Eating healthy doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate in style. And smart preparation will allow for everything to be ready at the same time! This main meal for Thanksgiving or Christmas will be sure to please your family and friends.
Preheat oven to 390F. Rinse the turkey cavity under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towel inside and out.
Cut lemon into wedges and place in cavity. Tuck wings under turkey and tie legs together with kitchen string.
Place the turkey on a rack in a deep roasting pan, rub with 1 tbsp of extra virgin oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour 2 cups of the water into the bottom of the pan.
Cover turkey with foil and roast for 30 minutes.
Reduce heat to 355F and roast for a further 30 minutes.
Remove foil from turkey and roast for 45-60 minutes more until skin is golden and juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thigh. Re-cover if browning too quickly.
Remove from oven and rest for 20 minutes in the pan before moving to a serving platter.
Citrus, date and Quinoa stuffing
While turkey is roasting heat a saucepan over medium heat and add in 1 tsp of oil. Add the rinsed quinoa with the remaining 1 & 1/2 cups of water and fresh orange juice.
Bring to the boil, cover pan, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, keep covered and set aside for 10 minutes to allow quinoa to finish absorbing the liquid.
Heat another 1 tsp of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Stir through half of the sliced almonds and all the dates then set aside.
In a small bowl whisk egg with a fork, add a spoonful of the hot quinoa and stir to combine. Repeat with a few more spoonfuls of hot quinoa - this tempers the egg so it doesn't scramble when you add it to the rest of the stuffing.
Stir together egg and quinoa mix, the rest of the quinoa, onion mixture, orange zest and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, spoon into a baking dish sprayed with oil and cover with a lid or foil.
Place stuffing in the oven as soon as you remove the turkey and bake for 30 minutes while the turkey rests. If your oven is large enough you can also bake the stuffing with the turkey for the final 30 minutes of roasting.
Green beans with Feta & Almonds
Trim the beans and steam on the stovetop or in the microwave for 5-7 minutes or until tender crisp. Do this 10 minutes before you are ready to serve the turkey.
While the beans are steaming add a tbs of olive oil to a pan over medium-high heat and toss through the remaining 1/2 cup of sliced almonds for 4-5 minutes or until golden.
Serve the beans on a serving platter and top with golden almonds, crumbled feta and drizzle over 2tbs of lemon juice.
Cranberry & mint salad
Combine pistachios, cranberries, mint and baby spinach.
Dress with a tbs of lemon juice, remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper to serve.
Carve the turkey, dividing into 3.5oz portions of meat per person. Tip pan juices into a jug and skim off fat. Serve turkey with stuffing, beans, cranberry salad and pan juices.
Store any leftover turkey, covered, in the fridge for 3 days or wrap well and freeze for up to 3 months.
If your turkey is frozen, ensure it has fully thawed before cooking. An 8lb turkey will take approx 2-3 days to thaw in the fridge.
Check the cavity if the turkey before cooking. Some turkeys will have the neck inside.