December 5, 2017

An Unexpected Twist on Comfort Food: Turkey to the Rescue

Post by Today's Turkey

Janice Bissex, MS, RDN, JaniceCooks.com

NTF Advisory Board Member

As winter approaches and the temperatures start to fall we look to tried-and-true comfort foods to warm us. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I am always looking for ways to introduce delicious and healthy new twists on favorites. The slow cooker can be a great tool for getting a healthy, comforting meal on the table with ease. All you have to do is add a few simple ingredients and then you can go about your daily activities and come home to a warm, enticing meal.  

That said, it’s easy to get into a slow cooker rut, making the same pulled meat dishes over and over. I’ve added a healthy and flavorful twist on a standby by using a lean turkey breast and adding a Mexican flair. The best part of this recipe is that it makes enough for more than one meal, saving even more time in the kitchen.

Mexican Pulled Turkey is a quick and easy, four-ingredient slow cooker recipe that is versatile for use throughout the week.  Not to mention that it packs a nutritional punch!  Turkey is a great source of lean protein, providing more than one third of your daily needs per four-ounce serving. It’s also a good source of selenium, which has antioxidant properties that protect cells from damage.

For this recipe, we keep it simple. You can add jalapeno peppers or extra hot sauce if you like it spicy! Serve it over rice with a dollop of extra salsa on top on the first night. Then on the second night, wrap some up in a corn tortilla with chopped avocado, shredded cheese, and sour cream for a tasty taco!

Mexican Pulled Turkey
Makes 8 to 10 servings

One 6-pound, bone-in, skin-on turkey breast, thawed
One 16-ounce jar medium salsa
One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed

1. Place turkey and salsa in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours, until meat thermometer registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Remove the turkey breast to a cutting board. Allow to cool for five minutes, then remove the skin. Remove meat from bone and shred with fork.  Return to slow cooker. Stir in black beans and corn.  Cook on low for an additional 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Options: Serve over brown rice and use leftovers as a taco filling for corn tortillas.  Add shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado or any other topping you desire.

Nutrition Information per Serving (about 1 cup): 360 calories, 5g Fat (1.5g saturated), 500mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 59g protein, 20% potassium