The Perfect Turkey Dinner for Your Family.
Thanksgiving is synonymous with turkey and since it is right around the corner, you can bet that like most Canadians, I have visions of a gorgeous table set for family and friends, laughter and of course, juicy turkey with all the fixing’s and even leftovers on my mind!
Every year, we cook a big juicy bird with mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, veggies and pumpkin pie. Turkey is always the centerpiece, the star, and with good reason. It’s no wonder that there’s often a fight for the turkey legs! Dinner is always hosted at our house and cooking the meal for loved ones is just as much a part of enjoying the holidays as it is sitting down and digging in to the fruits of our labor.
Whether you are hosting a large group or just making dinner for two, preparing the perfect meal for your family’s needs doesn’t have to be difficult. Turkey is so versatile and tastes great with different flavours and spices.
Nowadays, you can head to your nearest grocer and find different cuts of turkey. This gives you a variety of options if cooking an entire bird just isn’t practical for your family. With many options, it makes turkey the perfect solution for any family get-together; why not make it a tradition?
Though, I must say, there are also benefits to cooking the whole bird. If you’ve never roasted a whole turkey before, don’t worry. Canadian Turkey has whole bird how-to’s that are foolproof. You’ll be shocked at how simple it can be to create that perfect centerpiece with the help of their tips and easy-to-follow directions.
Multiple Meals in One!
We have a small family but, we always opt to cook the whole bird. The only reason why is because, leftovers. You can make lots of recipes and feed your family for the week or even freeze meals for later.
Don’t forget, bones make an excellent stock for soup and you can prepare and freeze soup too. If you’re stumped on what to do with your leftovers, Canadian Turkey has a gold mine of ideas in their recipe section.
One of our favorite ways to eat leftovers is a tradition we have had for generations. After we have a traditional turkey dinner with family, we use leftovers and make incredible “panes con pavo” which are turkey sandwiches or buns with turkey. It’s shredded turkey basted in a Latin-inspired, tomato-based sauce, placed in a delicious bun with lettuce and radishes. We sometimes add soft Latin cheese and it’s to die for.
You can always find a delicious new recipe to inspire you or just substitute turkey for the main protein in your favourite dish. After all, what busy family doesn’t love an easy bonus meal?
Another great way to use turkey is in salads. This Warm Turkey and Root Vegetable Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing is a great place to start. Whether you buy a turkey breast to make this salad at the grocer or use leftovers from the whole turkey itself, it is sure to please.
A delicious salad made with roots and Canadian turkey that can be enjoyed as a main entree or light lunch.
For roasted vegetables
- 2 beets
- 12 brussel sprouts
- 3 carrots
- 3 parsnips
- 1 turnip
- 1 small sweet potato
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup baby arugula
- 1 cup salad greens
- 2 cups leftover turkey, chopped
- ½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsps chopped parsley
- 1 small package goat cheese
- Set oven to broil.
- Wash, peel and roughly chop vegetables.
- Place vegetables on a baking tray. Season with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Set oven rack to the middle position. Broil vegetables until browned and cooked through, 15 – 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- Mix together all dressing ingredients except cheese and whisk together. Break cheese into small chunks and add to dressing.
- Combine greens, top with roasted vegetables and walnuts.
- Dress salad and serve.
TIP: Double the turkey in this recipe to create a main dish, great for lunch or a light dinner.
Enjoy Canadian Turkey!
However you celebrate, the most important part is that you enjoy good company, good times and great food. Having options is always a bonus and when you can make more meals out of one–it’s even better!
If you’re looking for more unique Thanksgiving solutions, visit the Canadian Turkey site to find the perfect recipe and create your own Thanksgiving tradition!
Did you know that that for 8 years in a row, Turkey Farmers of Canada and its member organizations have donated to Food Banks Canada for the purchase of turkey by rural food banks at Thanksgiving? That is incredible!
What is your favorite way to eat turkey?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela, and wife to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.