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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

24 Ground Turkey Recipes for Easy Weeknight Meals

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Turkey is one of the easiest ways to lighten up lunch or dinner without sacrificing a craving for a rich-tasting, meaty dish.

It stands out among other types of meat for its ability to substitute for ground beef in pretty much any recipe. Many folks at home may try their own swaps based on their favorite Bolognese, beef tacos or meatballs. And while that can be a simple switcheroo, it’s always great to have effortless recipes to guide you in achieving the most moist, flavorful and fabulous ground turkey dishes. We’re here to help!

We put together a roundup of some of our favorite dishes featuring the lean, protein-packed (and let’s not forget, in most cases, more affordable) meat. We’ve got you covered with recipes that make it easy to never miss your meal plan staples (hello, spaghetti and meatballs and taco night!). But no recipe collection would be complete without a few showstoppers — you know, those dishes with ingredient combinations that’ll make everyone exclaim, “This is amazing!” and “Why didn’t I think of that?”

We don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say there’s a sage stuffing surprise in one of the juicy, flavor-packed meatloaf recipes and a few other recipe tricks that will make every home cook feel like a pro.

So, stock up on the ground turkey when it’s on sale at the grocery store or grab a few pounds from the butcher, and keep it stashed in the freezer, ready to be pulled out for a busy weeknight. We’re talking Turkey.

Nathan Congleton/TODAY

If you’re all about one-pot meals (and who isn’t?), this one hits all the marks for a great comfort dinner. A take on more traditional shepherd’s pie with ground lamb or beef and mashed potatoes, this one is lighter, a little sweeter (it has butternut squash mash) and still has all the rich, savory goodness of sage and gravy.

Adam Richman's spaghetti pie

Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Can’t decide between pizza pie or spaghetti and meatballs? Don’t choose! Instead, use ground turkey in a rich yet lean sauce and make Adam Richman’s spaghetti pie.

Mom's Haitian Meatloaf on a Sandwich

Eva Kosmas Flores

“My mom added classic Haitian seasonings — thyme, parsley, and fruity, fiery chile — to her meatloaf, which made it extra special,” says Gregory Gourdet. “When I replicate her triumph today, I make sure there’s some leftover for sandwiches the next afternoon.”

Salsa turkey tacos

Nathan Congleton/TODAY

This healthier version of a classic ground beef taco is one of Daphne Oz’s Taco Tuesday favorites. The beans and turkey are packed with protein and the spices add a ton of flavor. You get all the goodness of a taco and don’t feel like you’re missing out on flavor.

Joy Bauer's Loaded Bell Pepper 'Nachos'

LUCY SCHAEFFER PHOTOGRAPHY / Joy Bauer

Think the gang wanna miss those crunchy nachos? Prepare to be surprised. Everyone seems to enjoy the sweet, crispy bell pepper base and appreciate the color, nutrition and flavor that they bring to the table. It’s low carb love!

Dylan Dreyer's Turkey and Veggie Quesadillas

Dylan Dreyer

“I don’t want to say I’m ‘hiding’ veggies in this dish, but I certainly squeeze in as many as I can! Once there’s melted cheese on everything, Calvin is happy,” Dylan Dreyer says about this simple dish. “These are great for a quick dinner or lunch, an excellent way to use up leftover vegetables, filling and somewhat healthy!”

Valerie Bertinelli's Turkey Meatloaf

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This lightened-up version of a classic meatloaf uses ground turkey instead of ground beef. It’s flavored with Valerie Bertinelli’s favorite Italian herbs for a truly unique take on a classic. Serve alongside some zoodles or salad for a low-carb meal.

Joy Bauer's Baked Ziti Casserole

Nathan Congleton/TODAY

Cheesy, saucy, noodle-y and satisfying, this lightened-up version will not disappoint. Just imagine: whole-grain penne tossed with ground meat, three different cheeses (mozzarella, ricotta and parm) and flavorful tomato sauce, then baked to perfection in the oven. Plus, there’s a little spinach in there for extra iron a dose of greens.

