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Two International Twists on Turkey Day Leftovers

Written on November 25, 2011 at 10:05 am , by

I don’t know about you all, but every year, my family scoops up turkey noodle soup and snacks on turkey sandwiches for days, but so far, we have yet to come up with the ultimate use for the always abundant leftovers.

Luckily, Jennie-O, a brand that knows a thing of two about turkey, has a wealth of ideas to share. Thanksgiving meals are, of course, focused on being all-American. For something truly different, wouldn’t it be fun to offer international twists on turkey to fuel your family through shopping excursions and football-viewing parties? Here are two turkey recipes with global flare that will help you use up those leftovers in a new, fresh way while keeping your waistline in mind.

Italian! (Photo courtesy of Jennie-O)

Turkey Pita Pizzas

Serves 4

  •  1 1/2 cups leftover Jennie-O turkey
  • 4 whole-wheat pitas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow pepper, thinly slices
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried chilies
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed small basil leaves
  1. Heat grill to medium-low. Brush both sides of each pita bread with oil and sprinkle with garlic.
  2. Top with mozzarella cheese, cooked turkey, yellow pepper, tomatoes, ground pepper, crushed chilies and Parmesan cheese.
  3. Place pitas on preheated, greased grill. Cook with lid closed, about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is crisp.
  4. Sprinkle with basil leaves.

Asian! (Photo courtesy of Jennie-O)

Turkey, Broccoli and Almond Stir-Fry

Serves 6

  • 2 cups leftover Jennie-O turkey
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic chives
  • 1/3 cup almonds, toasted
  • Optional: Rice to serve
  1. Combine broth, sherry, oyster sauce, soy sauce and cornstarch in a bowl; set aside.
  2. Heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, ginger and garlic. Stir-fry 1 minute until fragrant.
  3. Add broccoli, turkey and sauce mixture. Stir-fry about 2 minutes until broccoli is tender-crisp.
  4. Stir in almonds and serve over rice, if desired.

For more ideas about how to use up those leftovers and for additional turkey recipes, visit jennieo.com/recipes.

Now tell us: How are you repurposing your leftovers today?

Dial This Hotline for a Holiday Fitness S.O.S.

Written on November 23, 2011 at 10:06 am , by

The trainers are ready and waiting for your fitness queries! (Photo courtesy of My Sports Clubs)

The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line is open and ready to help with any cooking catastrophes, but what about the fitness ones that might occur when indulgent foods like green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and pecan pie move to the front burner (and your party scheduled pushes your exercise routine off the priority list)?

New York Sports Clubs are launching their first-ever “Don’t Be a Butterball” hotline, which will be open from 3 p.m. today through 11:59 p.m. on Friday. All are welcome to call the toll-free hotline at 1-855-IAM-FULL to ask live trainers their most pressing wellness-related questions! Bonus: Callers will receive a free one-week pass to the My Sports Club of their choice to stay fit all holiday season long.

Here are three pointers from the pros that will be staffing the hotline:

  1. Don’t think all-or-nothing. Try just 10 minutes of exercise if you’re feeling tired. The energy boost will help you make it through the busy day, and any activity is better than none!
  2. When you do find time, make it count. Burn more calories during the workout time you can carve out with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)—quick, intense bursts alternated with short recovery periods. Also remember to pump your arms during cardio. Doing so can boost your calorie burn by about 15 percent!
  3. Give yourself options. Visiting family for Thanksgiving dinner? Offer to bring a healthy dish so you’ll be sure there will be at least one nutritious choice for you and others.

More from FITNESS:

Stay Fit All Holiday Season with Alycea Ungaro

Written on November 18, 2011 at 10:27 am , by

We are so lucky to have a team of experts on our team at FITNESS who share their wisdom with our readers. Whether they are fitness researchers, doctors, dietitians or psychologists, our advisory board members frequently consult with our staff and sound off on the latest wellness research and trends in our issues.

We often approach them with questions from our readers for our Q&A pages in the magazine, but this month, you’ll be able to communicate directly with one of our advisory board members—she’s hosting a live Q&A on our Facebook page! Join us on Monday from 12 to 1 p.m. EST to chat with Alycea Ungaro, owner of Real Pilates NYC and author of Pilates Practice Companion, and ask any burning questions you have about staying fit with the holiday season approaching.

Join Alycea for a Facebook chat on Monday! (Photo by Tanzie Johnson)

Before the Facebook chat, we wanted to fill you in about Ungaro’s personal and professional background and her game plan for Thanksgiving!

How did you first get involved in the fitness world? 

I grew up in the ballet studio so I had access to Pilates at a very early age. But it wasn’t until my early 20s that I began to experiment with more traditional fitness and I was probably 25 before I laced up my first pair of sneakers for a run. I was always more interested in body weight exercise, toning and sculpting. In 1993 I completed the Pilates teacher training program and taught citywide before opening my own place in 1995.

