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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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?

DIY Instant Oatmeal Packets

When I’m at work I get jealous seeing people make those little packets of oatmeal, so I decided to make my own! I saw Mark Bittman do this but I can’t seem to find the video anymore. The best tip he gave was to put some of the dry oatmeal into a coffee grinder and pulse it a few times. Then add a little bit of this “oatmeal powder” to each serving. It makes the oatmeal thicker and creamier without having to use cream.

oatmealpack

Homemade oatmeal packets

Each little baggie contains:

  • 1/3 cup of quick cooking rolled oats
  • 2 tsp of oatmeal powder
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped pecans
  • pinch of salt

Bam. Instant oatmeal with no chemicals or artificial flavorings. Just add water and microwave.

One serving comes out to just about 200 calories so you might want to make it a little bit bigger if you want a larger breakfast. It was also cheap to make: a two pound bag of Bob’s Red Mill Organic Oats was $3. That’s roughly similar to the cost of one box (8 packets) of organic instant oatmeal packets. The sugar and pecans brings up my cost a little but I will get at least 20 servings of oatmeal from that bag.

I didn’t know that there were so many different types of oats. I used “quick cooking” which will cook in the microwave. You can also get “instant,” which means the oats will cook by just adding boiling water.

It only occurred to me after I made five packets that I could have put it in a mason jar so that it would be reusable and have its own bowl. This project is old news to the interwebz but its new to me. What other flavor combos can I make?

I Love Waffles

Waffles are one of my favorite foods.

wafflebot

Wafflebot from Harold & Kumar 3d (img source: tumblr)

Now that I am deep into my third half-marathon training round, my husband and I have established some long run rituals and they begin with a waffle dinner the night before. I get excited about the waffles, so I’m not focusing on the anxiety of the run. It was also a nice mental boost because I worked a full day on Saturday and I got through it knowing that there were waffles at the end of the tunnel.

Figuring out what to eat is hard when I am simultaneously trying to lose weight and fuel for a distance run. I feel like those two things aren’t very congruent. I decided to make two batches of waffles – one “regular” for him and a lower fat version for myself. I also needed to use up some homemade applesauce from last year.

sundayrun1

I used this recipe with a few tweaks such as using part wheat flour, part ground almonds, and substituting leftover yogurt whey for the milk. I didn’t want it to be “too” healthy like using different types of lower carb flour because then things just start to get weird. I’ve tasted those attempts at “pancakes” or “waffles” and honestly: they suck. They are soggy, grainy, and off color. I kept this as real as possible.

I’ve never been one to drown my waffles in maple syrup, but I never gave serious thought to the calories either. For waffle night, I topped my three waffles with two tablespoons of maple syrup and that looked pretty scant! The photo above was just over a tablespoon. I was definitely using more than that before, and I can’t imagine what it’s like for people who have a puddle of syrup. My waffles looked kind of dry and sad, so I put a scoop of applesauce on the side for extra dipping. Two tablespoons of syrup is about 105 calories ; that’s more than an entire apple or banana. Really gave me something to think about.

Three waffles came out to 350 calories before the syrup; about 450 with syrup so that’s not much to feel guilty about. Thinking about the calories in my old traditional waffle kinda makes me dizzy though. Armed with my new recipe, I feel good about being able to keep waffle night in my rotation without trashing my diet.