Joy Bauer's Savory Swedish Meatballs

Kelly Harrison

Joy Bauer puts her own spin on the Ikea fan favorite, using ground turkey. The meatballs get simmered in a lightened-up-yet-completely-indulgent cream sauce to take them over the top. Let’s just say they go faster than we can wind our way through the entire store and find the exit!

Turkey-Avocado Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash

Nathan Congleton/TODAY

This healthy and outside-the-box rendition of pasta with meatballs features loads of wholesome ingredients, like avocado and spaghetti squash, and the cilantro-lime chimichurri adds a ton of flavor. It pairs perfectly with a glass of crisp white wine.

Cavatelli Pasta with Turkey and Sausage Tomato Ragu

Nathan R Congleton/TODAY

Ryan Hardy tosses cavatelli pasta in a hearty turkey and sausage ragu for a delicious Italian dinner. If you can’t find fresh cavatelli pasta, you can use dried cavatelli pasta or another pasta shape that has lots of nooks and crannies to carry the delicious sauce.

Turkey Meatball Hero Sandwiches

Nathan R Congleton/TODAY

Sometimes, nothing quite hits the spot (especially if you’re from New York or New Jersey!) like a meatball sub. This one hits the spot with clumsy, juicy turkey meatballs drenched in sauce that sops into the soft bread.

House of Balmain Turkey Burgers with Jam Dijon Mustard

Courtesy Will Coleman

The blend of bacon and turkey creates a burger that’s smoky, juicy and packed with a surprise for everyone at the table. It gets topped off with melted brie and honey mustard to turn this into the most luxurious eating experience.

Turkey Taco Salad

This salad is so perfect and hearty, you won’t miss the taco shells. Just combine the crumbled ground turkey, pico de gallo, Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream), cheese and a lime wedge!

Anne Burell's Killer Turkey Burgers

Nathan Congleton/TODAY

Transform your usual turkey burgers with just a few easy ingredients. Soy sauce, cilantro, water chestnuts — and a few other pantry staples — add a ton of flavor and terrific texture to these easy-to-make burgers.

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Whether you need a game-day meal for a crowd or just want something warm and cozy on a cold day, this slow-cooker turkey chili is sure to please!

Air Fried Turkey and Whole Wheat Meatballs

Courtesy of Donatella Arpaia

“In this recipe, I took a traditional, beloved dish and made it heart-healthy without sacrificing flavor,” says Donatella Arpaia. “I swapped out red fatty meat for lean turkey, white bread for whole-grain bread, and deep-frying for air-frying, achieving the same delicious results.”

Glazed Turkey Meatloaf with Sage Cornbread Stuffing

Nathan Congleton / Nathan Congleton

When you’re longing for the flavors of a Thanksgiving dinner (and don’t want to make a whole Thanksgiving dinner), try Phil Johnson’s inventive dish. The traditional turkey is still there, but it comes in the form of a meatloaf, seasoned with classic barbecue flavors and filled with a surprise center of cornbread stuffing, all topped with a zingy, fresh cranberry glaze.

Turkey Bolognese

Courtesy Joy Bauer

This dish is pure comfort food — a hearty, rich Bolognese, packed with delicious vegetables and satisfying ground turkey. You can serve it over spaghetti squash, zoodles or whole-grain pasta — eater’s choice.

Joy Bauer's One Skill Enchiladas

LUCY SCHAEFFER PHOTOGRAPHY / Joy Bauer

We love this fuss-free, one-pan wonder. Simply layer everything in the same skillet, then I top it off with plenty of shredded cheese, and the single pan goes straight into the oven to cook. Easy, easy.

Sheet Pan Turkey Meatloaf and Smashed Potatoes

Katie Stilo

This meatloaf is light in texture but heavy in flavor, and when it’s combined with Siri’s favorite potato recipe of all time and cooked on just one sheet pan… it’s pretty much an award-winning dish.

