The beginning of a new year signals a fresh new start for many Canadians. Some people like to set goals to start eating better. Picking a protein that is versatile is key to making meal planning an easy task to perform for busy families. With all of the choices available, which one should you turn to? Have you considered turkey? Yes! Even after the holidays, this bird is a great choice, and Canadian Turkey has a gaggle of nutritious meal options for families to help you #PowerUpWithTurkey and prep ahead for their busy weekly meals!
Add a Healthy Touch to Everyday Meals with Canadian Turkey!
Choosing healthier ingredients to create tasty meals is not a compromise families have to make! Did you know how many ways turkey can be incorporated into a meal that is not only nutritious but delicious as well? This power-packed protein can be used to substitute other meat protein in nearly every recipe. It can also be a welcome addition to every meal you enjoy during the day (lunch, dinner, and yes, even breakfast!) to help supply your family with enough energy to get through a hectic day.
Were you aware that both the dark and white meat of a turkey work well with different spice profiles? This way, you are able to switch up how you prepare your meals according to their tastes without sacrificing on flavour. Canadian turkey is also a terrific ingredient that can also be repurposed into other meals throughout the week. Having the knowledge that your meals for the week are in your fridge or freezer, ready to go, takes a lot of the “What’s for Dinner” stress off of your shoulders.
Turkey is also a protein that is a healthy option for families to eat and enjoy, it would be great to add to your meals if you are planning to eat healthier this new year! Not sure where it would fit in to your new meal plans? Use these five “back to basics” tips to eat healthier throughout the year with lean, nutrient-rich turkey!
Choose nutrient-rich foods first
Instead of removing certain foods from your diet, change this thought into focusing on adding food to your diet. Choose foods that are nutrient-rich first, such as whole grains, veggies and fruit, nuts, seeds, yogurt and lean meats (you know, like turkey). This allows you to enjoy what you eat and to still have room for fewer of those foods you might be wanting to eat less of. Why is turkey such a power-packed protein? It is packed with nutrients like vitamin B12 (key in keeping your nervous system working well), selenium (an antioxidant mineral) and zinc (for a strong immune system).
Create a balanced plate: pair protein plus produce
A healthy plate combines protein-rich foods, such as turkey, with plant-based foods, such as veggies, to get as many nutrients as you can in a meal. Having as many balanced nutrients during every meal also creates a super food synergy that increases your body’s abilities to take in other nutrients. A great aspect of turkey is that it pairs well with all produce. There are so many flavour combinations that can accompany turkey on a plate to make a delicious and nutritious meal.
Cook more meals at home
There have been many times when the hustle and bustle of a busy life makes us turn to convenience foods to serve for families. When more of your meals are made at home, you are able to control the ingredients being served to your family. When you make your foods “from scratch”, you will be more likely to get more good-for-you nutrients and save money in your pocket! Check out this turkey time-saver tip: Cook once, eat twice with planned leftovers. On the weekend, roast a whole turkey, a large turkey breast or extra thighs to eat for Sunday dinner and then add the leftovers to create quick meals during the week.
Bump up the protein
Are you looking to be more active, feel more energized, or maintain a healthy weight this New Year? Once way to help accomplish this goal is by adding protein to your plate! Along with your workout routine, eating 20-30 grams of quality protein with your meals can help you build and maintain muscle. Turkey is a great power protein to turn to. It is an excellent source of high quality protein. Each 100-gram serving is lean and contains about 30 grams of protein.
Winter is a great time to enjoy a pipping bowl of soup. Take a look here to see how to create this Quick and Hearty Turkey and Barley Soup for your family to sip on and enjoy from scratch!
- 2 lbs. ground Canadian turkey
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 cup onion minced
- ¾ cup carrot minced
- ¾ cup celery minced
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 tbps. ground Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups tomatoes puree
- 8 cups turkey broth
- 1 ½ cups barley
- 2 cups frozen vegetables or fresh if preferred
- Heat olive oil in a medium size frying pan over medium heat.
- Add onions and carrots and sauté for 4-6 minutes until softened and just beginning to brown.
- Add celery and crushed garlic. Cook 4-6 minutes.
- Add ground turkey, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook an additional 7-10 minutes, until turkey is cooked through and is no longer pink. Mix to break up any larger chunks.
- Add tomato puree.
- Add turkey broth.
- Bring to a boil.
- Add barley. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 35-45 minutes until barley is cooked.
- Add 2 cups frozen vegetables. Quality frozen veg will help cut down on prep time. If using fresh vegetables, extend cooking time until cooked through.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes until vegetables are cooked through.
This recipe makes a large quantity perfect for batch cooking. You can make it ahead, re-heat half for a weeknight meal and then freeze the other half for a quick weeknight dinner or weekend lunch later on.
Practice smart snacking
Do you get peckish in between meals? Turning to small snacks made with nutritious foods can give you a hand to help maintain your energy levels and deter you from overeating at your next meal. Leftover turkey is ideal choice when you need a snack to keep you nourished between meals. Proteins help to manage munchies and fight cravings for sweet treats. Combine turkey with a veggie or fruit to create a smart snack!
Are you excited to see other ways to #PowerUpWithTurkey this New Year? Head over to Canadian Turkey’s website to get inspired with a wide variety of recipes that will help you put together heathy and tasty meals your family will enjoy eating!
Want to see what Canadian Turkey can do to help make your New Year a more nutritious one? You can visit them on their website or connect with them on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube pages!
Disclaimer: This post was generously sponsored by Canadian Turkey.