a mineral that contributes to the ongoing strength of bones and teeth. Turkey has fewer calories and contains less fat and less cholesterol than many other meats.

Many people believe that the amino acid tryptophan in turkey causes sleepiness, but in fact it is the mashed potatoes and dressing that are to blame. Cut these out and turkey on its own will stimulate rather than sedate. Often eaten to excess, the festive high-carb accompaniments are what typically drive blood sugar and insulin levels sky high, resulting in a rebound of low blood sugar and drowsiness. The overall net effect is also highly acidic and dehydrating.

Roasting a Whole Turkey

I make a whole turkey once a week; itメs tasty, economical and very easy.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) oven.

Place turkey breast side up in a large tightly covered roasting pot.* Drizzle extra virgin olive oil or ghee on the skin in and around the thighs and wings of the turkey. Then season with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, sage and powdered garlic and massage in well with hands. Voila, just walk away and continue your day, and the turkey will be done in no time.

Be sure to wash hands thoroughly with hot soapy water before and after handling raw turkey. All materials used for storage, preparation and serving turkey must also be cleaned before and after use.

  • The turkey will cook sooner than the uncovered method as it is being steamed.
OVEN TIMES

325 Degrees F (160 degrees C )

WEIGHT UNSTUFFED

  • 6-8 lbs (3.0-3.5 kg) 1 1/2 hours
  • 8-10 lbs (3.5-4.5 kg) 2 hours
  • 10-12 lbs (4.5-5.5 kg) 2 1/2 hours
  • 12-16 lbs (5.5-7.0 kg) 2 1/2 - 3 hours
  • 16-20 lbs (7.0-9.0 kg) 3- 3 1/2 hours
  • 20-25 lbs (9.0-11.25 kg) 3 1/2 -4 hours
These times and weights are approximate. Be sure to use a meat thermometer to know when the bird is done.

  • a meat thermometer in the inner thigh reads 180 deg.F (82 deg.C) for a stuffed turkey
  • a meat thermometer in the inner thigh reads 170 deg.F (77 deg.C) for an unstuffed turkey
When cooked to perfection the turkey meat and juices may have a slight pink tinge. The temperature of the meat is the most important sign of 'doneness'.

If you wish to brown the skin, baste the turkey with the juices and leave uncovered for the last 15-20 minutes of cooking.

When the turkey is finished cooking remove it from the oven, drain the juices, then keep covered and let stand for 15 - 20 minutes before carving.

Letting your turkey stand for at least 15 minutes will help lock in the natural juices, keeping the turkey meat tender and easier to carve.

Turkey and Chunky Vegetable Soup

I like to experiment with different vegetables and spices. My family always enjoys homemade turkey soup. Itメs healthy and hearty and does wonders for the immune system. In a large pot add the turkey carcass with enough filtered water to cover. Add plenty of peeled whole garlic, sage, parsley, sea salt and ground pepper. Cover pot and bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 4 hours. Remove the bones and strain the broth. Refrigerate the broth overnight to let the fat rise to the top, then skim it off.

Remove the meat from the bones and return to the broth.

Add these basic ingredients to the broth: Sliced fresh garlic, Sage, parsley, sea salt and pepper Chopped celery in large chunks Thickly sliced carrots Chopped onion and/or leeks in chunks Wild rice, pot barley, lentils or chopped or grated potato, these add thickness to the soup.

Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer till tender.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Add any variety of herbs and spices you like, or any vegetable that you have in the refrigerator, itメs
  • a good way to use up the last of the vegetables.
  • Try grating the vegetables instead of slicing and chopping them, this gives a different consistency, nice for a change.
  • Sliced turkey makes great sandwiches with sprouts or lettuce, cucumber and tomato.
  • Sliced turkey with stir fry veggies and tamari sauce.
  • Cut up turkey breast for omelets.
  • Use fresh ground turkey for chili, stews and burger recipes.
  • Diced turkey tastes great as a topper for salads, pasta or pizza.
  • Make your own frozen dinners using your meal leftovers by placing leftover turkey and portions of your side dishes on a plastic plate. Seal tightly with plastic wrap and freeze. When you are hungry you have a microwavable gourmet meal ready in minutes.
Use your imagination and make the traditional taste of turkey, something you enjoy everyday!

References:

www.bcturkey.com