Hidden Veggies Turkey Meatloaf

Hidden Veggies Turkey Meatloaf

Not sure why, but I can’t say I ever ate meatloaf when I was a kid. Even though it is a traditional dish in Germany, where meatloaf is called Hackbraten or falscher Hase (which means false hare). You may ask yourself why would they call meatloaf a "false hare"? Well, before WWII, Germans liked to make this special meatloaf out of rabbit meat. After the war, rabbits were quite scarce due to all the battles and bombings. So, folks had to content themselves with regular mixed ground meat when available, and in some cases even cats were used. Yikes!

I usually like using a mix of ground meats in my meatloaf like veal, beef and pork. But lately I’ve been making it with ground turkey, and I must say, I like it just the same! And it’s healthier, to boot. Now, my daughter (ok, and my husband) are quite the picky eaters, and at times I find myself having to hide veggies in meals. Believe you me, it is no easy task. But I gotta do what I gotta do to make sure my daughter gets her daily veggie intake.

Hiding veggies in a meatloaf, though, turns out to be easy enough. In this recipe, I’m hiding carrots, celery, and even mushrooms by putting them all in a food processor and chopping them up pretty small. Not only does this save me a lot of time, but it also ensures that the veggies will be small enough to cook through and not be crunchy. But most importantly, once you slice up the meatloaf, you can't tell that there are any veggies in it. You get the picture! Mission accomplished! All in all, this recipe is one flavorful, moist and healthy dinner for the whole family to enjoy.

Anyhoo, I would be interested to hear from you. What kind of tricks do you have up your sleeves when it comes to “hiding” veggies from your kiddos? And yeah, sometimes hubbies too…

Hidden Veggies Turkey Meatloaf

ingredients :

3 slices white wheat bread, crusts removed and torn into large pieces

8 oz cremini mushrooms

2 small celery stalks, cut into 1-inch thick rounds

2 medium carrot, cut into 1-inch-thick rounds

1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into quarters

1 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, loosely packed

1 large egg

1-1/2 lbs ground turkey, preferably 93%

1/2 cup ketchup (plus 3 tablespoons for glaze)

2 tsp dry mustard, regular Dijon mustard works too (plus 2-1/2 tsp for glaze)

2 tbsp dark brown sugar (for glaze)

1 tsp Tabasco Sauce, or to taste

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1-1/2 -2 tsp salt

1/2-1 tsp ground pepper

make it :

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place bread pieces in the bowl of a food processor. Process until fine crumbs form, about 10 seconds. Transfer breadcrumbs to a large mixing bowl.

Mince mushrooms in the food processor. In a medium non-stick pan heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high and cook minced mushrooms, stirring once or twice, until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Once cooked add to bowl with breadcrumbs.

While the mushrooms are cooking place the carrots, celery, yellow onion, garlic, and parsley in the bowl of the food processor and process until veggies are minced, about 30 seconds. Stopping once to scrape down.

Transfer the veggies to the bowl with the breadcrumbs.

Add 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 teaspoons mustard, turkey, egg, salt, pepper, Tabasco, and Worcestershire. Using your hands, knead the ingredients until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. The texture should be wet, but tight enough to hold a free-form shape. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, use your hands to form the turkey mixture into a 10 to 15-inch loaf.

In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of ketchup, 2-1/2 teaspoons of mustard and 2 tbsp of brown sugar until smooth and brush it onto the meatloaf with a pastry brush.

Bake until cooked through, about 45 minutes. Let meatloaf cool for a little before serving, about 10 minutes.

Notes : Some folks like to eat their meatloaf with ketchup. In my opinion, you wont be needing any with this recipe, since this meatloaf already contains ketchup, which adds tons of flavor.

This meatloaf goes real well with a sweet potato, parsnip or butternut squash puree.