What drew you to Pilates?

It was impossibly hard. Seriously. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t do certain things. I was a young fit dancer and these springs and mat moves were incredibly challenging. The beauty appealed to my performance side and the pure strength appealed to my competitive side.

For tips for Pilates newbies and Ungaro’s Thanksgiving meal strategy,  Read more

5 Tips for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving Party

Written on November 16, 2011 at 3:35 pm , by

Wow any crowd with this roasted squash recipe. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Hollis)

In addition to worrying about preparing a terrific, tasty turkey, Thanksgiving can cause plenty of stress related to entertaining a large group. I don’t know about you, but I’m not hosting big dinner parties every weekend! We turned to Rachel Hollis, the creator of Chic Events and  a celebrations.com expert, to gather her top tips for throwing a successful, yet worry-free fete. She should know—her company often organizes events for celebrities, such as Ivanka Trump and Marcia Cross!

  1. Stock up. “I have an area in my pantry dedicated to last-minute parties. It’s full of fancy mixed nuts, tapenades, olive oils, great chocolates and good wine. All items I can turn to in a pinch and throw on a lovely platter and be ready when guests are at the door.”
  2. Give as a guest. “The best way to show your appreciation is to offer to help. But since your host is cooking, perhaps you could help with decor and offer to bring a beautiful centerpiece to adorn the table!”
  3. Don’t forget the favors. “Hosting the meal is enough of a gift. I think the best favor would be a lovely takeaway box so you can get rid of some of your leftovers!”
  4. Match your party with your personality. “When I did Sara Rue’s wedding this summer, they had a vintage photo booth and beer pong! I love that they embraced who they were—a really fun-loving couple—instead of doing something stuffy and traditional to please others. Keep that idea in mind with your events!”
  5. Go easy on yourself. “Don’t overwhelm yourself. For instance, don’t use your holiday party as the opportunity to make a miniature souffles for the first time. Go with what you’re good at to keep stress to a minimum—even if what you’re good at is ordering takeout!”

But don’t grab that phone just yet—this super-simple recipe is even achievable for Thanksgiving rookies!

Roasted Acorn Squash with Shallots

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut acorn squash in half, scoop out seeds and strings with a spoon and rinse. Slice each half into eight pieces and set aside.
  2. Remove peel from shallot and rough chop.
  3. Put squash, shallots and rosemary sprigs on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix together until well-coated.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

For more entertaining tips, visit mychiclife.com.

Be Thankful for a Fit Body!

Written on November 15, 2011 at 12:24 pm , by

This class promises to "carve" out killer muscles. (Photo courtesy of DavidBartonGym)

Besides gratitude, Thanksgiving is known for being all about food, family and (watching) football. But the team at DavidBartonGym (DBG) says that you can still enjoy the festivities while keeping up your fitness levels as well. How? Their experts claim that an intense resistance-based workout within two hours of a meal can help keep your metabolism humming.

So at their locations across the country, DBG trainers will be leading their members and family and friends of members through a complimentary “CARVED” class. It’s designed to target all major muscle groups with heavy weights, multiple sets and small intervals of active recovery.

Can’t make it to a class or don’t have a DBG near you? Or too crazed by cooking the turkey to fit in a full workout? Try these three sample moves from the class at home, done in a row as a circuit, to get a similar effect.

  • Squats: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and act like you are sitting in an imaginary chair: Bend knees 90 degrees and make sure your knees don’t go past your toes. Return to start and repeat for one minute. (Hold dumbbells to make it harder.)
  • Lateral Raises: Hold one dumbbell in each hand with palms facing body and feet hip-width apart. Extend both arms out to your sides at shoulder level, keeping wrists and elbows straight but not locked. Return to start and repeat for one minute.
  • Bent-Over Rows: Stand with feet hip-width apart and hinge forward 90 degrees from hips so back is parallel to floor and arms extend down, palms facing each other. Drive elbows directly behind you to bring dumbbells to ribs. Lower back to start and repeat for one minute.
  • Set down the weights and do one minute of jumping jacks. Repeat circuit three times.

CARVED will be offered at New York City, Chicago, Miami and Bellevue, Washington DBG locations at 9 and 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 24. Keep an eye out on their Facebook page for more details.

Now tell us: Do you have any fit traditions on turkey day?

Food Fight: Dark Meat vs. White Meat Turkey

Written on November 15, 2011 at 9:02 am , by

Turkey illo

Illustration by Flickr user tengrrl

By Heather Ashare, MPH for DietsInReview.com

In response to the fear of fat that has been driven into all of us, this Thanksgiving we may shun the dark turkey meat and instead pile our plates high with the white meat. But in our attempts to shave off a few calories, are we missing out on some key nutrients?

We decided to compare dark meat and white meat turkey and determine once and for all if the drumstick or the breast is the better option. Some surprising facts presented themselves in our research…

*Note: The serving size for our analysis is for a 3.5-ounce serving of turkey meat without skin—about the size of a deck of cards.

