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Dietitian Recipe: Turkey Melt

What exactly does a dietitian eat? Lots of things, of course! But I do have a "go-to" dish that I rely on several times a week. Not only is it healthy, filling, and easy to prepare, but it's also incredibly delicious. It's especially quick to throw together one of these spicy, cheesy melts when you're hungry but do not have the time or energy to spend countless hours in the kitchen. The only prep work for this recipe involves chopping some onion and green bell pepper, which can be done once and the chopped veggies can be used in this recipe (or some of your other favorite dishes) several times throughout the week. This quick, tasty recipe tastes similar to fat-laden fajitas and wraps at restaurants but has only a fraction of the calories. It's also high in fiber and protein--two nutrients that keep hunger at bay.

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Fiesta Lime Turkey Melt Recipe (Serves 1)

Ingredients
  • ½ of a Flatout® Light Original Flatbread
  • 1 ½ ounces lower sodium turkey breast (like Hillshire® Farm Lower Sodium Oven Roasted Turkey Breast) Or you can substitute a small amount of tofu or fat free refried beans to make it vegetarian-friendly
  • 2 ounces (about 1/3 cup) chopped onion
  • 2 ounces (about 1/3 cup) chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 slice fat-free American or sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash® Fiesta Lime Seasoning Blend
  • ½ teaspoon dried cilantro (or 2 teaspoons fresh cilantro)
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • chopped jalapeño slices to taste (optional)
Directions
  1. Layer turkey breast slices on one side of the ½ Flatout® Flatbread. Top with chopped pepper, onion, and jalapeños. Sprinkle on Mrs. Dash, cilantro, and hot sauce.
  2. Place cheese over veggies/spices and microwave for 1 minute. Remove from microwave, fold the other side of the Flatout® wrap over to cover cheese. Heat 30 seconds more. Remove from microwave and let cool for 1 minute--then dig in!
Nutrition Information: 
  • 160 calories
  • 2 g fat
  • 24 mg cholesterol
  • 829 mg sodium
  • 19.5 g carbohydrate
  • 5.3 g sugar
  • 7 g fiber
  • 19.5 g protein
Feel free to get creative with this recipe by adding your own favorite herbs and spices, as both of these additions kick up the flavor without inflating the calorie count. Pair this low-calorie dish with steamed vegetables (lightly drizzled with flavorful olive oil) or a quarter cup of guacamole (full of healthy fats and fiber), skim milk, and fresh fruit for a complete meal in minutes.

Talk around the water-cooler may have spurred debates over the safety of cooking with microwave ovens, but rest assured. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has regulated microwave oven manufacturing since 1971, states that, "On the basis of current knowledge about microwave radiation, the Agency believes that ovens that meet the FDA standard and are used according to the manufacturer's instructions are safe for use." Federal standards are set to regulate the amount of radiation that any microwave can "leak" throughout its lifetime, and even this limit is far below the level of radiation that can harm people. However, if you're still skeptical and want to be cautious, don't stand directly against your microwave for long periods of time as you are cooking with it--the radiation decreases dramatically as you move away from it.

Kari Hartel, RD, LD is a Registered Dietitian and freelance writer based out of St. Louis, MO. Kari is passionate about nutrition education and the prevention of chronic disease through a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Kari holds a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Southeast Missouri State University and is committed to helping people lead healthy lives. She completed a yearlong dietetic internship at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL, where she worked with a multitude of clients and patients with complicated diagnoses. She planned, marketed, and implemented nutrition education programs and cooking demonstrations for the general public as well as for special populations, including patients with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, obesity, and school-aged children. Contact Kari at KariHartelRD@gmail.com.


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