Turkey Veggie Meatloaf

Even though I try my best to eat my veggies, I love any recipe that lets you “sneak” vegetables in. I’ve made this vegetable-filled meatloaf in many forms and I love it so much, I have to share it and document it.The great thing about this recipe is that it easily fits into many diets – Weight Watchers, low calorie, low carb, or paleo.

turkey vegetable meatloaf

Turkey Vegetable Mealoaf – portion controlled, full of vegetables, and tons of flavor

This makes 8 servings. I normally don’t make such big recipes but Brian eats 2 portions, it’s so good as lunch leftovers too, and it freezes well. The meatloaf works best when all of the veggies are finely chopped. Go ahead and try to stuff as much vegetables into this recipe as you can.  You’ll be tired after chopping all of those vegetables so it’s a good thing you have leftovers.

Turkey Veggie Meatloaf

(sorta adapted from Bobby Flay)

Meatloaf ingredients:

1 cup shredded carrot
1 zucchini, shredded
1 cup bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup minced onion
4 cloves minced garlic
1 lb ground turkey, white meat + 1 lb ground dark meat*
1 Tbsp dried sage
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg

Glaze:
1/4 cup organic ketchup**
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 375.

In a huge bowl, mix all of the vegetables together. Microwave for 2 minutes just to soften them up a bit. Let it cool, then use your hands to gently mix it with the turkey, spices, worcestershire sauce, and egg.

Use a 1 cup dry measuring cup to scoop out patties and plop them into a casserole dish. Hopefully you’ll get pretty close to 8 portions. So you know that each meatloaf has 4 oz of meat. Easy tracking!

Mix together the ketchup and balsamic vinegar, then brush some of it over each meatloaf.

Bake for 30 mins. Serve with another pile of veggies.

*If you are doing low calorie or Weight Watchers, you can use all white meat. I have done it before and it is not as tasty, obviously, but it works. I think that the steam from the vegetables help keep the white meat moist.

**Ketchup may not be perfectly paleo, but you’re only eating 1/4 cup divided by 8 portions. Get the organic kind because it tastes way less sweet than the stuff made with corn syrup.

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Cherry Almond Smoothie

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1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2/3 cup frozen sweet cherries
1 tsp flax seeds, ground
1/2 banana
1/2 cup frozen spinach

215 Calories / 39 g carb / 4 g fat / 10g protein / 28 g sugar

I haven’t been making very many smoothies because I’m trying to finish up my tub of Vega One. In this smoothie, combining the vanilla almond milk + cherries was yummy but since the cherries weren’t very sweet, I had to add the banana. Posting these recipes are really eye opening as to the grams of sugar I’m getting, even though I try to minimize the amount of fruit. I may have to quit smoothies too 😦

Mango Parsley Smoothie

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1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt
2/3 cup mango
1 1/2 cups mixed greens
handful of parsley, about 1/2 cup
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 tsp ground flax seeds
water

246 calories / 28g carb / 11g fat / 13g protein / 19g sugar

I thought the mangoes and coconut would complement the parsley, which I had leftover from dinner. Peaches would have been better than mango, and I couldn’t really taste the coconut. I don’t think it was worth it to add the coconut milk. This smoothie was very mild in flavor, very green tasting.

Cherry Smoothie

Today’s smoothie:

cherry smoothie

1/2 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
1/2 cup frozen cherries
2 cups mixed baby greens
1/2 of a banana
1 Tbps flax seeds, ground
Water

248 Calories / 7 g fat / 16 g protein / 19 g sugar

This was my first time using frozen cherries. They weren’t very sweet or flavorful, even by themselves. I’m guessing the lack of flavor is a due to the low quality of fruit and it being frozen, which mutes flavors on things. So I added banana instead of more cherries.

How am I getting all of these fruits? Target has the best selection of frozen fruits for cheap. I didn’t know you could buy frozen mangoes, pineapples, peaches, or cherries. During the spring and summer, I try and stick to my farmer’s markets. Up here that means only berries, pears, or peaches. Now that I have discovered Target fruit, I went all out with frozen, non-organic tropical fruits. It’s the little luxuries in life.

Blueberry Protein Smoothie

I make green smoothies a few times a week when I can get my shit together in the morning. It started by trying Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie and then I moved on to doing my own thing. Adding lettuce or spinach to your smoothies is doesn’t make a big difference in the flavor. Any time you can add more vegetables to your diet is a plus, and it makes me feel good to know I’ve already had a salad by breakfast. Another benefit is that the added fiber makes you feel fuller. I don’t even have an expensive Vitamix or Ninja; I can get it smooth with just my average blender.

Usually I just throw ingredients together and mentally guess at keeping the calories and sugar low. I think I should start keeping track of my recipes and actually look at nutritional breakdowns.

Here is what I made today:

blueberry protein smoothie

3/4 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
1/2 cup blueberries
2 cups mixed baby greens
1 Tbsp flax seeds, ground
water

236 calories: 23 g carbs / 8 gm fat / 20 g protein / 12 g sugar (I don’t count the calories in the lettuce)

I always eat fat yogurt because it’s more satisfying and the extra calories are not killers. I’m not sure if I should switch to nonfat for smoothies though, since I am getting fat from the flax seeds. The Cabot Greek Yogurt I tried this week was very sour tasting. I didn’t taste the shake until I got to work and it was too sour so I had to add a packet of splenda. Since 20g protein is rather high, I could adjust it to only 1/2 cup Greek yogurt + 1 cup blueberries, which would bring it to:

233 calories: 30 g carbs / 7 gm fat / 14 g protein / 17 g sugar

I’ve only recently started using flax seeds. Question for you: when a recipe says “ground flax seeds” am I supposed to measure the tablespoon and then grind it? Or grind it first, then measure it out?