Ground poultry products, because of their lower fat and cholestrol levels, have always enjoyed popularity with the health conscious, but questions about how to use them seem to be more frequent now. More and more people are involved in the fitness game and retailers are now carrying these items in their frozen food cases.
Ground turkey is a marvelous stand-in for ground beef. It has a delicate flavor that blends well with a variety of ingredients, making it suitable for use in casseroles and in favorite recipes calling for beef. It can be sauteed, pan-fried, broiled, grilled, baked, microwaved or simmered. And ground turkey is about 100 calories less than beef per 3 1/2- to 4-ounce serving.
Similar Taste and Texture
Its taste and texture are similar to beef, although ground turkey is lighter in color and has a less heavy taste. Seasonings and spices generally mask any taste differences diners might notice. Or, to simulate the richness associated with beef, a cook might add butter or other fat during cooking time. But this will change fat count for the dish.
Ground turkey is available in mixtures of white and dark meat or all dark meat in frozen one- or two-pound tubes. It is also found in fresh tray packs. A cook can expect to get about 3 1/2 to 4 servings per pound of ground turkey.
Following are some new as well as traditional uses for ground turkey.
TURKEY STUFFED PASTA ITALIANO 1 pound ground turkey 1 cup minced onion 1 cup shredded, peeled eggplant 2 cloves garlic, minced 3 tablespoons oil 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce 1 cup red wine 1 teaspoon garlic salt 1 teaspoon oregano leaves 1 teaspoon basil leaves 1/2 teaspoon tarragon leaves 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 (12-ounce) package jumbo pasta shells 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Brown meat, onion, eggplant and garlic in oil, but do not burn. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Simmer tomatoes, tomato sauce, wine, garlic salt, oregano, basil, tarragon and cayenne pepper 15 minutes. Cook pasta shells in boiling water until al dente. Drain. Combine turkey mixture and Parmesan cheese with half of tomato sauce. Stuff shells and place in 13x9-inch baking pan. Spoon remaining sauce over each and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes. Makes 8 servings.
PER SERVING: 373 calories; 30 gm protein; 42 gm carbohydrate; 8 gm fat; 797 mg sodium; 599 mg potassium.
Protein 46% Vitamin A 27% Vitamin C 35% Thiamine 32% Riboflavin 23% Niacin 40% Calcium 18% Iron 18%
TURKEY RING MEAT LOAF
1 egg 1 1/2 cups fine soft bread crumbs 1/2 cup finely chopped onion 1/2 cup milk 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons prepared mustard 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1/2 teaspoon marjoram leaves, crushed 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 2 pounds ground turkey 1 tablespoon oil
Combine egg, bread crumbs, onion, milk, parsley, salt, mustard, horseradish, Worcestershire, marjoram and pepper. Add turkey and mix thoroughly. Pack into oiled 4 1/2-cup ring mold. Invert onto shallow baking pan lined with foil and bake at 350 degrees 45 minutes. Transfer to serving platter and remove mold. Spoon any remaining glaze from pan over top of loaf. Makes 8 servings.
PER SERVING: 280 calories; 38 gm protein; 6 gm carbohydrate; 10 gm fat; 765 mg sodium; 483 mg potassium.
Protein 59% Vitamin A 07% Vitamin C 05% Thiamine 07% Riboflavin 16% Niacin 45% Calcium 05% Iron 14%
1/4 cup oil 1 pound ground turkey 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped 1 medium zucchini, chopped 4 green onions, thinly sliced 1/4 cup soy sauce 1/4 teaspoon sugar Dash garlic powder 4 crisp lettuce leaves
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet. Add turkey and cook about 5 minutes, stirring to break up meat. Remove from skillet. Heat remaining oil in skillet and saute carrots, zucchini and green onions 1 minute. Add turkey, soy sauce, sugar and garlic powder. Cook and stir 1 minute. Turn into serving dish. To serve, wrap filling in lettuce leaf. Makes 4 servings.
PER SERVING: 378 calories; 38 gm protein; 8 gm carbohydrate; 21 gm fat; 1,495 mg sodium; 736 mg potassium.
Protein 58% Vitamin A 93% Vitamin C 25% Thiamine 08% Riboflavin 18% Niacin 47% Calcium 06% Iron 20%