turkey

Turkey with Avocado Pesto Wrap

As much as I can, I like to buy and eat seasonal produce. But one of my absolute favorite health foods is avocado. I suppose you can consider it "in season" thanks to Mexico, which makes it available year round. Anyway, I probably eat avocado everyday, incorporating it as a healthy fat. I love them so much I decided to dedicate a week of posts to this beautiful vibrant fruit! There are many uses for avocado, but have you ever considered using it in pesto? Pesto itself is extremely versatile so you could use this as a sauce over pasta, a spread, or in wrap like this recipe!

You only need a few ingredients and a food processor.

I make this is small batches since the avocados oxidize, turning the pesto a brownish color over the course of the next few days. The added citrus helps with that, but we eat with our eyes too, so the more vibrant the better!

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First, start off by pulsing 1/4 cup of raw, unsalted cashews in the food processor to break up slightly. Traditional pestos use pinenuts, which are fine to use but I had a jar of cashews (which I had recently used in a Kale Pesto) and wanted to use again.

Next, I add the flesh of one ripe avocado, 2-3 peeled cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan (or Pecorino Romano) cheese, a packed cup or more of fresh basil, juice from half a lemon and a pinch of sea salt and pepper. * you can adjust the amount of basil you'd like depending on your taste - I usually use one package worth if I buy from a grocery store.

Blend the ingredients. As they start to incorporate, slowly drizzle in 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. There is already plenty of (healthy) fat, in the avocado, so you want to use discretion with the olive oil. Its simply to help smooth everything out.

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Now all you have to do is decide what you want to use the pesto on! The first time I made it I ate with spaghetti squash and it was absolutely delicious. I would have done the same the other night when I made this batch but didn't want to wait for the squash to roast.

Instead, I heated up some turkey breast I had roasted the night before and tossed with a few tablespoons of the avocado pesto. I added it to a wheat flour wrap with baby arugula and crunchy sliced red pepper. Simple. Delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup pecorino romano
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 gloves of garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Add cashews to food processor and lightly pulse to break up
  • Add all other remaining ingredients (besides olive oil) and blend until smooth.
  • While blending, slowly add olive oil

Nutritional Facts

Calories: 223, Carbs: 5g, Fat: 22g, Protien: 4g

Thanksgiving Egg Rolls

'Tis the season where our healthy eating habits tend to go right out the window. With Thanksgiving coming up this week I wanted to create a great appetizer that was on the healthier side. These Thanksgiving Egg Rolls are great made from scratch but can also be a great way to use your leftovers this year!

Most appetizers I see out at family gatherings are carb and fat heavy (and I'm just as guilty of making my fair share of them). We all know the difference between what is and isn't healthy, but who ever goes for the crudite spread at Thanksgiving? Your guests won't have to choose with these baked eggrolls filled with yummy healthy fall inspired ingredients. Just two of them are under 250 calories.

You can't have Thanksgiving without turkey, and being a lean meat, it made a great starting point for the filling of these egg rolls. I had dried cranberries and a fresh green apple on hand and decides I'd incorporate those great fall flavors as well. The tricky part was thinking of a binder. Most party or game-day appetizers I see are filled with shredded or cream cheese, which usually sends the calorie count through the roof.

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods. They are nutrient rich, have a beautiful orange color that reminds me of autumn, and would be an excellent binder for the egg roll filling. I wanted to keep the ingredient list short, so the only other thing the filling needed was fresh thyme and sage, classic herbs used with poultry.

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For this recipe - I made everything from scratch. I roasted my turkey breast, boiled and mashed the sweet potatoes and added the extras (cranberries, apples, herbs). However, this can easily be adapted to use your Thanksgiving leftovers.

The stuffing comes together in a pinch once the other ingredients are ready. Now comes the fun part, making the egg rolls. Typically you can find egg roll wrappers in the produce section of the grocery store. I choose egg roll wrappers because they are much lighter than using a pastry or pizza dough, and they are extremely easy to work with.

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I placed 3-4 tbs of the filling in each wrapper and rolled per the instructions on the back of the package. At 400° they only take 10-15 mins to bake until crispy.

Finally, any good app needs a dipping sauce so I made a quick Mustard Yogurt sauce mixing a dijon mustard with low-fat greek yogurt and leftover thyme. If you "don't like" greek style yogurt, please give this one a chance. The taste of greek yogurt (especially plain) used to be revolting to me, but when mixed with mustard you wouldn't even guess the base of the dipping sauce was yogurt. You will save a lot of calories so you can leave more room for all those left over desserts.

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Ingredients

Filling

  • 1.5 lbs of turkey breast
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 3 tbs fresh thyme and chopped sage
  • 1.5 lbs sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (preferably unsweetened)
  • 1/2 green apple, finely diced
  • Dash nutmeg
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Dipping Sauce

  • 1 cup Non-Fat Greek style Yogurt
  • 2 tbs Dijon Mustard (I used Trader Joe's Aioli Garlic Mustard)
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme

Egg rolls

  • 18 Wonton wrappers
  • 1 egg

Instructions

(If you are using leftovers you can skip to the instructions for the filling)

Roasting the Turkey

  • Preheat oven to 375º
  • Put turkey breasts in baking dish or sheet. Drizzle with 1 tbs of olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Add 1tsp of the chopped herbs over the chicken for extra flavor while roasting.
  • Roast 30-40 mins to roast until it reaches an internal temperature of 165º. When ready, remove from oven and cover with foil.

Sweet Potato Mash

  • Peel and dice sweet potatoes.
  • Add to pot and fill with water and bring to boil.
  • Cook for about 15 mins until fork tender. Drain and return to pot.
  • Mash sweet potatoes until there are no more lumps.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and a dash of nutmeg.

Filling

  • Mix pulled/shredded turkey, mashed sweet potatoes, diced green apple, cranberries and remaining thyme and sage into large bowl.

Assembling and Baking Egg Rolls

  • Preheat oven to 400º
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Add 3-4 tbs of filling to each egg roll wrapper, and roll per instructions on back of package.
  • Place egg rolls on baking sheet. Depending on how much filling you've added, you should get about 18 egg rolls.
  • Beat egg with a tbs of water and use a brush to coat the top of the egg rolls.
  • Bake for 10 mins, turn over, and bake another 5-8 minutes until the edges are crispy.

Dipping Sauce

  • Mix ingredients together in small bowl
  • Preheat oven to 400º

Notes

Nutritional Information*

Serving Size: 2 Egg Rolls, Calories: 222, Fat: 1.7g, Carbs: 32.5

2 tbs Mustard Yogurt Dipping Sauce, Calories: 20, Fat: 0.7g, Carbs: 0.8g

*Calculated with MyFitnessPal