I Loaf You

As the day turned unseasonably and irritatingly rainy and cold last Sunday, (my calendar still says August but in Seattle, it is apparently October) it was clearly meat loaf weather. There are many comfort foods in the world, but none so quintessential for me as meat loaf, with sides of mashed potatoes and green beans. This meal embodies Sunday night dinner around the family dining table, talking about the week to come, and squirting ketchup, much to my Mother's chagrin. All the while anticipating The Muppet Show to come on after our baths. There is also something very satisfying about getting your hands in the bowl and mixing everything together. You have to be gentle, but thorough, much like we want our lovers to be, yes?

My Safeway recently had a buy one get one free sale on ground turkey. It was time to lighten up my Mom's classic recipe. This recipe is decidedly lower in fat and tastes really good! I used both pounds of turkey, so I could freeze some.

Sara's Mom's Lightened up Turkey Loaf

2 pounds ground turkey
16 oz frozen spinach, thawed
2 cups finely diced onions
4 cloves minced garlic
1 and 1/4 cups diced green peppers (or any other color you like)
3 eggs

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (sodium, I know, but soooo good)
2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp seasoned salt
2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 - 1 cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a non-stick muffin tin with cooking spray or your favorite non-stick agent.
  1. In a large bowl, crumble the turkey.
  2. Squeeze dry your spinach. I like to wring mine in a clean dish towel - there's a lot of water in there that you don't want in your loaf! Break up the spinach with your hands (it will clump) and sprinkle over the turkey.
  3. Dump in the onions, garlic and green peppers
  4. Lightly beat the eggs, adding Worcestershire sauce, peppers, salt and thyme, pour egg mixture over all.
  5. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs over the whole mixture, and get in there and get dirty! Mix everything together with your hands, gently so as to not toughen the meat.
  6. Add more breadcrumbs if you don't think it will bind well. I can't think of a great way to describe this, but you just have to grab a handful, squeeze it, and see if it holds its shape.
  7. Now, if you've over breadcrumbed, add more Worcestershire, or you can add a little vegetable oil.
  8. Grab your greased muffin tin, and start grabbing balls-o-meat. Press them into the pan, mounding them tall a little bit, until you've filled the tin.
  9. Whatever you have left, shape into a little loaf, and place in a suitably sized baking dish.
  10. I prefer a browned loaf, but of course you can add the traditional tomato sauce or ketchup to cook on top.

Bake for 35 minutes, and check to see if it is browned, and the internal temp is 170 degrees. Your meaty muffins will most likely be done, but your full loaf may need some more time.

Allow your mini loaves to cool in the pan completely. Then fish them out, wrap in foil, and freeze them, for a meat loaf muffin any time. I've been weighing mine, and they come out to about 4 ounces apiece. A perfect portion, I think.

Steam some green beans, toss them with a little olive oil and roasted almonds, and mash up some taters, get your ketchup bottle ready, then dig in with someone you love, or just wait for The Muppet Show.


amy said...

that sounds good! Im doing the weight loss challenge as well!

Deb said...

Hi, I found your blog thru Chubby Chick's Christmas Challenge. I never thought of doing meatloafs in muffin tins! Great idea. I will be trying it out.

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