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Enjoy a Fit Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner
- Updated: November 25, 2015
By Brenda Michiko Kelly – At the top of our holiday dinner menu there is a favorite bodybuilding protein star ~ a whole turkey star! Wonderful turkey dinners with all of the side dishes can still be on your bodybuilding fitness nutrition plan. For the holidays we want more than figuring out a different green salad or broiled chicken breast.
You can cook up an entire truly fit turkey dinner using these lean mean turkey preparation ideas as a fit guideline. It has all of your favorite side dishes tailor made for the bodybuilding and fitness minded along with some new ones. So go ahead and roast that whole turkey, with sides please and celebrate the fit, lean healthy way!
Citrus Herb Baked Turkey
Slit turkey skin or flesh – in a least 4 places along the breastbone and leg crooks in 2 inch depths and lengths. Insert your choice of oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley or combination. For citrus choose lemons, limes or both. Cut lengthwise and squeeze and insert over the herbs into the slits of flesh or under the skin.
First timers for roasting a whole turkey? Relax! Here are the key points to a successful turkey experience.
Keep your fresh turkey in the refrigerator at all times and cook with 1-2 days of purchase.
Thawing a frozen Turkey
Never thaw turkey at room temperature.
Place frozen, wrapped turkey on a tray in the refrigerator.
Time: 24 hours for each 5 pounds.
This can take 3-4 days so plan ahead!
Leave turkey in original wrapper, place in sink or large pan and cover with cold water. Change cold water every 30 minutes. Time: 30 minutes per pound.
Note: Whole wrapped turkeys usually have a bag of giblets inside the large cavity. Remove bag and rinse your turkey before roasting. Remove giblets from bag, rinse and put into a pot on the stove top with a couple of cups of water, onion, celery and garlic and simmer 1-2 hours to use for gravy or soup stock later.
Check! I’ve had more that one friend who forgot and roasted their turkey with the giblet bag still inside – one even exploded inside of the turkey all over the inside of the oven!
1. Use the ‘pop up’ when done thermometer that comes with most whole turkeys. They work.
2. Roasting Pan
Look for a pan that is sturdy with handles. A lid that fits with a dome shape works best. You can also shape a lid using heavy foil if necessary.
3. Turkey Baster
Has a Large bulb on the end that fits snugly with a tube so it can suck up (and hold on to) hot juices. You can also use a soup ladle instead.
4. Roasting Rack ~ is preferred to lift turkey ~ by raising the turkey off the bottom of the pan, a roasting rack prevents it from roasting in its own juices.
*It is perfectly fine without if you don’t have one.
Breast side goes up.
When to Stuff your Turkey – Stuffing is optional and unnecessary. If you are stuffing, stuff your turkey just before roasting.
3/4 cup of stuffing for each pound is a good rule. If there is a lot of extra stuffing put into a covered casserole dish and bake along with your turkey.
Note: After roasting your turkey, remove all stuffing and store in separate containers for leftovers. Do not leave in turkey.
Turkey Roasting Timetable
Oven Temperature at 325 degrees.
Weight in pounds
6-8 Stuffed 3-3.5 hours. Unstuffed 2.5-3.5 hours
8-12 Stuffed 3.5-4.5 hours. Unstuffed 3-4 hours.
12-16 Stuffed 4-5 hours. Unstuffed 3.5-4.5 hours.
16-20 Stuffed 4.5-5.5 hours. Unstuffed 4-5 hours.
20-24 Stuffed 5-6.5 hours. Unstuffed 4.5-5.5 hours.
If you have a meat thermometer, insert into the meatiest part of the thigh (without touching the bone) to read 180-185 degrees. Or when the ‘pop up’ thermometer pops up, your turkey is done. You can also use my mom’s method ~ the drumsticks should move up and down easily and my mom calls this “shaking the turkey’s hand.”
Let your turkey stand at room temperature 15-30 minutes to allow juices to settle and meat to firm up for easier carving.
1. Carving Board
Find a board that has a built-in ‘moat’. This will prevent juices from spilling everywhere.
2. Carving Your Turkey
No serrated knives ~ it will tear the meat. Use an 8- to 10-inch carving knife. Use with two-pronged fork that has long handle.
Fit Turkey Sides
Vegan Green Bean Casserole
2 red onions
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 Cups Parsnip
3 Cups Mushrooms ~ chopped
3 Garlic Cloves ~ minced
¼ Cup Flax meal
1 ½ Cup Water
1 ½ tsp Salt
½ tsp crushed Red Pepper top garnish
1. Thaw Green Beans at room Temperature at the start of the recipe.
2. Slice onions and caramelize. Add ½ tbsp Coconut oil to heavy skillet on med heat. Add onions ~ stir periodically for 30 ~ 40 mins. Add a touch of water if they start to burn.
