I used to HATE HATE HATE …with a capital H… HATE meatloaf when I was a little kid. Worst meal ever in my opinion… well, that & Reuben sandwiches *ugh sauerkraut! But apparently, your tastes change as you age.
I remember the first time my parents made me eat a Reuben sandwich…they kept saying just try it, but I wouldn’t. I keep telling them how much it smelled. If I remember correctly, they got so frustrated with me that they told me I couldn’t leave the table until I finished the whole thing. I am pretty sure that is the ONLY time they EVER said that to me in my entire life 🙂 and I’m pretty sure they won that battle… I think I sat at that table for hours that night…Then magically, when I was 20ish, waiting tables @ Turners in Milwaukee, I had to try another Reuben (so I knew the menu well). And I LIKED it! A lot changes in 15ish years!
Anyway, on to meatloaf… I never threw as big of a fit about meatloaf as I did with Reubens, but I never really like it either. And~ it was a staple in our household. We probably had it once every other week. Yuck. Sorry mom, I love you, but I never liked the idea of meatloaf!
To this day, I have NEVER EVER made traditional meatloaf. I’m not sure if I ever will, though I will admit I’d probably like it just fine now. This recipe has been sitting in my files for just over a year now & I just never had all of the ingredients to make it… plus that aversion to the word ‘meatloaf’ was still hanging with me pretty strongly!
For whatever reason, a few weeks back, I had all of the ingredients ~ and decided to overcome my aversion. OMGOSH. So glad I did. This was Ah-MAzing!!! Try it, whether or you’re a meatloaf fan or not, I promise you’ll love it.
Meatloaf ~ health-i-fied~ Ground Turkey & Veggie
Adapted from Shape January 2009 issue
- ¼ tsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic (cloves)
- ¼ c. chopped carrot
- ¼ c. chopped celery
- ¼ c. chopped green pepper
- ½ c. chopped onion (sweet vdalia)
- Salt & pepper
- 1 lb light meat ground turkey
- ¼ grated Parmesan
- ¼ c. chicken broth
- 1 large egg
- 1 c. cooked brown lentils
- ¼ c. frozen spinach, thawed, drained (water squeezed out) and chopped
Preheat the oven 350 degrees.
Cook the dried lentils (1/2 c. dried lentils + 1 c. water) over low heat for 30 minutes till al dente. Drain & set aside.
While the lentils are simmering, add olive oil, garlic, and all of the veggies (except the spinach) to the pan. Sauté till tender and cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, parmesan, salt, pepper, broth, and egg. Try not to ‘over work’ the meat or it will make it tough.
Add in the veggies and mix. Add in the lentils & the spinach and mix.
Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Press the meat mixture into the pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until done. The internal temperature should reach 140 degrees.
*** Remake: 10/11/11 … not sure HOW I baked this thing in 35 minutes… maybe I split it in two pans? Regardless, if you have a full loaf pan, up the temp to around 375 & bake for an hour to an hour and 15 min. Also, this time around I omitted the chicken broth and spinach. It still tasted amazing 🙂
Now, when you pull the dish out of the oven, it will have some ‘liquid accumulation in the bottom’… I think probably a mix of some of the broth & some of the fat from the ground turkey (incidentally, the recipe called for lean ground beef, but we had ground turkey on hand). Don’t freak out 🙂 it’s totally normal…AND keeps the meatloaf moist in the oven.
This meatloaf has a sort of savory sweet twist to it… I think it’s the combo of the carrots & onion~ so good! Like no other meatloaf you’ve ever tasted! It would be great with some garlic mashed potatoes, or a simple salad. Oh, and my mom suggested some type of turkey gravy. That would also be yummy, but truly~ the dish didn’t need it 🙂
Be brave~ give it a try! I’m so glad I did!