A Very Turkey New Year To You!

Holiday meals are just another excuse to cook a giant turkey but why wait till the holidays to roast it when the next holiday is months away! 

In this recipe you can use just the turkey breast to conjure up a delicious salad dinner that truly packs a healthy punch. Personally, post turkey celebration meal, I find the leftovers a little hard to finish off. This holiday season, we insisted on going for a turkey breast instead of the whole bird. But the portion was still huge (all hail Costco!) and so we were left with a sizeable chunk that would last a couple of days at least. Thus I decided to come up with an alternative recipe for the leftovers- this healthy turkey quinoa salad. In my recipe, I just sliced the leftovers into thinner sections. However in case you didn't have a turkey as your main course, I wrote out the details. 

Turkey is a good protein alternative to beef or chicken - a turkey breast brings in 32g(per 100g) of protein! Not to mention it's also an excellent source of Potassium,Phosphorus and Vitamins B12 among others. (source: www.canadianturkey.ca


Turkey quinoa salad with cherry tomatoes
  • Preparation time: 15-20minutes
  • Cooking time : 1- 1/2 hours
  • Serves roughly : 4 
What you'll need...
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup (75ml) red wine vinegar (or a bottle you have open in the fridge) 
  • 1/3 cup freshly cut coriander or 2 tablespoons coriander powder
  • 4 ontario garlic cloves, minced (use blender w a drop of oil)
  • 1/2 tsp (2ml) red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 turkey breast (boneless, skinless) 1.5-2kg
  • 1-1/2 cups (375ml) quinoa
  • 8 cups mixed greens (kale, chard, spinach, baby lettuce, arugula)
  • 2 cups(500ml) yellow or green beans blanched
  • 2 cups(500ml) halved cherries
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) chopped coriander 
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) choice of sliced almonds or instead of nuts, brussels sprouts (sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
  1. Mix vegetable oil (avocado oil as substitute), vinegar, coriander, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Set aside 3/4 cup (175ml)
  2. Place turkey to be roasted in the oven on an aluminum sheet drizzled with oil. Brush leftover dressing from above on to the turkey letting the excess drizzle in the pan. Roast in 425 F (220 C) oven for 25 minutes (check that the turkey is cooked to an internal temperature of 160 F, oven heating may vary, adjust accordingly) on meat thermometer, about 35-40minutes. Transfer to cutting board, let cool for 15minutes, and thinly slice. 
  3. Salad: Cook quinoa in boiling water for 15minutes (or as packaging advises). Remove from heat when water has been completely absorbed. Toss in turkey, and salad greens, beans, tomatoes, green onions, coriander, almonds (or brussels sprouts) and remaining dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

At home, the salad got over too quick for me to grab a delicious picture so I hope you enjoy it as well. The quinoa helps pack in some more protein since salads have a predisposed position of being light. If you'd rather go with couscous to keep it light, it would taste equally as good. 

- Joella