They're not like Mama used to make: These succulent meatballs are formed from lean ground turkey instead of beef, and they're served in a light broth with escarole, not perched on top of spaghetti. (If you really miss that pasta, boil about a quarter pound of your favorite kind and stir it into the soup before serving.)
Crispy Turkey Kathi Rolls with Mint-and-Date Dipping Sauce
Kathi rolls, a popular street food in India, are made by rolling vegetables or meat in roti, an Indian flat bread. In her fabulous take on the recipe, Padma Lakshmi wraps flour tortillas around a succulent filling of ground turkey, fresh ginger, curry and basil, then pan-fries the rolls until crispy for decadent hors d'oeuvres that can be eaten as finger food.
White turkey meat is leaner than dark, but if all you can find at the market is mixed white and dark ground meat, it's still a healthy option; one 3.5-ounce serving (without skin) has a modest 5.8 grams of fat.
In Laos, this laap (a ground meat dish) is usually made with duck and can be eaten alone or with sticky rice. The recipe here substitutes ground turkey, which is more readily available in the US and less expensive. But to make it the authentic way, use an equal amount of duck breast trimmed of fat, freeze it for 10 minutes and then finely chop by hand.
Paula Wolfert learned this unusual dish from Burhan Cagda, the kebab master of Gaziantep, Turkey. Bulgur mixed in with the ground meat makes the kebabs light and tender. The two sauces--one tangy, herbal and nutty and the other creamy and garlicky--play off the smoky kebabs and off each other as well.
Ground turkey, panko (Japanese bread crumbs), Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a few other ingredients make delicious, kid-friendly meatballs. To spice them up for grown-ups, Workman adds hot turkey sausage and crushed red pepper into the basic meatball mixture.
For a healthier meat loaf, Restaurant Divided host and weight-loss guru Rocco DiSpirito cuts back the meat and swaps in mushrooms. He uses earthy creminis along with ground beef and turkey for a loaf that's moist and tasty.
"The key to great fried rice is starting with cooked rice that's had time to cool and dry out, so it stays firm in the pan," says chef Angelo Sosa. "You want it to mingle with other flavors yet maintain its integrity." He makes his clever version with sauteed ground turkey, punched up with ginger and lemongrass and garnished with potato chips for crunch.
"In this industry, you often don't eat when you need to," says Ronnie Killen. "What helped me lose weight was eating at the right times." He started having real meals with lean proteins, like this turkey chili.