I grew up on Meatloaf, it fed our family of 12 easily! We all loved it and thought it was amazing. It was probably one of the healthiest meals we had throughout the week. Smothered in ketchup with a side of green beans and mashed potatoes and we were in Heaven!
But, when my healthy mommy gene kicked in, I started tweaking almost every recipe I could find! This led to five and half years of trial and error with lots of flops and burnt results. But once I found something that worked and the family liked; It became a staple that I make over and over and over again. Each time I make a recipe I change up a few things so we don't get bored. I truly like to cook BASIC, super BASIC ...I am NOT a cook, I don't enjoy it that much either. I do love serving healthy meals though! It really does make me the proudest when I control the nutritional value of what is on my family's plates as we sit down to eat.
Just don't judge me for the Chex Rice cereal for breakfast this morning...its Friday
Before I share my tips and ideas on how to make your healthy meatloaf, know that NOT everyone in my family loves it. My husband won't eat ground turkey or chicken, although he is not a fan of meatloaf either. So I make this for Lunch. I prep a BIG batch and the boys and I eat it for our lunches. It packs well in their school lunch boxes.
Now, lets think about the traditional meatloaf and its intention. It was a way to make meat go further. So instead of using "cheap" meat, I use ground chicken and turkey, which is healthier than "cheap" meat and is known to cost less than leaner grass feed beef. So instead of adding "crap" to my meat to make it go further, I add healthy foods that will keep you fuller longer. When I first tweaked this recipe I used oatmeal instead of bread crumbs (have you ever looked at the ingredients on the back of the bread crumbs you buy? I dare you to go look if you have some on hand). Also, I don't add any sauces.
What I do add is an egg or two depending on how big the batch is. Then, I dice up any veggies on hand that I have, super small other wise your meatloaf will fall apart. I love to grate up zucchini and carrots. I also like to add minced, onion, garlic, mushrooms, peppers. .The veggies help add moisture and flavor to the meat. You can create so many different flavors. I like to use "Mrs Dash- no salt added" seasonings. Sometimes we make it more of an Italian style meatloaf with a can of tomato sauce and other times I add a Mexican spin to it by adding cilantro and a can of hatch green chilli peppers or you can use fresh peppers if you have it!
Cooking with Turkey and veggies is going to give off more juice/liquid so I drain that about half way through baking. I cut into it to see how close it is to being done.I love to turn the broiler on for the last 5-10 to crisp up the top too.
Preheat oven to 350
In a mixing bowl add in no particular order:
- 1 lb of lean ground turkey or chicken
- 1 small zucchini (grated)
- 1 garlic clove (crushed)
- 1/2 small red onion (chopped finely)
- 2 med size mushrooms (chopped up small)
- 1 can of fire roasted chopped green chilli (don't drain)
- hand full of fresh cilantro
- 1 tsp of cumin
- 1 egg
- 1-2 tsp of Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime
The last 5 min I turn the broiler on and brown up the top. Enjoy!
Let me know if you try this recipe, tell me what you think. Or if you have any "flavor" suggestions I would love to hear about it. Tuna Sweet Potato Muffins coming up Next with K.I.S.S. Recipies
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