When it came to cooking supper, my mother-in-law was all about rotation.
Sunday supper always featured pasta. Monday night was soup night. Tuesday, pork. Wednesdays she served beef. Thursday, chicken. Friday was usually tuna or another fish. Saturday suppers included leftovers plus homemade bread or pepperoni rolls. According to my husband Tony, there would be a salad every day. Dandelion salad, if it was springtime.
I’m a fan of supper rotation, too. Like my mother-in-law, I also rotate protein sources: beef, chicken, pork, turkey, seafood and meatless.
No one taught me to rotate proteins when I first began cooking. I didn’t read about it in a magazine. I simply believed food diversity was probably a good thing. Not to mention, the constant change busts boredom. Mine as I cook. My family’s as they eat.
Turns out, there can be benefits to cycling through food items. According to thefitcookie.com, rotating your foods can help “…your gastrointestinal system heal by reducing the physical stress caused by overeating and consuming the same foods repeatedly.”
In our house, the rotation system also applies to side dishes. Almost always, our dinners include protein, vegetable (or salad) and fresh fruit. I regularly cycle through green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus and potatoes. Now that our nest is empty, I also serve cabbage which our kids don’t love unless I hide it in a salad.
For fruit, berries are mostly my jam. Because they are lower in sugar than other fruits. And because they may be useful in staving off dementia. According to the website mindbodygreen.com, berries and cherries “…contain anthocyanin that protects the brain from further damage caused by free radicals. They also have anti-inflammatory properties and contain antioxidants and lots of vitamin C and E.”
I haven’t featured a turkey recipe in a while so here’s one we love. It’s quick to prepare and delicious.
Turkey Piccata (serves 4)
4 turkey cutlets
2 T. olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
Juice of ½ lemon
½ c. dry white wine (or chicken broth)
1-2 T. capers
Salt and pepper
1 T. butter
3 T. fresh parsley, minced (optional)
-On a dinner plate, pat turkey cutlets dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.
-Heat 1 T. olive oil in large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 cutlets and cook 3-4 minutes per side. Repeat with other 2 cutlets, keeping first 2 warm in the oven in a baking dish.
-When second batch of cutlets are done, add them to the first batch in the oven to keep warm.
-To the turkey pan, add the garlic, lemon juice, white wine and capers. Use a whisk to stir and loosen all the tasty bits off the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute to reduce the mixture a little. Add 1 T. butter and stir.
-Return the turkey cutlets to the pan and warm through.
-On each plate, place one turkey cutlet covered with some sauce. Sprinkle with parsley, if using.