Fresh Start Bariatric Cookbook: Healthy Recipes to Enjoy Favorite Foods After Weight-Loss Surgery

Perfect Roast Turkey


Thanksgiving turkey doesn’t have to be basted with butter and loaded with sausage stuffing to be delicious. Check out this very simple recipe for making a low-calorie and heart-healthy, buttery, tender turkey. Nor does it have to be reserved for one day out of the year. Make this year-round to serve up a lean source of protein. Leftovers can easily be made into soups and stews and used as a topping for salad.

1 (10-pound) turkey

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons dried basil

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon dried sage

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons ground paprika

About 2 cups water

1 Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2 Remove and discard the neck and giblets from the turkey cavity, and use a paper towel to pat the turkey dry. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck under the wing tips. Make some cuts in the skin with a sharp knife or kitchen scissors.

3 In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic, basil, rosemary, sage, and pepper.

4 Use a pastry or marinade brush to coat the outside of the turkey with the mixture, and get as much as possible under the skin.

5 Sprinkle the outside of the turkey with the paprika.

6 Pour the water around (not over) the turkey in the roasting pan. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil tightly.

7 Roast for 3 hours, or until the temperature of the innermost part of a thigh and thickest part of the breast has reached 165°F.

8 Remove the turkey from the oven, and let it rest for 20 to 25 minutes before carving.

Serving tip: Serve with Roasted Tomatoes, Peppers, and Zucchini with Italian Herbs (here), or try roasted carrots, zucchini, and Brussels sprouts. To make a side of pureed sweet potatoes: Toss cooked sweet potatoes into a blender or food processor with ¼ to ½ cup of vegetable or chicken broth and puree until smooth. Make sure to use portion control on any added butter spreads (1 teaspoon at the most).

Did you know? Always practice good food safety techniques when thawing raw meat, since it can be a source of harmful bacteria. For a 10-pound turkey, thaw it for 1 to 3 days in the refrigerator ahead of the day you desire to roast it. A more rapid method for thawing is to use a cold water bath. Fill your sink or a very large stockpot with cold water, and thaw the turkey for 2 to 6 hours, changing the water frequently to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Make sure to properly clean and sanitize your sink or pot after thawing.

Per Serving (4 ounces): Calories: 200 Total fat: 8g Sodium: 120mg Total carbs: 0g Sugar: 0g Fiber: 0g Protein: 32g

Post-Op Servings

image ¼ cup (2 ounces) image ½ cup (4 ounces) image 4 to 6 ounces