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. . . Try a Calorie-Balancing Act With Turkey-Based Menus : A Variety of Ideas for the Meat-Loving Dieter


Those who need to count calories to fit into their summer clothes don't have to give up good eating entirely. It's more a matter of adapting habits, and favorite recipes, to decrease the amount of fat in the diet. While sugary foods add empty calories, it is fat that contains the most calories per gram, nine as compared to four in a gram of carbohydrate (including sugar) or protein.

Of course this means cooking with less oil, bread with less butter, coffee with less cream, salad with less dressing. Or, none at all. It means cutting down on foods that contain high values of hidden fat, such as nuts, many cheeses and meats. For meat lovers, one answer is to trim away or render out as much fat as possible. Or, substitute skinless poultry and fish items in place of higher-fat cuts of beef, pork or lamb.

Since turkey meat is appearing in what seems to be an ever-expanding variety of light and dark meat cuts, our ideas here for lowered-calorie main dishes make use of these low-fat protein sources. Ground turkey, boneless turkey breast meat, turkey cutlets and whole turkey thighs are combined with a variety of other nutritious ingredients and seasonings that blend compatibly with the flavor and nutrient content of turkey.

Oriental Turkey Salad features ground turkey browned in a small amount of oil, then flavored with soy sauce, vinegar, Sherry, bouillon and cayenne pepper and served over lettuce with water chestnuts, carrots, mushrooms, chow mein noodles, green onions and tomatoes. This attractive salad offers a meal in itself, needing only a source of calcium such as a glass of nonfat milk, to be nearly complete nutritionally.

Ground turkey is also used in the Crustless Turkey Pizza and Broiled Deviled Turkey Pitas, both with less than 300 calories and needing only a calcium-rich food such as a milk product and a source of thiamine, such as peas, to balance out a relatively low-calorie meal.

The same balancing act can be performed on Turkey Creole With Mushrooms, a saucy dish made with turkey cutlets, that contributes only 216 calories to the meal.


2 tablespoons oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 pound ground turkey

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/2 cups chicken bouillon

2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons dry Sherry

1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar

Dash cayenne pepper

1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped

1 head lettuce, shredded

3 medium carrots, shredded

1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced

1 (3-ounce) can chow mein noodles

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced

2 medium tomatoes, cut in wedges

1 lemon, cut in wedges

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until soft. Add ground turkey, stirring to break up. Cook until turkey loses pink color. Combine sugar and cornstarch in small bowl. Add bouillon, stirring until smooth. Stir in soy sauce, Sherry, vinegar and cayenne. Add to meat mixture, stirring until thickened. Mix in water chestnuts. Keep warm.

Arrange lettuce on large serving platter. Arrange carrots, mushrooms and chow mein noodles over lettuce. Pile hot turkey mixture into center. Garnish with green onions, tomato and lemon wedges. Makes 6 servings.

PER SERVING: 321 calories; 24 gm protein; 31 gm carbohydrate; 12 gm fat; 1,042 mg sodium; 890 mg potassium.


Protein 37% Riboflavin 20% Vitamin A 110% Niacin 32% Vitamin C 63% Calcium 09% Thiamine 13% Iron 18% CRUSTLESS TURKEY PIZZA

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

3/4 cup finely chopped onions

1 clove garlic, minced

Dash hot pepper sauce

2 pounds ground turkey

1/3 cup chopped green peppers

1 (8-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Combine tomato sauce and Italian seasoning. Measure 1/4 cup mixture into large bowl. Reserve remaining mixture. Add egg, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup onions, garlic, hot pepper sauce and turkey to tomato sauce in bowl. Mix well.

Pat turkey mixture evenly on lightly greased 14-inch pizza pan. Top with remaining onion, green peppers and mushrooms. Pour remaining sauce over top. Bake at 450 degrees 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake 5 minutes longer or until browned around edges and cheese melts. Makes 8 servings.

PER SERVING: 255 calories; 32 gm protein; 9 gm carbohydrate; 9 gm fat; 410 mg sodium; 379 mg potassium.


Protein 49% Riboflavin 16% Vitamin A 12% Niacin 37% Vitamin C 18% Calcium 10% Thiamine 07% Iron 12% BROILED DEVILED TURKEY PITAS

1 pound ground turkey

1/4 cup catsup

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 pita breads, split and toasted

4 thin onion slices

4 tomato slices

4 green pepper rings

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