Lightened Up Bolognese Sauce

Casey Barber

This lightened-up meat sauce cuts down on cook time and calorie count but doesn’t lose any of the rib-sticking, slow-simmered comfort of a classic Bolognese sauce. How could this be? By using a mix of ground turkey and ground beef as the base, plus some beef or chicken broth, the sauce boasts a beautifully earthy, salty flavor.

Spaghetti with turkey meatballs

Steve Giralt Photography

Usually we think of a big plate of spaghetti with meatballs as being a more decadent, special occasion meal but not with this recipe! This healthy pasta dish is only 500 calories per serving, so it’s definitely weeknight-worthy.

Joy's Taco Casserole

Joy Bauer

This delicious dish is everything you love in a taco. Every meaty, cheesy, and bean-filled bite will burst in your mouth and deliver finger-lickin’-good Tex-Mex flavors. Each spoonful can be loaded and layered with extra toppings and garnishes. Taco ’bout exciting!

Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Expert’s nutrition tips for runners

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Running is a very popular sport, thanks to its simplicity and many health and fitness benefits. It’s versatile and inexpensive, requires very little equipment, and it’s an excellent way to strengthen your cardiovascular health.

Nutrition plays an important part in optimum running performance. pexels

With the competitive nature of the sport, runners continuously challenge themselves and each other to improve. In addition to training, proper fuel for the body is vital for peak sports performance.

Noted medical and nutrition specialist Dr. Korakod Panich provided the five best nutrients for optimal running performance.

Nutrition is important for runners because it plays a vital role in overall health and can also support performance. A balanced diet for healthy runners should include these five key nutrients:

1. Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates—which can be found in food such as fruits, dairy products, and starches such as rice, bread, and pasta—are the most important source of energy for the body.

For runners, a small meal, taken an hour before running, consisting of carbohydrates and a bit of protein can provide the energy needed to run effectively. A smoothie made with milk and fruit, or some yogurt topped with berries, provides the nutrients needed and is easily digested before a workout.

Consuming the right amount of carbohydrates before exercising can help you maximize your workout.

2. Protein
Protein—found in meat, milk, eggs, and soy—helps repair and rebuild tissues and muscles that could be affected during physical activities. With the proper amount of protein and adequate sleep, muscles repair, rebuild, and become stronger.

Soy is a good protein source as it is one of the few complete plant-based proteins containing all of the nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Runners should consume a combination of carbs and protein 30 to 45 minutes after exercising.

Carb to protein ratio should be 2-3:1, with 20 grams of high-quality protein after a workout and between 40 and 60 grams of carbohydrate. A sandwich on whole-grain bread with a piece of fruit or a high-protein recovery shake would fill the bill.

3.Fat
Fat serves as an essential energy source. It is often used as fuel, particularly during moderate-intensity exercise that lasts for an extended period, such as a moderate jog lasting at least 30 minutes or so. The body will utilize more fat than carbohydrate for fuel in an attempt to conserve carbohydrate that is stored in the liver and muscles.

Choose beneficial fats—such as those found in olive oil, avocado, and nuts—and avoid saturated fats¬¬that can raise the risk of heart disease. This means staying away from fatty red meats, and ultra-processed foods, such as fast food or bakery items.

4. Vitamins and minerals
There are different kinds of vitamins and minerals that help maintain the balance in body system functions; fruits and vegetables are the best sources to obtain them. During exercise, the body excretes waste in the form of sweat, which also removes important minerals from the body. If you opt to exercise for more than one hour, energy and mineral drinks are highly recommended to replace lost fluids and minerals.

5.Water
The human body is made up of 70 percent water, which is why staying hydrated is crucial. Water helps deliver nutrients to the cells and plays a significant role in eliminating waste. Runners need to maintain body water balance before, during, and after workouts because water provides nourishment that the body needs for almost every single function. It also helps limit changes in body temperature.

Make sure not to lose more than two percent of your body weight in fluids during exercise, as it can reduce your strength and affect performance. If you exercise regularly, check your weight before and after a workout to keep track of water loss and be sure to replace those losses. For every pound of weight lost during exercise, replace with 2-3 cups of fluid (or 1 liter of fluid for every kilogram lost during exercise).

