Monday, October 22, 2012

Vegetable and Turkey Loaf

It's harvest season.  And it's comfort food season.  I see no reason why these things can't be combined into a yummy, healthy, and satisfying dinner.  Agree?  Good because this recipe does just that, serving up delicious veggies in a meatloaf made healthy with ground turkey and seasoned up to tasty goodness.  This is a great fall dinner paired with mashed potatoes and veggies to leave everyone with a full belly and loaded up on in season veggies.  That's the beauty of this recipe--use whatever you have on hand to incorporate 2 full cups veggies into this meatloaf and you'll have a unique meal every time.

You know I love a twisted meatloaf--the fact that I have two recipes for meatloaf variations (Buffalo Chicken and Chicken Parm) but no traditional meatloaf on this blog is testament to that.  So when I came across this recipe from Martie Kyde in an old Penzey's Spices catalog (sorry--it's a photo copy and I don't have the issue information), I didn't hesitate to give it whirl.  Martie suggests a long list of finely chopped veggies that had me so excited I had to scale back from putting too much in.  There are two rules with this meatloaf: 1) always use onion; and 2) don't use more than 1 1/2 to 2 cups--if you do your loaf likely won't stick together and will just crumble when you serve it (yeah, mine fell apart a bit in the photo--I think because of the corn being a larger size).  This time I used onion, fresh corn and shredded carrots, but the skies the limit.  I also opted to use finely ground Fiber One cereal in lieu of bread crumbs for a subtle flavor change and nutritional boost.  You can also swap out the seasoning depending on your veggies and your mood.  This adaptable meatloaf will be sure to please on your dinner table and is a great way to add more vegetables to the plate and use up what you have on hand.

Vegetable & Turkey Meatloaf


1 pound ground turkey
1 1/2 to 2 cups finely chopped veggies, such as onions (always), peppers, carrots, squash, parsnips, apples, celery, cranberries, nuts, chives, mushrooms, corn, peas, capers, water chestnuts, tomatoes or whatever you have on hand
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 Tablespoons fresh or 2 teaspoons dried herbs of choice (to complement veggies), such as oregano, basil and sage
1 Tablespoon seasoning mix, such as Penzey's Mural of Flavor or preferred
1/4 to 1/3 cup bread crumbs or finely ground bran cereal

In a large bowl, combine turkey, veggies, egg, salt, pepper, herbs, seasoning and bread crumbs.

Mix thoroughly (Note: hands are the best tool here).

Transfer mixture to a greased 8 x 4 inch loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes.

Slice and serve with desired side dishes (like mashed potatoes and steamed green beans).

Makes 4-6 servings.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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