A few weeks ago my cousin Rachel posted on her Facebook that she was going on a juice fast. She is eating absolutely NOTHING for 10 days. Instead of eating, she is juicing fresh fruits and vegetables to drink 4 times a day. She was inspired by one Aussie man’s journey to better health in the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”. In just 1 week of her fast she cleansed her body and jump started her weight loss with a whopping 10 pounds.
This got me thinking about how dissatisfied I have been with my recent weight gain. I know a food blogger being overweight, no real surprise there. So my new goals after reading my cousin’s story, and watching the documentary myself are to:
1) Not eat so much of my own cooking. I love to cook and it tastes so damn good. I am not going to deprive myself and be miserable just for vanity, however I am going to work on everything in moderation.
2) Try to make some better choices. I went back to my last blog and while that bacon wrapped pork was just about the most delicious dish I have eaten in a while, I can now just picture it clogging up my arteries. ( Not saying it won’t make its way through my kitchen again, but next time we are may see it in a slightly healthier capacity.)
This recipe is the first of what I hope will be many in healthier choices in my diet overall.
I love meatloaf. LOVE! I mean who doesn’t. Just look at that brick of goodness 🙂
But I have always struggled with making it be as awesome as my mother’s. I have tried 4 different meatloaf recipes, suffered through eating about 7 loaves that ranged from mediocre to down-right disgusting. They have been too greasy, too watery, too dry, not seasoned well enough and completely falling apart. So I found a recipe on another blog for “Cupfakes” where she made meatloaf look like a cupcake.
Now cupcakes are something I am good at, so I decided to give it a whirl. I omitted the mashed potato frosting because I am not a big fan of them period, so I didn’t want to risk ruining my loaf yet again. I combined the loaf-cake idea with a turkey meatloaf recipe from Ina Garten ( my personal hero!). Ina’s recipe would feed an army so I cut mine down significantly. The link will take you to the original where you can see the measurements for a full size loaf.
My last trip to the grocery store ended in only buying ground turkey that is 93% lean. Normally I am shoving ground beef together in with my bread and ketchup which is only 80% lean. After eating these babies, I just felt skinnier already.
Here is what you need and how much you need,
1 pound ground turkey breast
½ chopped yellow onion
½ diced green pepper
1 tblsp olive oil
Salt & pepper
½ tsp dried Herb de Provence
1 1/2 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup chicken stock
2 tblsp ketchup plus enough for the tops
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup bread crumbs
Heat your oven to 350. I followed Ina and preheated to 325, but I felt like the tops of my loaves did not get as brown as I would have liked without leaving them in there for like 45 minutes, which would have dried them out too much. So I think it would be safe to bump it up to 350.
I lightly buttered the bottoms of my muffin tin just to make sure the loaves came out easily. It also gave the bottoms a slight crunch which was perfection.
Here is my spiffy herb collection, aka, Herb De Provence. This is an excellent meatloaf blend because it doesn’t let one herb overpower the other. I love the taste of herbs in meatloaf so I love this combo of basil, marjoram, thyme, sage, savory and rosemary.
Saute your chopped pepper and onions in olive oil with salt, pepper and herbs until translucent. This usually takes about 10 minutes. Then add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes to thicken the sauce a little. Remove it from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Ground turkey can be a little on the watery side, especially after thawing. So when you remove it from the package just lay it between 4-5 paper towels and soak up the excess liquid.
Now lightly beat your egg and add it to the ground turkey. Gently mix with a fork and then add your onion mix. Gently mix these and finally add the bread crumbs. Some people swear by using homemade crumbs or mushy day old bread. I have tried it all three ways and find that dried bread crumbs work best. They soak up the moisture from the meat without make it to dry.
I always mix each ingredient in by itself first so that I don’t over mix the loaf. After all the ingredients are in with the meat get your hands in there and gently mash it together just until it holds its shape.
I rolled my mixture into about 3 inch balls and placed them in a muffin tin. Bake them for 30 minutes. Then remove and add the ketchup.
I was channeling Jackson Pollock in my ketchup designs, feel free to just spread some on with a knife. Return them to the oven for another 5-8 minutes and voila! Cupcake shaped meatloaf! These were by far, hands down, the best meatloaves I have ever made. I sprinkled the top with a little kosher salt to finish and served them along side some oven fried potatoes.