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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Beets and Goat Cheese with Pasta or Cabbage Noodles

The pickings at the farmer’s market are slim this time of year but the root vegetables and squash are still available. There are always beets available, but every time I look at a beet, I think about the work it takes to peel them, the mess they make, and the time they take to cook. I also only know a couple of ways to eat them. Tonight I found a new way to cook them: Spaghetti with Beets and Goat Cheese. It’s a new variation on the usual old beet & goat cheese salad.

I wish I had found some miraculous solution to how much work it takes to cook beets, but I did not. My beets were a little soft from being in the fridge so thankfully they were easy to peel. Shredding them was not fun but at least there wasn’t too many to do, and it made them cook very quickly. The recipe called for 10 ounces of goat cheese (!) but seriously, I used half the amount and it tasted just fine. What’s neat about adding lemon juice is that it mimics the sour taste of cheese, so you’re kind of faking the flavor of cheese without having to add a ton. If you are trying to eat low fat or stretch your budget, try adding lemon juice or mustard to recipes that involve melty cheese sauce.

Brian got the original beet pasta recipe. Doesn’t it look wild?

beetpasta1

I made a version for myself with cabbage noodles. It looks more like zombie guts but it was still yummy.

beetpasta2

I’ve been eating a lot of cabbage lately – it’s plentiful at the farmer’s market even in February, keeps for a long time in the fridge, has a lot of savory flavor, and fills you up. The best thing is to eat cabbage with a delicious meat like corned beef or ham but I can’t do that every day so I’ve been making a lot of cabbage “noodles” for easy dinners. Cabbage noodles are so much more satisfying and filling than zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.

To make cabbage noodles: Cut the cabbage in half, then slice into thin strips. Then saute or lightly steam until the shreds are soft. Since cabbages are usually so large, you can make a lot at once and use it throughout the week.

The day before I made this beet dish, I topped the noodles with marinara sauce and “meatballs” made out of lentils. Other things I’ve done with cabbage noodles: baked with eggs and parmesan for “spaghetti pie“, made Asian-ish sesame peanut noodles, and subbed for noodles in a cheesey casserole.

Nutrition Information Overload

In the first year that I started my health journey, I admit I did not change my eating at all. I was fine with that because my body continued to improve with just exercising. Then in the 2nd year I noticed that the results were slowing and I knew I wouldn’t get any further unless I changed the way I ate. So now I’ve tried a million diets (no weird fad diets though) and I feel more frustrated and overwhelmed than when I started.

img sourc: stock photo

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