Looking back the past few weeks I have shared lots of sweets to make. I am thinking this has some relation to the cold crappy weather we have been having. It’s officially Spring, but we are only getting short glimpses of warmer weather. One day we get a tease with sunny skies and permission to shed the coats, and the next day I’m doing bus duty at school with gloves and a hat. I am patiently waiting. In the meantime I am still cranking out the comfort food.
With Spring on the horizon and shorts and tee-shirts looming I gotta be careful about how much comfort food I’m putting away. Actually, it’s probably too late at this point..but moving forward let’s put a healthy spin on a comfort food classic.
Who would think that meatloaf can be a healthy food choice? It ranks pretty high up there as a comfort food. With a few swaps and portion control, this can totally meet the requirements of a healthy meal and get a thumbs up from 3 out of the four members of my family.
The biggest switch up is using ground turkey in place of ground beef. You can use ground turkey breast (which is 99% fat free) or 93% fat free ground turkey. I have made this recipe with both and with good results. I honestly think the 93% fat free gives a better flavor and it not as dry…but either choice works.
Not too many step by step instructions here. I pour a half cup of milk over fresh bread crumbs. I use white sandwich bread that I use for lunches during the week. I’ve been using the Schmidt’s 647 bread for sandwiches. It’s high in fiber and lower in carbs and calories which I prefer and my kids don’t complain so that’s my go to. Let that sit while you saute an onion and add the garlic and a bag of spinach to wilt down.
Now start dumping in the bowl. Turkey, milk soaked breadcrumbs, spinach mixture, a beaten egg, parmesan cheese and seasoning.
Mix it all together gently with a fork, until everything is incorporated.
On a foil lined cookie sheet, divide the mixture into 4 even mounds. I shape them gently into ovals.
Bake them in the oven for about 40 minutes. When you have about five more minutes left of bake time, brush each one with the glaze you put together.
Without question, mashed potatoes go great with meatloaf. It’ s a given. I’m about to let you in on a little secret of mine. I rarely make my own taters. My total cheat is Bob Evan’s mashed potatoes. They are the real deal and everyone I serve them to think they are homemade. They have seriously shown up on holiday tables.
TURKEY MINI MEATLOAVES
For the meatloaf:
1-2 slices of sandwich bread
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
5-ounce bag baby spinach
1-1/4 pounds ground turkey (either turkey breast or 93% fat free works great)
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cloves of minced garlic
For the glaze:
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grind the bread in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a large bowl, and pour milk over crumbs. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet, over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 5 minutes. Add spinach and garlic , stir until just wilted about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl with soaked crumbs. Add the turkey, cheese, egg, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Combine the mixture with your hands or a fork until well mixed; it will be quite wet.
Pack 1 cup of the mixture into a 1-cup dry measuring cup, invert the cup onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil, gently shaking the cup to release the mixture. Gently pat the mounds in an oval shape. Repeat with remaining mixture. Bake mini meatloaves until cooked through and golden, about 40 minutes.
While the meatloaves are cooking, make the glaze: in a small bowl combine the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Brush over meatloaves as soon as complete. Serve them up with mashed potatoes, obviously.
In our house we end up with an extra one since one picky member won’t eat it. Leftovers are great served up as sandwich for lunch the next day.