Turkey has long been the centerpiece on the table during Thanksgiving. For many people, a thanksgiving dinner without the big bird would come across as incomplete. The bird is much loved because of its great taste. Due to its typically large size, it also generally provides enough meat for everyone at the table. Turkey is also a healthy choice because of the various nutrients it contains.
Nutritional Value of Turkey
Turkey is a low fat, low cholesterol food. The bird contains just 1 gram of fat in each ounce of flesh. The meat is a rich source of proteins, vitamins B, B1, B6 and niacin. It also has a good amount of essential minerals like zinc, potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium. These nutrients have been found helpful in keeping blood cholesterol at minimal levels. Along with the low fat content, they also help to prevent heart disease. However, not everyone appreciates turkey at Thanksgiving. Vegetarian substitutes are discussed below.
Faux turkey, also known as tofu turkey or tofurkey, is a mock turkey product. It combines tofu and wheat gluten. Tofu is produced from soybean curd. Tofurkey is a low fat, low cholesterol food that has a mild taste. Various stuffing can be used in tofurkey, such as assorted vegetables, mushrooms, rice, almonds, kidney beans, cranberries and pumpkin bread. You can use any of these singly or combine for a delightful taste. A variety of herbs and spices added to the stuffing ensures a great taste. You can bake or oven roast tofurkey. It can be served along with mashed potatoes, assorted vegetables, breads and gravy or sauce. Vegetable gravy, cranberry sauce or apple sauce are favorites. Tofurkey has high quantities of easy-to-digest proteins, especially wheat protein and soybean protein. It also has good amounts of calcium, the B group of vitamins and fiber.
Veggie loaves are also a great substitute for meat. These can be made from an assortment of vegetables and lentils. They produce high fiber, low fat foods rich in protein. Veggie loaves are a healthy food item because they don't contain cholesterol.
Stuffed vegetables are another meat substitute. You can bake pumpkin or squash and then stuff the gourd with beans or cranberries. These supply significant amounts of protein, fiber, calcium, vitamins A, B, C, E and K, potassium, magnesium and iron.
Seitan is yet another low fat, protein-rich substitute for meat. It is also known as mock duck or wheat meat. This gluten-rich food contains more plant protein than tofu. It is also rich in B vitamins and iron. Seitan doesn't contain any saturated fats. You mix the flour with water to make dough. This is thoroughly kneaded for about 10 minutes and then left to rest for the gluten to form. The dough is then rinsed several times under running water to remove most of the bran and starch. High protein gluten is left. This can be cooked along with other ingredients to produce a delightful dish. Seitan can be deep fried, oven braised, baked or pressure cooked.