Monday, July 11, 2011

Making Family Favorites Healthier

Every once in a while, (even in the middle of the summer with the grill ready to go!) I'll get a craving for some comfort food.  Bob and I have both had meatloaf on the brain for a while, planted there first by a TV commercial, and then by a lunch special at a neighborhood bistro.  I haven't made it in ages, because I have been consciously preparing healthy and organic foods, and meats in general have not been on the menus.  So I decided to look for a recipe to make it with ground turkey.  And there are great recipes to be found! But as I read them over, I just knew that meatloaf made with sun dried tomatoes or cremini mushrooms was not going to pass as an adequate substitute for the meatloaf 'that mom used to make' around here!

I ended up using my standard recipe, learned from my mom and my aunt, and made a few adjustments to it that allowed for the lighter flavor of ground turkey over ground beef and pork.  I was pretty pleased with the result!  And Bob said that he would definitely ask for it again, which is always a tribute to a recipe's success.

I served it alongside of roasted baby red potatoes and fresh peas. 

Turkey Meatloaf

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Serves 8.

1 to 1 1/4 pounds of ground turkey breast.
1 to 1 1/4 pounds of ground white and dark turkey meat.
1/2 cup chopped red or green onion.
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley.
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
1/3 cup ketchup.
1 tablespoon Worcester sauce.
3/4 cup breadcrumbs.
2 whole eggs, or three egg whites.
Fresh diced garlic, optional.

Combine all of the above ingredients in a bowl.  {To mix it properly, you must use your hands!}  Once it is well mixed, form it into a loaf shape in a baking dish, large enough that at least two of the sides of your meatloaf do not touch the pan.  This will allow you to spoon any fat from the pan as the meatloaf cooks, insuring that you get a browned bottom, which will prevent the serving portions from falling apart as you slice them.

This will take about 45 minutes to an hour to cook, depending on the shape of your loaf.  Once it starts to brown, but before it is done, coat the top with a mixture of ketchup and mustard.  I like a ratio of two parts ketchup to one part mustard, but adjust this to your taste.  It is also good with just ketchup on top!  Return the loaf to the oven and allow it to finish cooking.  I judged mine by sight, but you can also use a meat thermometer. 

Have fun in the kitchen!  Making things by hand brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart.  I hope that it is the same for you!

XO, Anita


  1. This looks so good Anita! And I love how healthy it is. Can't wait to try it. I am sharing it on Twitter!

  2. You will love it, Isabella! Thank you for the kind works and the tweet; I am following you on Twitter now!
    xo, Anita


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xo, Anita