Sometimes you need to throw concerns about calories out the window and jump right into a comforting favorite dish. Fettuccine Alfredo is one example of such a dish its sauce is made of butter and a blend of cheeses, so no matter how much you alter it it will never be dietetic. Meatloaf, however, doesn’t have to be this way. There are many ways to make meatloaf less caloric and more interesting.
In my experience, sometimes the best way to maximize your meatloaf recipes is simple: get rid of them and start afresh! Your basic meatloaf recipe pounds of ground beef and a cup (or two) of whole milk is neither calorie-conscious nor particularly enticing. To reduce calories and debut a whole new taste, try lean and healthy turkey meatloaf. One of my favorite ground turkey meatloaf recipes has no milk or cream, further reducing its calories:
Ground Turkey Meatloaf:
-1 lb ground turkey
-6 tablespoons bread crumbs
-8 ounces tomato sauce
-2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
-1 tablespoon prepared mustard
-1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In large bowl mix all of the ingredients. Pat into a loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour or until done. You can also use the microwave, but pat the meat mixture into a bundt type pan first.
3. Use a temperature probe and cook until the loaf is at 190 degrees F. About halfway through, rotate the meat and move the probe over to the undercooked part of the meatloaf.
If you’d like to try a delicious meatloaf featuring ground beef and vegetables, enjoy the following recipe:
–1&1/2 pound lean ground beef
-10 ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
-1 cup oatmeal
-1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
-1/2 cup carrots, finely shredded
-2 egg whites, slightly beaten
-1/3 cup low-fat milk
-1&1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
-1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; mix lightly but thoroughly. In 13×19-inch baking pan or on rack of broiler pan, shape meatloaf mixture into 9×5-inch loaf in center of pan.
2. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until medium doneness (160 degrees F) and juices run clear. Let stand about 5 minutes before slicing. Loaf Pan Method: Press meat evenly across bottom of 8×4-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F 55 to 60 minutes or until medium doneness (160 degrees F) and juices run clear. Drain; let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
If you’re not in the mood for a lower-calorie meatloaf, you can still make an interesting and delicious one, such as this BBQ Meatloaf:
BBQ Potato Cheese Meatloaf:
-2 pounds ground beef
-4 slices bread; crumbled
-2 cups baked beans
-2 eggs; or substitute
-1 cup BBQ sauce
-1/4 cup mustard
-1/4 cup ketchup
-2 potatoes; mashed
-1 cup cheese
1. Mash up the baked beans. Mix everything together except the potatoes and the cheese. Add more liquid or bread as needed to reach desired consistency. Press mixture into the bottom and around sides of two 9×5″ loaf pans, leaving a large trough in the center.
2. Reserve about 1-1/2 cups of mixture to cover top with. Fill troughs of each meatloaf with mashed potatoes. Cut cheese into cubes, or grate, and put this on top of the potatoes. Cover potatoes and cheese with reserved meat mixture. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees F.
A few final tips on making the perfect meatloaf: it is optimal to make meatloaf in a pan, preferably one with an inset that allows fat to drain out the sides – an essential trick for a healthier meatloaf. If you haven’t got a pan and you are “sculpting” the meat and placing it on a baking sheet, make sure that it is of even thickness so that the edges don’t burn. If the meatloaf is browning too quickly, cover it with foil during cooking.
Enjoy! You’ll soon be on your way to the perfect meatloaf.
…Still hungry? Read on for more meatloaf recipes.