While everyone was eating cake for my nephew’s birthday, I rummaged through my mom’s fridge until I stumbled across shaved turkey from the deli. My brother-in-law walked in as I was rolling the thin slices of meat into compact little tubes and popping them into my mouth as-is. He laughed, “your sister and I do that all the time!” Apparently, turkey rolls are a universal thing and not just a makeshift meal for those of us with dietary restrictions.
Suddenly, I didn’t feel so bad eating deli meat straight out of the bag.
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I started thinking about all the people that turn to Google to figure out what they can eat on the keto diet. They stumble across beautifully photographed recipes of exotic ingredients, complicated recipes, and think: wow, I can’t do that.
- are overwhelmed by the thought of all the cooking involved
- hate cooking
- can’t cook
- don’t have time to prepare food
- all of the above
Then this post is for you! Keto is only as complicated as you make it. You can legit eat meat out of a bag and be just as ketogenic as the next gal. I feel like I need to stand on top of a mountain and shout this to everyone starting on this journey. You can do this.
I’m just keepin’ it real. Back to basics, babe.
As part public service announcement and part recipe, I present to you: turkey rolls.
I won’t go on and on about how delicious turkey rolls are because I’m sure you’ve already had the pleasure. Instead, I’ll focus on the nutritional value that something this simple can offer.
Getting an adequate amount of protein in your diet is hugely important for your overall health and body composition goals. If you are following ketogenic macros, then you should know that protein is the priority to target. Protein is essential to maintain healthy skin, hair, and muscles. Turkey rolls are a super easy and convenient way to incorporate this critical macronutrient into your diet.
Turkey is a concentrated source of protein and also one of the leanest, making it a great option to sneak in the ever-so-important macronutrient without bumping your calories too high. In 100 grams of roasted turkey breast, there are 30 grams of protein, only 147 calories, and nooooo carbs. Turkey also contains loads of vitamin B6 and niacin, which are vital to energy production.
The macronutrient breakdown is ideal for those using ketogenic diets for fat loss. The carb count is non-existent, and the fat is relatively low, making it easier to create a calorie deficit. This is the type of food you will want to eat to allow your body fat stores to be used for energy instead of dietary fat. If you have high body fat already, you do not need to add extra plate fat when you are keto-adapted.
It turns out turkey rolls make for a pretty smart way to keto.
Have your butcher slice the turkey for you, so the thickness is nice and consistent, then just roll the slices up. You can dip them, stuff them with any low carb ingredients your heart desires (cheese, cream cheese, veggies, bacon, etc.) to add variety. I usually just sprinkle with salt and pepper. Doesn’t get any easier than that!
- 4 oz Turkey Breast roasted, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon Cream Cheese or thinly sliced cheese, optional
- Spread an even layer of cream cheese over thinly sliced turkey breast. (optional)
- Place any additional ingredients you choose along the edge.
- Fold edge of turkey breast inwards and continue to roll until the meat forms a long tube.
- Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper, to taste.
Hi, I'm Tasha–nutritionist, recipe developer, and multi-published cookbook author.
Dr. Stephen Phinney cautions about excessive protein intake causing gluconeogenesis. A high fat intake of 70-75% reuire only a moderate protein intake as a high fat diet is protein sparing.
Hey Brooks! Dr. Phinney is awesome, I recommend everyone read his book "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living". He doesn't recommend 70-75% fat intake until you are at weight maintenance. During fat loss, it might look "high protein" when in reality it's just a sufficient amount to support lean body mass while your body fat stores are used to supply the high fat energy requirements.
Here's an interview with him: https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb-living (It's long, but at around 6:00-8:00 minutes he discusses macros during weight loss versus maintenance.)
"For somebody who intends to lose weight, they might eat 1400 calories per day but are burning twice as many calories per day. A heavy male might be burning 2800 calories per day. The other HALF is coming from body fat. So when you look at what that person eats, what's on the plate, if that person is eating 1400 calories and 6-800 calories of that comes from protein that looks like that's a half protein diet. So it looks high protein. But that's only what the mouth sees. What the body is seeing is a moderate protein intake because the mouth isn't seeing that half that's coming from inside. But once you get to maintenance, maintenance means you're not burning any more body fat. And that requires that all of the fat that you are burning each day, whether it's 3/4ths of your energy intake, has to come from the outside." - Dr. Stephen Phinney
Keto is protein sparing when adequate protein is included in the diet. Cheers!
Hi Tasha...I like the idea of simple turkey rolls to take to work! Do you have any recommended brands of turkey you like the best? Thank you!
I’m doing research on Keto now! I typed in turkey recipes for Keto and your post came up! I love it!!