Turkey Barley Soup
I love the slow, easy pace of this time of year. The hectic holidays are just a memory and life has settled back into somewhat of a routine. Work and school have resumed and the off hours are reserved for fun winter activities like ice skating, tobogganing, skiing and snowshoeing.
The cold weather and lots of outdoor activities make the winter months the perfect time of year for body and soul-warming comfort food.
This is the time for hearty stews, casseroles, chili and of course, one of my favourite meals to make, homemade soups, like this quick and hearty, Turkey Barley Soup. Plus, after a season of celebratory meals and indulgences, healthy food and creating healthy habits is top of mind for everyone.
For most of us, the start of a new year means getting back to basics, and the way we eat and the foods we choose are a critical part of making healthy choices. Choosing healthy ingredients and creating nutritious meals for your family doesn’t have to be a compromise. Canadian Turkey is here to provide you with helpful tips to get you on track and unique ways to create easy-to-make recipes and that use super-charged ingredients.
We all want the best for our families, but sometimes it’s challenging to find new ways to keep your family eating well, to incorporate healthy choices into everyday meals, and to change up everyday meal choices to keep things tasty and exciting. Turkey is the perfect go-to ingredient, and it can be used as a substitute for any other meat protein in nearly every recipe. I always try to include turkey when planning breakfast, lunch and dinner meals. Turkey keeps my family feeling energized all day, with tasty recipes that are both budget and time friendly.
Turkey is such a versatile protein, that you can be sure to showcase a wide variety of tastes and flavour profiles. Both dark and white meat cuts lend themselves to different spice blends so you can customize preparations to your own family’s preferences and habits without compromise. Finding meal solutions that will help you easily feed your family is a great way to get a head start on a busy week.
Canadian turkey is the perfect ingredient for many of your everyday meals, and you can also count on leftovers to make some healthy and quick dishes during those busy days when you have your hands full. There’s nothing better than making some delectable dishes for the remainder of the week or stashing some pre-made meals in the freezer for another busy weeknight.
If eating well is on your list of healthy resolutions for 2018, keep your resolutions simple so you can stick with those healthy habits all year long. Here are five “back to basics” tips to eat healthy all year long with lean, nutrient-rich turkey, THE power protein.
Five “back to basics” tips for healthier eating:
- Choose nutrient-rich foods first.
Sometimes New Year’s resolutions focus on taking food out of your diet. Turn that around! Instead, put a positive spin on it by focusing on the foods you should be adding to your diet. Choose foods that are nutrient-rich first, such as whole grains, veggies and fruit, nuts, seeds, yogurt and lean meats (ahem… turkey!). That way, you’ll enjoy what you’re eating and naturally have room for fewer of those foods you might be wanting to eat less of. Turkey is packed with nutrients like vitamin B12 (important in keeping your nervous system – the body’s electrical wiring – working well), selenium (an antioxidant mineral) and zinc (for a strong immune system).
- Cook more meals at home.
As a busy parent, you may get the time-crunch that makes you want to turn to convenience foods; but when you make more of your meals at home, you can control the ingredients that you’re serving your family. By cooking more whole foods “from scratch”, you’ll be more likely to get more good-for-you nutrients and save money at the same time – it’s win-win! Here’s a turkey time-saver tip: Cook once, eat twice with planned leftovers. On the weekend, roast a whole turkey, a large turkey breast or extra thighs to enjoy for Sunday dinner and then use the leftovers to make quick meals during the week.
- Create a balanced plate: pair protein plus produce.
To build a healthy plate, combine protein-rich foods, such as turkey, with plant-based foods, such as veggies, to get more nutritional bang for your buck. What does that mean? Well, firstly you get a wider variety of nutrients. But also, it creates a superfood synergy with certain nutrients working together to increase absorption of other nutrients. Turkey pairs perfectly with all produce! There are so many delicious ways to put turkey + veggies on your plate.
- Practice smart snacking.
When you’re hungry in between meals, a small snack made with nutritious foods can help keep your energy levels up and keep you from overeating at your next meal. Leftover turkey is ideal for when you need a snack to keep you nourished between meals; the protein helps manage munchies and fight cravings for sweet treats. Pair it with a veggie or fruit and you’ve got a smart snack!
- Bump up the protein.
If being more active, feeling more energized, or maintaining a healthy weight are part of your New Year’s resolutions, then put protein on your plate too! Along with your workout routine, eating 20 to 30 grams of quality protein with your meals can help build and maintain muscle. Turkey is the power protein of choice – it’s an excellent source of high-quality protein. Each 100-gram serving is lean and packs in about 30 grams protein.
PIN IT – Turkey Barley Soup
Head over to canadianturkey.ca to get inspired by a wide variety of recipes that will create delicious and healthy meals your family will love.
For more information on delicious Canadian Turkey, you may also wish to follow along on their various sites and social media channels.
Also, keep an eye out for the hashtag #PowerUpWithTurkey.
- 2 lbs. ground Canadian turkey
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 cup onion, minced
- ¾ cup carrot, minced
- ¾ cup celery, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. ground Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups tomatoes puree
- 8 cups turkey broth
- 1 ½ cups barley
- 2 cups frozen vegetables (or fresh if preferred)
- Heat olive oil in a medium-size frying pan over medium heat.
- Add onions and carrots and sauté for 4-6 minutes until softened and just beginning to brown.
- Add celery and crushed garlic. Cook 4-6 minutes.
- Add ground turkey, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook an additional 7-10 minutes, until turkey is cooked through and is no longer pink. Mix to break up any larger chunks.
- Add tomato puree.
- Add turkey broth.
- Bring to a boil.
- Add barley. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 35-45 minutes until barley is cooked.
- Add 2 cups frozen vegetables. The quality frozen veg will help cut down on prep time. If using fresh vegetables, extend cooking time until cooked through.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes until vegetables are cooked through.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored in partnership with Canadian Turkey. As always, all opinions are our own.
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