Monday, December 13, 2010

Turkey Zucchini Meatloaf

I stayed away from meatloaf for a long time. It wasn't as though our family really even ate meatloaf. I didn't have the scars that some people I know carry with them from Meatloaf Mondays, where they were forced to eat loaves of meat slathered in ketchup. These kinds of horror stories are what gives meatloaf such a bed reputation, along with other culinary nightmares from the 1950s that are best forgotten, like aspic. And the ingredients sound like something cooked up for kids, not grown-ups trying to be healthy: ground beef, breadcrumbs, and worst of all, ketchup. Ketchup was for french fries. That's all.

But like many of these foods with bad reputations, meatloaf was one of my guilty pleasures. I couldn't admit that I liked it because of the gross factor, but I did. Even worse, the ketchup topping was my favorite part.

This recipe evolved from a plain turkey meatloaf recipe, which turned out quite well and satisfied all cravings for things I shouldn't eat for a while. I added zucchini and carrots and it got even better. I took out the eggs and used egg replacers instead, and it still tasted good. I'm not leaving out the ketchup, although I did use the organic kind without any high fructose corn syrup. The best thing about this recipe is that it follows my general rule of being easy to make. You can play with this recipe and add different amounts of vegetables and meat. I like a recipe that's hard to mess up.

The key is to press it into the pan to get rid of any air pockets. This also makes a denser meatloaf without having to add more breadcrumbs. However, if you add more veggies and take out some of the meat, you'll have to use more breadcrumbs to make it stick together better. The cooking time might also be a little longer.

I cut my finger on a grater the other day and so the mixing was a bit problematic, since my pinky finger was sticking out as if I was drinking tea so that "used band-aid" wouldn't become part of the ingredient list. For me, hands usually work better than spoons when mixing ingredients, so I felt as if something was missing. Maybe it was just the band-aid.

Turkey Zucchini Meatloaf

2 lbs. ground turkey
3 medium-large zucchini (shredded)-about 3 cups, excess liquid removed
1/2 cup or 1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup GF breadcrumbs
DF egg replacers (should equal 2 eggs)
1 tsp ketchup
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp dried onion flakes
1/4 cup ketchup (for the top)

Stir all ingredients except the 1/4 cup ketchup together. Flatten into 9x13 casserole dish. Bake for 45 minutes at 350. Remove from oven and spread the rest of the ketchup on the top. Bake for another 30 minutes. Cool for at least 30 minutes to let it set.

There will be a some "juice" on the bottom of the pan. Use a slotted spatula to slice the pieces and take them out of the pan.

Cover to keep away from the cat.

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