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75-Minute Holiday Meal

No time for a whole turkey? Try this simple-but-festive holiday menu.

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If you’re feeling the holiday crunch and don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen, don’t worry. This speedy meal features fast-cooking turkey breasts, traditional sides, and even a savory gravy. Just add some simple salad fixings (pre-washed greens and cherry tomatoes) with a bottled dressing, then set out a few easy appetizers (dishes of olives, crackers and cheese, a variety of nuts), and you’ll have more than enough for a party of eight-all in a little more than an hour.

Sage- and Rosemary-Roasted Turkey with Pan Gravy, Garlic Mashers, and Sautéed Greens with Cranberries and Pecans
Serves 8

4 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for oiling pan and sautéing kale

4 Tbs. minced rosemary leaves

4 Tbs. minced sage leaves

8 garlic cloves, 4 pressed in a garlic press, 4 finely minced

2 boneless turkey breast halves, skin on

3 lbs. fingerling or baby red potatoes (whole, or halve larger ones)

2 lbs. butter or butter substitute

½-1 cup skim milk or milk substitute

1/4 cup chopped parsley

2 large bunches kale, stems removed, leaves chopped

2 small shallots, chopped

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup chopped pecans

3 Tbs. regular or gluten-free flour

1/4 cup white wine

1 ½-2 cups organic chicken stock

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly oil roasting pan.
  2. Combine olive oil, rosemary, sage, and 4 pressed garlic cloves in small bowl, and mix to make paste. Gently loosen skin on turkey breasts, and smear paste on meat. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Smooth skin back over breasts, arrange breasts on roasting pan, place in oven, and lower heat to 400°F. Cook 45 minutes, or until meat reaches internal temperature of 165-170°F.
  3. While turkey is cooking, combine potatoes and water to cover in large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook 15 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Drain potatoes and return to pot. Add butter or butter substitute, milk, parsley, and 4 cloves minced garlic. Smash to mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and keep warm.
  5. Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in large sauté pan. Add kale and shallots, and toss to coat. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until bright green. Add cranberries and pecans, and toss to mix. Cover pan, turn off heat, and let stand 7-10 minutes.
  6. Remove turkey from oven; arrange breasts on platter, and tent with foil. Let stand until serving. Put roasting pan on burner, sprinkle flour over pan drippings, and cook 2 minutes, whisking. Slowly whisk in wine, scraping bottom of pan to remove cooked bits. Slowly whisk in chicken stock. Simmer 3-4 minutes, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  7. Transfer potatoes and kale to serving dishes. Pour gravy into gravy boat. Slice meat, and serve hot with potatoes, gravy, and kale.

PER SERVING: 578 cal; 40g pro; 26g total fat (6g sat fat); 47g carb; 101mg chol; 369mg sod; 5g fiber; 5g sugars

Lisa Turner is a certified food psychology coach, nutritional healer, intuitive eating consultant, and author. She has written five books on food and nutrition and developed the Inspired Eats iPhone app. Visit her online at

Our 75th-year anniversary has come to a close, and while this is our last “Celebrating 75” column in the magazine, the special section will live on permanently on our website. View all 12 articles from 2013.