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What’s for Dinner? Meatloaf! (Seriously!)

April 25, 2011

An All-American Dinner!

Meatloaf is one of those classic American dishes, and there are as many ways to make meatloaf as there are moms in America. I have a few different recipes of meatloaf that I make, and in general, meatloaf is a family favorite around here.

Alas, meatloaf is not the healthiest of dishes. While I typically only use extra-lean ground beef, that doesn’t discount the loads of sugar from ketchup or (in the case of our favorite recipe) the brown sugar base! (Oh, but it is GOOD!)

So I was pleasantly surprised when Team Beachbody, the fitness group known for P90X, Insanity, Slim in 60, etc., included a recipe for reduced-fat meatloaf in a recent newsletter. I willing to try a healthier-for-you version of a family favorite anytime, assuming that the replacement items aren’t worse for you the original ingredients, and it compares in the taste arena. That being said, the family really enjoyed this version of meatloaf! I was surprised, quite frankly! Please see my notes at the end of the recipes for some tips.

Better-for-You Meatloaf

  • 1-1/2 lbs. extra-lean ground beef, ground turkey breast, or extra-lean ground turkey
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened tomato sauce
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together well with wooden spoons or hands. Place on board or waxed paper and shape into loaf, then place in loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour. Depending on the shape and thickness of the loaf, it may need to cook for slightly longer. Serves 6.

Notes: I did not separate out the egg whites, I used whole eggs. If you want to be extra serious about calories and cholesterol, then do just egg whites.
I did not have rolled oats, and used steel-cut oats instead. They worked fine.
I also included super-finely chopped carrot, because I don’t measure anything and just added what “looked” right. I chopped all the veggies as small as I could, but they are still clearly visible in turkey meat.
I used ground turkey (because it’s a whole $1 per pound cheaper than the same extra-lean beef at Aldi! WTH?). I was so worried that it was too wet, I put in a bunch of extra oats. Alas…I made it TOO dry! So if you use turkey, please realize that it will dry up faster than beef, so it’s OK if it’s super-wet when it goes into the pan.
I have no idea what made it OK for my picky 4yo to eat this…it’s loaded with veggies, and he loved it! I was half tempted to puree the veggies, but decided against. IF your kiddo doesn’t go for it with veggies in tact, try it again with veggie purees.
The flavor just got better with this, it made for excellent leftovers!
I served with our standard peas and mashed potatoes. I’d like to tell you they were lean mashed potatoes, but then I’d be lying. If someone has a lean mashed potato recipe, lemme know! 🙂

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