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What’s Cookin’ over at the Meadowlark Turkey Homestead? (Instant Pot Recipe!)

Serving Turkey

Hey there! I wanted to do a special post about how our meals look like back at home. ’Tis the season for comfort food as temperatures start to dip. As you already know – we’re turkey farmers so we tend to eat a lot of turkey. Over the next couple weeks, I’m going to share some of my tips and secrets on how to make your juiciest turkey yet! And I’d also like to share with you on why Turkey nutritionally has so much to offer.

Why Eat More Turkey?

Outside the turkey farm I am also a health and fitness coach – I dig deep into which foods give me the most nutrition. As you’ve probably seen, protein has been all over every fitness headline. Protein gets a lot of credit for helping us stay trim and maintaining a healthy weight. Protein repairs the many tears we make after we’ve lifted weights, went for a run, or endured any physical activity. You know that feeling of when you have sore muscles the day after? Your muscles are repairing those tears and need the protein to help heal that process. Protein is muscle food. Why is turkey a great option to include into your regular diet? Turkey offers a high protein content without the excess trans fat like other meat options might offer. White meat is the leanest choice, but even dark meat can be a good choice if you skip the skin. Turkey gives you about 25 grams of high-quality protein, along with B vitamins and selenium.

Turkey Breast is our favorite kind of protein here at Meadowlark Turkeys!

While turkey may be the leanest protein around, turkey breast consumption is usually unfairly confined to Thanksgiving and deli meats. It doesn’t need to be this way! Jennie-O Turkey Store Roasted Turkey Breasts are often readily available in supermarkets alongside rotisserie chickens, making them a simple and fast source of high quality lean protein. Protein (3 oz.): 26 grams.

Here is a great starter turkey breast recipe:

Instant Pot Turkey Breast and Wild Rice Hotdish

Ingredients

2 cups (2 large breasts) of cut-up turkey breast

1 small onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

2 cups carrots OR sweet potatoes

1 1/2 cup cooked wild and brown rice medley

1 1/2-2 tsp seasoned salt

1/2 tsp poultry seasoning

Pepper to taste

Steps

I typically brine the fresh turkey breasts for 24-48 hours; however you can easily use turkey breast from the grocer.

Cube your turkey and set aside. While you’re chopping your onion and carrots, set your instant pot to “Saute’” and pour 1 tablespoon of avocado oil, then add your veggies.

Let the onions and carrots simmer for a good 10 minutes. Add your turkey and seasonings, saute for another couple minutes. Then close the lid and seal your pot, press manual for 3 minutes. After this time, you can then add your pre-cooked wild rice medley, saute all ingredients together. It’s a quick and very healthy dish that kids and adults will both appreciate!

Pressure cooker recipes always leave out the details so here’s a breakdown of what you can expect time-wise: About 13 minutes to come to pressure plus 3 minutes cook time and 5 or so to release pressure. You won’t need to be anywhere near your kitchen for this all to partake, the Instant Pot will handle it all! So fabulous, right?

Another great addition to this meal with be sweet root vegetables! Sweet root vegetables (i.e. sweet potatoes, buttercup squash, or butternut squash) are affordable and in season this time of year. I have so many favorites from sweet potatoes to buttercup squash. And turkey is a great protein that blends perfectly with these nutrient dense veggies, too.

If you haven’t tried a recipe like this, I highly encourage you to give it a shot. Let me know what you think!

Ashley

Instant Pot Turkey Breast and Wild Rice Hotdish via MinnesotaTurkey.com

Instant Pot Turkey Breast and Wild Rice Hotdish via MinnesotaTurkey.com

Instant Pot Turkey Breast and Wild Rice Hotdish via MinnesotaTurkey.com

Instant Pot Turkey Breast and Wild Rice Hotdish via MinnesotaTurkey.com

Veggie Fed Turkeys

Veggie Fed Turkeys via Minnesotaturkey.com

“Do you like that Veggie Feed?”

We’ve been asked many times from consumers and other farmers, “How do you like raising vegetable fed birds?” We’ve heard other farmers not having luck, and they like conventional feed provided. We’ve also been asked, “Do the birds like the feed?”, “What differences have you seen since swapping out conventional feed over to vegetable feed?” We’re happy to say, our birds have adapted well and we think our birds like vegetable feed better. Their guts seem tighter (meaning, their stool isn’t as loose). They seem to be more active, running around more, the litter is drier, and the air quality has improved.

Some have asked, “Do your birds take longer to grow to their optimal weight?” Answer is: Yes. Yes, they take an average of an extra 4-7 days longer to reach their optimal weight.

“Are your feed costs higher?” Yes, our feed costs are just a bit higher however, feed conversion is the same.

Priding ourselves in the ABF market (never treated with antibiotics) we also know the vegetable feed given to our birds has been a major factor in the meat quality. We have to butcher a few turkeys each flock before they go to market. The reason we need to do this is to collect fat and blood sampling so all is approved before selling our birds to consumers. After we collect these samples we then harvest the meat off the bird (as you can imagine, we get to eat lots of turkey!) One major improvement we’ve noticed since converting over to vegetable fed turkey is that we feel the meat/breasts are juicy and much more tender! (Read below for our quick turkey breast recipe).

As we’re in this farming business wholeheartedly, going back to the basics is what we BELIEVE in. Farming in this fashion suits us. We enjoy feeding our turkeys vegetable based feed as we’ve seen many more positives after implementing this farming concept. I thoroughly enjoy talking to other farmers and understanding what works and what doesn’t work – and every farm is a different. “We,” as turkey farmers stick together and take lots of pride in what we do – and we learn from each other.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions below. After all we’re all learning this together, I believe the more we can learn from each other the better we can suit our consumers and industry as a whole. Thanks for taking the time; have a nice day!

Instant Pot Turkey Breasts

Boneless Turkey Breasts in the Instant Pot

  • 1 boneless turkey breast or turkey tenderloin (equivalent to about the same size as a chicken breast)
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil or garlic infused oil
  • 2 Tablespoons seasoned salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Cover breast(s) with oil and rub in the seasoned salt.

Pour in 1 cup of chicken broth.

Insert trivet into the pot and place breasts on it.

Place lid on the pot and set vent to SEALING.

Select MANUAL and use the +/- buttons to change time to 4-5 minutes.

When pressure cycle is over, let the pressure release naturally.

Open pot and enjoy your juicy, flavorful turkey!