21 January 2010

cozy, yet healthy, meatloaf

Meatloaf might just be my favorite comfort food. It's warm, easy to make, easy to eat, and great for leftovers. Heck, I hosted a party once with a make-your-own sandwich bar, and the unexpected meatloaf was a big hit. (That was my dad's idea. Thanks Dad!)

I always serve meatloaf with mashed potatoes. It's just better that way. By the way, if you pick up ingredients to make this meatloaf, buy extra potatoes...the potato-and-egg recipe I have coming tomorrow is definitely one you'll want to try.

As usual, this recipe is a combination of two I have previously tried. One of those recipes comes from Martha Stewart, and the other from my dad. These two people, in fact, provide a lot of the inspiration for me when I cook...and in other areas of my life, as well. :)

Turkey and Vegetable Meatloaf
1-2 lbs ground turkey
    *I usually use one package of Honeysuckle White ground turkey, which is 20 ozs has just been downsized to 19.2 ozs.
    **If you want a dense, meaty meatloaf, use 2 lbs.
    ***Of course, you can make this with ground beef or your preferred meatloaf mixture, but it won't be as healthy. Just don't try to do half turkey/half beef. It doesn't work well.
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into eighths
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup oats (quick or regular) If you need this to be gluten-free, be sure you use gluten-free oats. Not all are processed gluten-free.
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
1 cup ketchup, divided
3 teaspoons good deli (like Plochman's) or Dijon mustard, divided
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Place onion, garlic, celery, and carrots into a food processor. (Do this in two batches, if needed, placing half of each ingredient in each batch.)
  • Pulse until everything is finely chopped, almost like a chunky puree.
  • Place ground turkey in a large bowl.
  • Add vegetable mixture, oats and milk to the bowl.
  • Mix ingredients thoroughly with clean hands, until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Add egg, 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 teaspoons mustard, salt and pepper; mix again, gently, until thoroughly combined.
  • Place meatloaf mixture into large loaf pan or 8x8 pan.
  • Wash hands, then combine remaining ketchup, mustard and brown sugar in a small bowl.
  • Spread brown sugar mixture over the top of the meatloaf.
  • Place in 375° oven for 60-90 minutes. (If using loaf pan, place foil or sheet pan underneath to catch drippings.)
  • Check temperature in center of meatloaf at 60 minutes, and every 10 minutes after that until it reaches 180°.
  • If the top gets too dark, cover with foil and continue baking until appropriate temperature is reached. (It should be dark reddish brown, but not black.)
Click here for printable recipe