Nutrition and running style

Aside from understanding the importance of nutrients, it is also essential for new runners to learn the proper way to run. Running not just makes our bodies stronger; it also helps burn calories and fat, depending on the goal.

If you have little time and would like to burn calories and fat, you can do interval training, which alternates short work intervals (80-90 percent of maximum heart rate for 30-60 seconds) with rest periods (50 percent of maximum heart rate for 1-2 minutes). This helps improve circulation and enable the heart to pump blood and make it healthier while strengthening the muscles.

If your main aim is to burn fat, and you have some time, you can run slowly to raise your heart rate to 40-60 percent of your maximum, for at least 45-60 minutes.

Korakod Panich is a member of the Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board.

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Weekly Spotlight: Make the Perfect Spring Vegan Pasta Salad!

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Pasta salad is a wonderful spring meal, plus it’s a wonderful plant-based meal that can easily be veganized! It’s a meal that you can add any veggie that you want to, making it super versatile for this time of year. When spring produces like arugula, garlic and some herbs are hitting their peak season, you might have extra veggies on hand or are looking for a way to clear out some veggies from your fridge. Pasta salad is also easy to whip up, and you can either do a simple dressing or a more involved creamy dressing to top it.

Depending on your time and how you want to enjoy your pasta salad, this guide splits pasta salad recipes depending on their sauce base. The simple oil and garlic type dressings are lighter in flavor, allowing whatever you hand (veggies or herbs) to stand out in your final pasta salad. However, if you’re looking for a creamier and more hands-on homemade dressing, we’ve got you covered too! These are topped with a dressing that uses a base of tahini, tofu, or even hemp seeds to create a delicious creamy dressing. The last group focuses on taking a traditional pasta salad adding a twist, like a clever flavor or mixing up the base grain!

We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster app — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy! And, don’t forget to check out our Weekly Meal Plan Archives!

Are you ready to have a week full of delicious, high-protein, whole-food vegan food that leaves you nourished and content? Let’s get started!

This week, we’re bringing delicious pasta salad recipes that are fully vegan and plant-based!

Pasta Salads that Use a Mayo, Sour Cream, or Simple Oil Dressing:

Vegan Spring Pea and Arugula Pasta Salad

Source: Spring Pea and Arugula Pasta Salad

These quick pasta salads are great to throw together for the week! Their light dressing makes it excellent to eat on its own to get a variety of simple flavors and enjoy the fresher crunch of the veggies in these dishes.

Pasta Salads that Use a Tofu, Tahini, Homemade, or Cashew Based Dressing

Vegan Easy Vegetable Pasta Salad

Source: Easy Vegetable Pasta Salad

These creamy pasta salads are excellent to enjoy on their own, or if you’re looking to add even more veggies, you could enjoy these over a base of greens for an extra crunch of texture! There are so many ways to make a creamy pasta salad with vegan ingredients; you could use cashews, tofu, tahini, or even hemp hearts to get a creamy sauce.

Pasta Salads that Are a Twist on a Classic Dish:

Vegan Greek Pasta Salad with Tofu Feta

Source: Greek Pasta Salad with Tofu Feta

Cacio e Pepe as a pasta salad? Using orzo instead of pasta? There are so many ways to change up the flavors and inspiration you use for your pasta salads. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy a new way of eating pasta salad, this is your list right here!

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Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental well-being, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, good health other more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer, and has many side effects.

For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend purchasing one of our many plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster app which has thousands of delicious recipes making it the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental other health benefits of a plant based diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Food Therapist Debunks Myths About Veganism

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Veganism is a lifestyle that is based on the ideology that humans should not exploit animals or the environment for their needs. Vegans refrain from utilizing any kind of animal products for food, clothing, or work, among other things, and they do not differentiate between any species as they consider all animals equal. Simply put, veganism is the practice of avoiding the use of any animal products—particularly in our diet—including meat, eggs, and dairy products.

