Friday, November 9, 2012

Tasty Turkey Meatloaf

The perfect HEALTHY comfort food!
“Meatloaf, smeatloaf, double-beatloaf. I hate meatloaf.” Name that flick! If you guessed A Christmas Story, you are correct! I love that movie. I watch it annually and keep it in the DVR list long past Christmas. This year I’ve really outdone myself…it’s actually still in the queue from 2011. Good thing it’s November and just about time to bust it out again.

Anyhoo, watching the poor frazzled mom desperately trying to coerce Randy to “Show mommy how the piggies eat!” has always cracked me up. And now that I have a super picky toddler on my hands, I can totally relate. Now I’m not promising your finicky eaters will gobble this up—my toddler wouldn’t touch it but the baby loved it. But I can say it’s yummy, healthy, and the perfect comfort food for these chilly fall evenings.

I found this basic recipe online and made a few modifications. I added bell pepper, tweaked the seasonings a bit, and tossed a little brown sugar into the glaze for the top. I also omitted the salt and the chicken broth and cut back on the suggested amount of bread crumbs. Here’s what I came up with.
Tasty Turkey Meatloaf
Serves  4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
1 pound lean ground turkey
½ teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground preferred)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons ketchup (divided use)
¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
Olive oil spray
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic and sauté, stirring frequently for about 3-5 minutes (until onion turns slightly translucent and peppers soften).  Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Place thawed turkey meat in a large bowl. Add pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons of ketchup (save the rest for the sauce on top!), bread crumbs, and egg to bowl. Transfer the cooked onions and bell pepper to the bowl as well.

Now for the messy part: Use your hands to fold the vegetables and seasonings into the ground meat. Be sure to really squish it around so it all mixes evenly.
Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with olive oil spray. Press the meatloaf mixture into the pan.

In a small bowl, mix remaining 2 tablespoons of ketchup with the brown sugar and spread over the top of the meatloaf.
Bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165-170 degrees.

*You may want to drain off a little of the excess liquid during cooking. (The fat from the turkey along with the water from the vegetables can create a little too much moisture.) Just remove pan from oven at around the 30-minute mark and use a spoon to remove the extra liquid. Return to oven and cook for the remaining 10 minutes or so.
I was really happy with the way this dish turned out. It was really good and it was great to have a little comfort food—without the guilt of eating something unhealthy. I paired the meatloaf with sautéed green beans and
GarlicMashed “Potatoes” and it was the perfect, balanced meal.

If you’re looking for a healthy, tasty twist on boring old meatloaf, give this recipe a try. Let me know what you—and your family—think!
Until next time,

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