Make a healthy turkey roast for Christmas dinner

A traditional Christmas roast turkey dinner is easy to make, enjoyable to eat and reasonably healthy. Here is our guide, based on the meal I cooked on 1st December. I will be doing the same again on the 25th.

Preparing the Turkey

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Put the turkey breast up in a roasting tin / tray. Remember to remove neck and bag of giblets. Don’t bother stuffing.

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Smear some butter over the top and then cover in bacon. This helps to keep the moisture in. If you do not eat pork this step can be ignored.

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Cover the turkey in two sheets of foil, one widthways and one lengthways.

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Peel the parsnips and chop the ends off. Then cut into thinner strips. Boil until slightly soft and then roast.

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Peel the carrots and chop anyway you like. I chopped three different ways so people can pick their favorite carrot shape. Boil or steam.

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Peel the potatoes and cut into roast-potato-sized pieces/ Boil until slightly soft and then roast.

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Chop the end of the Brussles sprouts and peel off the outer leaves. Boil.

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After a few hours remove turkey from oven and remove the bacon (put to the side), return turkey to oven and baste with its juices

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More meat! Pork feast with ready-made stuffing (this was from Sainsbury’s), chipolatas and some pigs in blankets. Bacon from turkey thrown under some of the sausages.

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A finished roast turkey after 3 1/2 hours. Cover in tinfoil and a tea-towel and leave until ready to serve

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A Bubble and Squek treat the following day. Simply add leftovers to a pan with a little oil, heat through, then add a couple of eggs, mix and serve when eggs are cooked and all is hot.

How To Cook a Healthy Roast Turkey

Christmas Roast Turkey by Gregory KohsChristmas dinner can be a healthy affair without changing too much. In fact, if you accept the fact that a little saturated fat will do no harm, then there is little that is unhealthy about an average Christmas dinner. The main problem is that people tend to eat too much on Christmas day, not that they eat unhealthy food.

To make a healthy Christmas meal, just keep it simple.

  • Roast Turkey – The classic Christmas day dinner, and very healthy, lean meat too. Cover the turkey in butter and bacon to retain moisture and add flavor – don’t worry about a little extra saturated fat from the butter and bacon, the improved taste, texture and flavor are worth a few extra calories.
  • Roast potatoes and parsnips, steamed carrots and broccoli, boiled sprouts – These vegetables are all very healthy and contain a rich source of vitamins and other essential nutrients. Steaming vegetables helps to retain both flavor and nutrients. However, roasted potatoes and parsnips are essential.
  • Pork and sage stuffing – in moderation a little stuffing is healthy, lots of protein packed in there.
  • Bread sauce – made with white bread and onion – plenty of onion adds flavor and provides vitamins. The white bread is not ideal, but not unhealthy. If you consume a lot of white bread everyday then it can lead to weight gain, but for the sake of having some delicious bread sauce, white is best.

All the other treats at Christmas time turn a healthy meal into a very unhealthy day. The sugary puddings, sausage rolls, chips, salted nuts, chocolates and cakes are all high in sugars and saturated fat. Plus all the alcohol that many people drink.

But, saying all that, Christmas day is a day to enjoy yourself. Let your hair down, forget about your diet and fitness for a day. So have some well earned treats, and be happy in the knowledge that your main meal is a high protein, nutrient rich meal!

More like this in the Diet and Nutrition section

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