Myths about veganism

Additionally, there are countless myths, misconceptions, and assumptions about being vegan from all corners. We got Nidhi Nahata—Founder, Justbe Resto Cafe, Bangalore, and food therapist—to debunk a few common floating speculations.

1. Milk has a lot of calcium

Credit: iStock

There is an existing misconception that only cow milk contains calcium. So, what is the optimal source of calcium? Like plenty of other nutrients, calcium is readily available in a variety of plant-based foods that are better absorbed by the body than dairy. Think broccoli, cabbage, kale, almonds, chia, beans, pulses, leafy vegetables, and more. Therefore, even if you are not vegan, having a wide range of calcium sources in your diet can be a healthier option.

2. Animal protein is more important than plant protein

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Incidentally, the animals that are consumed for so-called protein are fed on a plant based diet, which basically means that we are consuming the same and/or processed protein through dead tissues or extracted produce from an animal. For those on the lookout for plant-based protein sources, there are plenty of options like soya, lentils, pulses, broccoli, seaweed, peas, spinach, beans, brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, quinoa, peanuts, cashews, almonds , pistachios, walnuts, oats, and seitan tofu.

3. Vegans have B12 deficiency

Vegans, vegetarians, or non-vegetarians—all could have deficiency because of vitamin B12, which is a bacteria found in nature. The sources of vitamin B12 are commonly questioned in reference to being vegan, since the most common source is assumed to be animals and animal products. But the reality is that vegans can achieve the intake needed through reliable sources, such as supplements or fortified foods.

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Vitamin B12 is produced by certain microorganisms and is processed while consuming cobalt from a plant base. However, our modern day agriculture prevents these nutrients to be transferred into our bodies through either sources-–animals or plants. Therefore, vegans, vegetarians, or non-vegetarians need to normally be given cobalt or B12 supplements to attain suitable levels regardless of their dietary preference.

4. Vegan lifestyle is very expensive

food item
Credit: iStock

The limited accessibility to vegan food and alternatives is one of the biggest restrictive misconnects prevalent in our society. The reality is that, similar to any diet, plant-based eating is only expensive if there are a lot of quick-to-eat processed foods, readymade meal preps, and products from vegan-specific brands. There are plenty of vegan foods and ingredients that are affordable in India, especially if the diet is centered around cheaper foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, lentils, beans, and several others. Good planning can make vegan diet more affordable than the ones that include animal products.

5. Pregnant women need milk and dairy

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

“You cannot be vegan when pregnant” is a common misconception for soon-to-be vegan parents. The basic fact is that pregnancy is a challenge for the body, no matter what diet you are on and usually requires additional nutrients. It is advised to be closer to iron and vitamin B12, which can be attained on a vegan diet as well. The tradition of milk being one of the most integral components of our diet has been prevalent for decades. We need to be mindful and bring logical reasoning in choosing food for soon-to-be parents as well as children.

6. Soy increases the chances of breast cancer

  7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

There is no convincing evidence that eating soy-based food increases the risk of breast cancer in humans. This misunderstanding, however, might arise from earlier studies conducted on rodents. Scientists of this study showed that when these animals received large amounts of soy-compounds called flavones, they showed likelihood to develop breast cancer.

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

A study published by the International Journal of Epidemiology, in February 2020, searched associations between soy intake and breast cancer risk by following 52,795 cancer-free women in the US for an average of 7.9 years. In the results, they found no substantial association between soy intake and breast cancer, but they did identify a link between dairy (milk) and breast cancer.

Soy as an ingredient is loaded with fiber and is a good source of protein, omega 3, and antioxidants. Research also suggests that soy has a good amount of protein which is well absorbed by the body, and the best way to consume it is in bean form, tofu, tempeh, and other such forms.

7. Veganism is a cult

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Being compassionate and conscious can never be a cult. Veganism is a lifestyle that utilizes an ideology to bring people closer to their instincts. This means bringing us closer to eating what nature has designed and grown for us, rather than exploiting animals and other sentient beings.

Lead Image Credit: Alia Bhatt and Yami Gautam Dhar, Instagram

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