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Healthy roast dinner recipe

Roasted Turkey
(Image credit: Unknown)

The meal: Sunday roast

The secret to Sunday dining? Think of it as fuel, not indulgence. If you’re going to hulk out at a single meal, it’s worth making a couple of easy fixes to ensure it goes straight to your muscles not your gut. Oh, and treat yourself to a glass of red wine. If anyone asks, it’s for the resveratrol, which fights the signs of ageing. 

The swap: Beef for turkey

‘If you only eat turkey at Christmas, you’re missing out,’ says Gray. ‘Turkey is a low-GI, lean meat, which is ideal if you’re trying to lose weight. Plus it still provides 30g of muscle-building protein per 100g and contains high levels of tryptophan, which helps to regulate appetite.’

The bonus: More energy, fewer sugar spikes

Cheddar cheese is a great source of energy-boosting vitamin B12, while sweet potatoes are low GI and help to regulate blood sugar levels.

The recipe

Ingredients (serves 1)

2-2.5kg turkey breast, boned and rolled / 100ml rapeseed oil / 8 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and evenly chopped / 2 bunches Chantenay or baby carrots, washed / ¼ bunch fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped / 1tbsp natural yoghurt / 1 medium cauliflower, cut into 3cm pieces / ⅓ loaf wholemeal bread  / 2tbsp dried cranberries, roughly chopped /2tbsp dried sage / 2tbsp mature cheddar, grated / 500g baby spinach, washed / Salt and pepper

Roast turkey

  • Heat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7. 
  • Cover the turkey with half the oil, and season. Roast for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 170°C/gas mark 3 and cook for another 50 minutes, or until the juices run clear.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to rest. When the meal is ready to serve, return to the oven at 170°C/gas mark 3 for 10 minutes. Use the juices for gravy.

Roast sweet potatoes

  • Heat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7.
  • Place the sweet potato in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for one minute, then drain.
  • Pour the remaining oil into a warmed roasting tray, then add the sweet potato.
  • Roast for 15 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and season.

Cauliflower with toasted cranberry and herb breadcrumbs

  • Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the cauliflower and simmer for four minutes.
  • Blend the bread in a food processor.
  • Mix the breadcrumbs in a bowl with the cranberries, sage and cheese.
  • Place the drained cauliflower in a heatproof dish. Sprinkle with the breadcrumb mix and brown under a medium grill.

Baby carrots with tarragon

  • Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the carrots.
  • Simmer for three to four minutes until tender, then drain.
  • Return the carrots to the pan and add the tarragon and yoghurt. Mix thoroughly. 

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