To Turkey or Not to Turkey?

26 Apr

Last day of salad talk.

Oh what, did you think I was done?

Not so! I still have one more recipe to review. As you might have read earlier this week, I was inspired by The Everygirl to pack as many 100% homemade salads into my week as possible. Turns out three was the lucky number.

And so last night, my third homemade salad was born. It was a good one, guys.

Before I share the recipe with you, I thought we could talk turkey.

Turkey bacon, that is. That’s right, I intend to delve into The Great Debate: when it comes to bacon, to turkey or not to turkey?

Pros: Typically lower in fat & calories per slice.

Cons: Too often, turkey bacon is packaged with added nitrates. Sounds scary, and it is scary: when you cook ’em up, they can turn into carcinogens. Many argue nitrates provide health benefits, but most agree its best not to consume nitrates added to processed meat. In addition, turkey bacon can pack more sodium per strip than its pork counterpart.

Without overcomplicating things, the crazy thing about comparing bacon products is that they tend to be all over the map depending upon brand & cut. One brand of pork bacon might pack 17 grams of fat per slice (!!!) if it is thickly cut, while another brand of the turkey variety could contain enough sodium to make your eyes water just reading the label.

My verdict? Turkey bacon is worthwhile IF you skeptically scrutinize the ingredients list on the package before committing to the stuff. You want to aim for low sodium, high protein, without crazy town ingredients. Trader Joe’s sells a variety that consists of turkey thighs and nothing more – maybe a little salt and sugar, aka things you know and can pronounce. I can’t tell you the exact ingredient list because I already dominated my package. But it looks like this:

source

For the above reasons, I don’t think choosing bacon — even turkey bacon — at a restaurant is the wisest of choices.

Now, onto a recipe that puts healthy turkey bacon to good use!

Warm Spinach & Walnut Salad

{Serves 2 – Adapted from The Everygirl}

3 C. Spinach, chopped
3 pieces turkey bacon, cooked & chopped
1/2 C. crumbly feta cheese
1/4 C. walnuts, chopped
1/4 C. red onion, chopped
1/4 C. scallions, chopped
1 small avocado or 1/2 a larger one

Dressing:
1/4 C. olive oil
2 TBSP rice vinegar
1-2 tsp sugar or stevia
1 tsp black pepper
dash salt

Divide salad ingredients between two bowls.

Warm all dressing ingredients in a small skillet over medium heat. Immediately pour over salads. Swoon over the warm, sweet/spicy goodness đŸ™‚

I really thought that, after whipping up three different salad variations, there would be a clear winner. I loved the balancing act of flavors from Salad #1 as sweet strawberries, salty feta & tangy balsamic vinegar collided. The crab & avocado combination of Salad #2 was to die for. And finally, the easy, on-hand-ingredient dressing from Salad #3 is one that beats out any pre-made variety for me, and one I plan to incorporate often.

Which is your favorite?

I have a fun new workout for you guys to try tomorrow… stay tuned! Almost Friday.

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