Round One: Nutrition

  •  Calories: White meat = 161 calories. Dark meat = 192 calories.
  •  Fat: White meat = 4g. Dark meat = 8g.
  •  Protein: White meat = 30g. Dark meat = 28g.
  •  Iron: White meat = 1.57 mg. Dark meat = 2.4 mg.
  •  Zinc: White meat = 2.08 mg. Dark meat = 4.3 mg.
  •  Folate: White meat = .01 mcg. Dark meat = 10 mcg.

Round Two: Taste and Leftover Potential

When it comes to taste, dark turkey meat offers an undeniably richer taste than white meat, but its higher fat content also lends itself to tasting a bit more on the slimy side, which may detract those who are sensitive to their food’s texture, or prefer lighter-tasting eats.

In regards to cooking with leftover turkey, dark meat’s higher fat content gives it a juicier flavor and therefore protects it from suffering from the dry taste that accompanies white meat turkey once it has sat in the refrigerator for a few days. Therefore, for a sandwich, salad or soup protein-punch, dark turkey meat is the clear winner. But if you’re looking to undo some of the gluttonous Thanksgiving Day damage, then you might want to reach for the white meat to save a few calories and fat.

Post-Match Commentary

Drumstick-lovers rejoice! Dark turkey meat delivers a much more nutrient-dense wallop than white turkey meat. With greater amounts of vitamin B like riboflavin, thiamine and folate and minerals like iron and zinc, dark turkey meat’s sullied reputation for being too high in fat deserves to be overturned considering these impressive nutrition numbers.

When it comes to calories and fat, the difference between the two is negligible. In fact, dark turkey meat contains a mere 30 calories more than white meat and just an additional four grams of fat. Place your fork down just one bite shy of finishing off that slice of pumpkin pie and you will have balanced out any extra calories you consumed by choosing dark meat over white.

To reap the powerful nutrition benefits of the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving meal, whichever kind of meat you select, just make sure to remove the skin and go easy on the gravy. These two items pile on the calories, so you’ll keep your dinner on the leaner side without them.

More from Diets in Review:

Infographic: How Many Calories are in a Thanksgiving Dinner?

Fit Links: Slim Your Stomach and Whip Up Perfect (Low-Cal) Pretzels

Written on November 11, 2011 at 3:46 pm , by

Leave the muffin tops to the baked goods! (Photo by Marty Baldwin)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

The Perfect Turkey is as Easy as 1, 2, 3!

Written on November 11, 2011 at 1:58 pm , by

Plan now for a perfect, stress-free holiday meal. (Photo by Blaine Moats)

For Sue Smith, a registered dietitian who moonlights as a turkey expert with the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line every fall, Thanksgiving is truly the most wonderful time of the year. “It’s definitely my favorite holiday! As part of the Talk-Line, I’m able to be involved with so many Thanksgiving meals,” Smith says.

The most common question she tackles? How to properly thaw the bird. And who calls most commonly? “A lot of newlyweds who want to make their first holidays perfect,” she says. But the most memorable call during her 11-year stint as a talk-line expert was from a mother-in-law who was whispering into her phone while hiding in a closet. “She would stop talking when people walked by! She was afraid her daughter-in-law, who was a vegetarian, couldn’t cook the meal right,” Smith remembers. “But the mom called back later to tell us that the daughter did everything perfectly and the turkey was delicious!

Smith promises that your Thanksgiving turkey is nothing to worry about—in fact, it can be as simple as following her three tricks of the trade:

1. Stock up. How do you know what size bird to buy? Smith recommends allotting for 1 1/2 pounds per person. “That will be plenty for generous servings and leftovers.”

2. Follow the “three Ts.” That’s Smith’s trick to remember the three most important factors in preparing the perfect turkey: thaw, temperature and temp.

  • Thaw. “Thaw your bird breast-side up in a pan on the bottom shelf of your fridge. Allow one day for every four pounds,” Smith says.
  • Temperature. “Cook your turkey until a thermometer you insert in the thigh reads 180 degrees or 170 degrees in the breast,” she adds.
  • Tent. Two-thirds of the way through the total cooking time, top your turkey with foil to allow the meat that is closer to the center of the bird to cook without burning the meat closer to the surface.

3. Ditch dry meat. When your turkey is finished in the oven, “pull it out and let it stand on the counter for about 20 minutes before carving, with the foil on top, to let the juices settle,” Smith says. This will lead to a moister, more flavorful slice.

If you need help with a turkey crisis during November and December, you can reach the experts at Butterball via phone (1-800-BUTTERBALL) or email (talkline@butterball.com). Keep checking in at The Fit Stop in the next two weeks for more Thanksgiving entertaining, cooking and leftover tips!

Now tell us: Do you have any Thanksgiving meal prep disaster stories? Come clean in the comments!