Stop to think healthy: Roast Turkey Breast and Root Vegetables

September 29, 2017

Roasted Turkey Breast and Root Vegetables from Providence Healthy Living

It should be second nature since I’ve been a dietitian for most of my life, but sometimes I have to stop and think about planning a healthy meal.

So should you, and here are a few tips:

  • Look for dishes that are broiled, grilled, baked, roasted, stir-fried or sautéed.
  • Especially this time of the year I lean towards soups — clear or broth-based, not creamy.
  • Try to include lean protein – eggs, fish, seafood, chicken, turkey, dried beans and peas or maybe some soy: edamame or tofu.
  • Include lots of color from fruits and vegetables.
  • Remember that as the season changes, so do your options. Soon will be a nice time to do more with pumpkin, butternut squash and apples.
  • Make sure that the grains are whole, or include the “ancient” grains such as barley, bulgur, amaranth, oats, faro and quinoa.
  • Include healthy fat sources such as almonds, avocados, olive oil, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Try this recipe to provide your plate map with lots of color and lean protein.

Roast Turkey Breast and Root Vegetables


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 12 small carrots, trimmed and scrubbed
  • 12 small parsnips, trimmed and scrubbed, halved lengthwise
  • 1 lb. medium shallots
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 lbs. turkey breast halves, deboned
  • 1 lb. small purple potatoes, trimmed and scrubbed
  • salt and pepper to taste

(Sometimes I will add a little white wine to add additional flavor to this recipe.)


  • Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  • Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Combine lemon zest, lemon juice and mustard in small bowl.
  • Remove skin from turkey-breast halves and set aside.
  • Rub zest and mustard all over the turkey breasts. Season with pepper as desired.
  • Place one breast on top of the other, arranging so one thick side and one thin side are sandwiched together.
  • Wrap breasts in skin, and tie with butcher’s twine to form log shape.
  • On large rimmed baking sheets, toss shallots with oil and arrange in center of sheet.
  • Place turkey on top and roast 60 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and transfer turkey to cutting board.
  • Add potatoes, carrots, and parsnips to baking sheet.
  • Toss with shallots and thyme.
  • Place turkey on top of vegetables and roast until turkey registers 165° F and vegetables are golden brown and tender, about 35-45 minutes.
  • Transfer turkey to clean cutting boards and let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition Information: 240 Calories, 2.5 grams fat, 90 mg. cholesterol, 36 grams carbohydrate, 35 grams protein, 115 mg. sodium.


This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, S.C.

Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. She works in consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, combining her nutrition knowledge with their food prep know-how to create delicious, healthy dishes for patients and the public. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the monthly Providence Cooks! classes.

“She doesn’t just give you the fish, she teaches you how to cook it.”

– a Kay MacInnis fan and Providence Cooks! regular.