3. Cube Parsnips and steam 10 mins or until fork tender. Set aside to cool.
4. Slice Mushrooms and chop Garlic. After onions are finished use same pan to sauté Mushrooms and Garlic ~ add ½ tbsp Coconut oil stir and cook until soft ~ about 5 mins.
5. In food processor or blender ~ blend Parsnip, half of the Mushroom/Garlic mix, ¼ Cup Flax Meal, 1 ½ Cup Water, Salt, Pepper and Paprika. Blend until smooth. Use more water for creamier consistency.
5. Stir Parsnip/Mushroom mix AND ½ the caramelized Onions into the green beans. Mix well. Spoon all into oven safe casserole dish and top with the rest of the caramelized Onions.
6. Bake at 350 uncovered for 35 mins. Serves 6.
1 serving size ~ Calories: 116, Protein: 4.36 g, Carbs: 17.1 g, Fat: 3.6 g.
- Serves 4 – this dish will shock you. Because you will love it!
1 head cauliflower
1 clove garlic
1 leek, white only, split in 4 pieces – white onion will work too
1 tablespoon butter or mix of olive/coconut oil
Pepper to taste
Break cauliflower into small pieces. Steam cauliflower, garlic and leeks in water until completely fork tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. While cauliflower is hot, puree with blender, food processor or hand ‘mash’ tool until the vegetables resemble mashed potatoes. Add a little hot water or broth if vegetables seem dry. Stir in butter/oil and pepper to taste.
- Nutritional analysis per serving
- Calories: 67, Protein: 2 g, Carbohydrates 9 g, Fat: 3 g, Sodium: 75 mg, Cholesterol: 0.
Cinnamon Acorn Squash
Even people who don’t think they like squash end up liking the acorn squash! This winter squash has a ribbed, dark-green skin with a bright orange interior that is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol but packed with nutrition, including Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, thiamin and magnesium. It’s also high in fiber.
Cut squash into halves lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and stringy pulp – discard. Put onto baking tray rounded side down. Drizzle scooped out ‘cup’ with coconut or olive oil. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake @ 400 for 45 – 60 mins. Done when soft to pierce with fork.
Tasty options – add 1 pat of butter and drizzle agave, honey or raw sugar – adjust calories.
Serving Size: 1 cup or half of 1 large squash
Calories: 115, Protein: 2.3 g, Carbohydrates: 29.9 g, Fat: .3 g, Sodium: 9 mgs, Fiber: 4.0 g.
Wild and Pecan Rice Stuffing
Makes about 7 cups. Enough for a 10-pound turkey. Can be made a day ahead and refrigerated covered. Bring to room temperature before stuffing your turkey.
3/4 –Cups wild rice
3-Cups Chicken broth – Low sodium or non-fat
1-Cup dry White wine
8-Tbsp. UN-salted butter (1 stick) or coconut oil
1-Cup Pecans – chopped
1/2-Cup finely chopped ham
2 Granny Smith Apples, cored and chopped
1/4-Tsp. ground cinnamon
2-Tbls. Orange-flavored liqueur – optional
3/4-Cup white rice
1. Rinse Wild Rice and strain
2. Combine wild rice, broth, wine and 2 Tbsp. Butter in large saucepan. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer covered for 40 minutes.
3. While rice is cooking. Melt remaining butter in large skillet over med. Heat. Add pecans and sauté until lightly browned. 3-4 minutes. Add ham, apples, cinnamon and sauté until apples are almost cooked. About 5 minutes. Add liqueur – if using, salt and pepper. Cook 3 minutes and set aside.
4. Add white rice to wild rice. Simmer covered another 20 minutes or until rice is done.
5. Drain remaining liquid from rice. Return to saucepan. Stir in Ham and apple mixture.
Nutrient Value per 1/2 – Cup serving size.
Calories: 204, Protein: 4 g, Carbohydrates: 19 g, Fat: 13 g, Sodium: 436 mg, Cholesterol: 21 mg.
Note: using fat free broth and low fat ham can reduce the fat and sodium content.
Best for last
One of my favorite parts of roasting a whole turkey is the leftovers. De-bone the meat off of your turkey and put it into containers. Store in your refrigerator for quick snacks and an on the go grab bag of lean protein.
It is important to have fun in life being involved socially especially during holiday time. We know it creates good mind balance and we are a focused group. We can have a holiday meal while staying on goal, tracking our nutrition with these super bodybuilding and fitness conscious holiday foods that taste great! Try them all year!
The holiday season is also a remembering time to give thanks for all the health and joy we have in our lives now and for the future. Remember to give thanks to our ancestors since without them we would not be here to shine the talents and gifts we posses with such good grace.
We practice true gratitude of strength of healthy spirit. We also feel good emotionally on the inside ~ hot tip! this will enhance our outer abundance, too!
Happy healthy holiday turkey dinner blessings to you and yours.
Extend yourself in the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual realms ~ all rise best together ~ Brenda Michiko Kelly
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