Turkey Is The Perfect Food For Cookouts With Friends And Family

October 24, 2012

Sherrie Rosenblatt, National Turkey Federation
202-898-0100 ext. 227, srosenblatt@turkeyfed.org
or Maryanne Keeney, Devine & Pearson
617-472-2700 ext. 137 mkeeney@devine-pearson.com

Festive and flavorful summertime cookouts bring together friends and families. For lean and healthy fare, the National Turkey Federation (NTF) encourages backyard chefs to include turkey tenderloins and low-fat ground turkey burgers as a nutritious menu option to traditional high-calorie hamburgers and hot dogs. Turkey's low-fat profile makes grilling simply healthy and delicious.

"Cookouts are wonderful for sampling dishes from potato salad to ribs, but they aren't always good for you. With people trying to eat well and stay trim, cookouts should include healthy grilling options," says Christine M. Palumbo, a Chicago-based registered dietitian. "Turkey can be prepared with the same ease as a burger, hot dog or chicken breast, but it's healthier. Turkey has 8 percent more protein and less fat than beef or chicken ."

According to International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) World Market Research, approximately 50 percent of people surveyed said they were on a diet in 2004. Health remains an important issue in consumer's minds. For the family chef, turkey's versatility makes it the perfect party protein to cater to guests who choose to eat smart and are looking for healthy choices. Turkey also lends itself to appetizers, soups and even salads.

Recipes like savory Basil Turkey Burgers or Barbecued Turkey Tenderloins can be found at EatTurkey.com, along with 700 more recipes. Pair these dishes with vitamin-rich mushrooms, spinach or asparagus for a balanced and nutritious meal.

Basil Turkey Burgers with Muenster Cheese & Grilled Vegetables
Makes 4 servings

1 pound ground low-fat turkey
1/2 pound Muenster cheese, sliced thin
1/4 cup prepared mayonnaise
1-teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 medium eggplant, peeled and sliced thin
1 large egg
1 medium zucchini, sliced thin
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 Leaves leaf lettuce
2/3-cup panko or coarse style bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
8 Thin slices red ripe tomato
4 Each Kaiser rolls, split

    1. Combine ground turkey, basil, onion, eggs, Parmesan, vinegar, bread crumbs, salt and black pepper. Form into patties.
    2. For the mayonnaise, combine basil, vinegar and mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper.
    3. Mix vegetables with salt, pepper and oil. Grill.
    4. Grill turkey burgers on char-grill. Assemble grilled eggplant, zucchini and Muenster cheese on top of burgers along with lettuce and tomato slices. Serve with basil mayonnaise.

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) is the national advocate for all segments of the turkey industry, providing services and conducting activities that increase demand for its members' products by protecting and enhancing their ability to profitably provide wholesome, high-quality, nutritious products. Its award-winning web site, www.eatturkey.com, offers consumers, food professionals and the media an extensive library of information including healthy eating and restaurant trends, turkey cuts and purchasing tips, turkey nutrition and cooking techniques, and turkey facts and trivia. Additionally, the site presents a searchable database of more than 1,500 recipes, offers a recipe E-mail program and provides special seasonal and holiday ideas. The National Turkey Federation is headquartered in Washington, D.C.