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No.5: Poached Turkey Breast with Quinoa and Vegetable Salad

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Overview of Poached Turkey Breast with Quinoa and Vegetable Salad

So you’re heading into the last week or two of your main event after weeks or months of training. You begin to back off on the kms and so will need to choose foods that are less energy dense (fewer kilojoules). You don’t want to gain any weight right before your event!

This healthy salad will help reduce your kilojoule intake but still give you the necessary protein, carbs and fats your body needs.

Skinless turkey breast is a valuable and often over-looked source of quality protein. Excellent source of vitamin B3 (niacin) and B6, a good source of B2 (riboflavin) and B12. It is generally lower in saturated fat than red meat. It is a valuable source of selenium - an essential antioxidant mineral and the amino acid tryptophan, which produces serotonin, the chemical responsible for mood and plays an important role in immune system function.

The benefits of quinoa are numerous and has seen a boom in awareness of this special little seed. Becoming more popular and known for its high nutrient value, quinoa provides a good source of folate, zinc, calcium, magnesium and is a complete protein (contains all essential amino acids). It makes a suitable substitute for rice as it is low GI helping to maintain blood sugar levels.

No salad is complete without a good supply of vegetables. Supplying good amounts of vitamins, minerals, fibre and other protective phytonutrients. Lightly steaming the green vegetables helps reduce the nutritional loss of heat sensitive vitamins (C and B group vitamin).

Healthy oils are an essential part of all diets, involved in carrying fat-soluble vitamins around the body, hormone production and of course provided energy. These healthy oils can be found in many seeds and nuts, such as the pepitas and sunflower seeds. Pepitas also contain the amino acid tryptophan and sunflower seeds have a high phytosterol content that can help reduce cholesterol absorption.

Poached Turkey Breast with Quinoa and Vegetable Salad 

Ingredients (serves 4)

* 500g skinless Turkey breast, cut into thick strips

* 1 ½ cups quinoa

* 375ml chicken or vegetable stock

* ½ head broccoli, cut into small florets

* ½ bunch asparagus, cut into 2cm lengths

* ½ red onion, thinly sliced

* 1 cup shredded kale

* ½ carrot, grated

* 2 Tbls pepitas

* 2 Tbls sunflower seeds

* 160g feta cheese

* ½ cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped

Dressing - 2 Tbls lemon juice

4 Tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Pinch of Salt & Pepper

How to cook

Step 1 - Bring stock to the boil in medium size saucepan, then reduce heat to a simmer.

Step 2 - Add strips of turkey breast and let simmer for 5 minutes then turn off. Leave strips in stock for further 10 minutes or until fully cooked. Once cooked, remove from liquid and let cool slightly.

Step 3 - With remaining stock, add 2 cups of water and bring to the boil. Add quinoa and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Once cooked, drain and let cool.

Step 4 - Lightly steam broccoli and asparagus for 4-5 minutes then cool down quickly to stop cooking process (preventing overcooking)

Step 5 - In a large bowl add quinoa, steamed veggies, onion, carrot, kale, pepitas, sunflower seeds and parsley. Mix until combined.

Step 6 - To make dressing, combine lemon juice, mustard, oil and salt and pepper and gently whisk.

Step 7 - Divide quinoa mix between 4 bowls then drizzle dressing over the top.

Step 8 - To finish, slice turkey strips and lay atop of quinoa salad.

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