Healthy for the Holidays: Turkey, cucumber & yogurt salad |

Healthy for the Holidays: Turkey, cucumber & yogurt salad

This salad is a healthy alternative for that post-Thanksgiving feast.
Courtesy Simone Grandmain / TDRPD |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Here it is, the week after Thanksgiving, and we are faced with a lull in the holiday storm. There are two ways you can go at this point: full steam ahead into the eye of the hurricane swirling with leftover slabs of brie, cold stuffing (so good), apple pie and onion dip, or you can slow down, reassess the situation and make a responsible, sane decision.

The leftover turkey is your friend, loaded with protein, low in calories and zero carbohydrates, as long as you go with the white skinless meat and don’t stick it between two of the last dinner rolls and smother it with mayonnaise.

Instead, this turkey cucumber salad is a variation of a Turkish recipe (Get it? Turkey? Turkish? Turkey day?) — refreshing and light, really just what the doctor ordered after a day of feasting.

The key to keeping your turkey salad healthy relies again on staying away from the mayonnaise. Even the “low fat” offerings have twice the calories of non-fat Greek yogurt and zip protein, compared to five grams of protein for a tablespoon of Greek yogurt. And don’t forget your spices! Who’s going to miss a little fat when your dish is plenty flavorful? In this salad we use dill, garlic and mint for delicious, healthy results.

Turkish turkey cucumber salad

Good news, or bad, depending on how much you love TDRPD’s indoor track: One cup of this salad is equivalent to 12 laps around the track for men and 18 for women.


2 large cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, then halved again lengthwise and then cut into chunks

Pinch of good coarse salt

1 and 1/2 cups white, skinless turkey, chopped

1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped

1/2 cup fresh mint chopped

1/2 cup finely sliced red onion

1 cup Fage Greek (0%) yogurt

Juice from one lemon

2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed

1/2 tsp. good coarse salt

Pinch of white pepper

Pinch of sugar

1 tbls. Olive oil

1/8 cup water


Put cucumber slices in a medium-sized bowl and sprinkle with salt. This allows them to “sweat” and brings out the flavor. Let sit for about 30 minutes then add your turkey, dill, mint and onions.

In a small bowl make your dressing, combining the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, olive oil and water. Stir until smooth then pour over the cucumber/turkey mixture. Refrigerate until you are ready to enjoy.

This column comes courtesy of the Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District staff and fitness club members reminding us to eat responsibly during the holidays. For more information on how you can stay in shape during the winter months, visit

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