Talking Turkey with Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
WebMD Live Events Transcript; Event Date: Thursday, November 18, 2004
It's everything you need to know about a healthy holiday feast: lightening
up favorite holiday dishes, last-minute dinner tips and tricks, and five
healthy things you can fix with leftover turkey. Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, joined
us on Nov. 18, 2004, to talk turkey!
If you have questions about your health, you should consult
your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes
How can you make light gravy that still tastes good?
I love gravy just as much as the next gal. The issue here is that the turkey
broth helps contribute the flavor, and also those dark brown bits at the bottom
of the pan.
That's where a lot of the flavor is.
Now, neither one of these two things has anything to do with fat, so you can
actually make a pretty tasty gravy without a lot of fat. The key is to isolate
those brown crusty particles and to get some really good, sort of condensed,
flavorful turkey broth that comes out of the turkey. You can use an oil/water
separator, if you're concerned, to get the broth from the oil, and then use
those dark crusty particles for your flavor.
If you want to make vegetarian gravy, you would brown some mushrooms and
onions and that would act like your dark brown crusty particles, and you would
use a vegetable broth instead of a turkey broth.
The other key to lightening the gravy is in the cream. You don't have to add
flour to fat to make a paste. You just have to use a little bit of turkey broth
or fat-free half and half, make your paste, and then whisk in the remaining
fat-free half-and-half or skim milk. Even whole milk is better than cream. This
will thicken your gravy without a lot of extra fat. Some people don't use cream
in their gravy, and that works fine, too.
What about getting your broth from cooking the neck and giblets the day
You can do that, too, definitely. I just don't bother with the organs. I'm an
antiorgan type of cook. If you do use the giblets, you do tend to get a nice
broth, and it's a good way to make your gravy ahead of time to avoid the
last-minute gravy rush.
How can you make mashed potatoes ahead of time that don't get gluey?
Great question, because it's so much easier to not tie up your kitchen at the
last minute making mashed potatoes. Here's what I do, and it works out every
- I boil my potatoes and mix them up in a mixer.
- I use fat-free sour cream and fat-free half-and-half and some salt and
pepper to get the right consistency and flavor.
- Then I add it to a crock-pot and keep it on low for a few hours before