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Published on Friday,  November 19, 2021

By Melissa Pette

We are less than a week before the big Thanksgiving Day dinner. Many of us feel guilty after eating almost all those traditional feast dishes, such as turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, candied yams, cornbread, pumpkin pie or my favorite cinnamon roll apple pie. I'm gaining weight just by writing this!

But here is a solution to allow us to enjoy dinner without regrets, thanks to Al Kaufman, who shares his recipe for a low-calorie tropical turkey dinner.

Al shared that his family used to order an already cooked Thanksgiving Day turkey for delivery. When he got married, he and his wife, who lived in Baltimore County in the U.S. state of Maryland, resumed the tradition of making dinner at home. "After many faux pas we managed to make our version of the Thanksgiving dinner," Al said.

After raising his two daughters, Al made the decision 5 years ago to live his "second round" in Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste Province.

"My staff knows me, on Thanksgiving, we close my quad rentals business and take my team to my condo. There you will see me surrounded by my partner's kids and wives cooking the best meal of the year," Al added.

Today Al invites us to prepare his tropical version of turkey dinner. So, let's go to the kitchen!

Tropical turkey

By Al Kaufman
From Baltimore County, Maryland
Living in Tamarindo Beach

Ingredients for four people's dinner:

1 large 600 gram can of cut green beans.

4 Mozzarella string cheese, 36 grams each.

250 grams of turkey breast.

1 large yellow sweet mango.

3 eggs.

1 can of 250 grams of chickpeas (garbanzo beans).


1/2 cup vegetable oil (if you prefer olive or sunflower).

1 teaspoon of vinegar.

1 teaspoon salt.

1 teaspoon of cumin.

Some parsley leaves.

First, in a large pot add water. I start the turkey in a hot 450F oven to start the browning and then turn down the heat to 350F so that the breast meat cooks through slowly. Cook the turkey for at least 40 minutes.

In a bowl, add the chickpeas, half a teaspoon of cumin, a drizzle of oil and mix. Let it nap for 20 minutes. Then, in a pan, cook the chickpeas until the oil evaporates. Add the cut green beans, a pinch of salt and fry for 10 more minutes.

Chop the turkey into large squares and add it in a bowl with the rest of the cumin. Mix a bit.

Peel the mango and cut it into large squares. Cut the mozzarella string cheese into medium squares.

In a large bowl, add the turkey, vegetables, mango, and cheese. Mix.

In a saucepan, add water and cook 3 eggs for 2 minutes. You must make sure that the water is boiling before adding the eggs to not overcook too much. Then peel the eggs and place them in a blender or juice mixer.

The sauce. In the blender add the eggs, a teaspoon of vinegar, a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of parsley leaves. Blend everything until a dense and creamy sauce is formed.

On each guest's plate, add the turkey salad with vegetables, mango and cheese, then add a tablespoon of the sauce. This recipe is fantastic!

If you are a tropical fruits lover, just like me, add sweet pineapple and sweet oranges, cut into squares.

Today we are inviting you to try awesome recipes for your Thanksgiving Day table. You can review step by step recipes on the AM Costa Rica Food & Good Eating page. Share your recipes with a horizontal photo of the dish by emailing

Pura Vida!

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