Can a turkey meatloaf compare to beef? You bet!

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As much as I love making my own recipes, sometimes I just don’t have the energy to do it for every dinner.  I tend to fall back on Pinterest, because there my options are endless. Decadent to down home, couture to comfort, there’s a recipe somewhere on that website for your tastes, collecting from bloggers all over the globe – I once tried a Korean stew that I had to translate first, and it was amazing.

My first find there this week is from Bobby Flay – he’s never steered me wrong.  More than anything at first it piqued my curiosity to see the words “vegetable meatloaf.” I’m not unfamiliar with adding a diced onion or bell pepper to my own meatloaves, but not a zucchini, or even that much garlic – and if you’ve read this blog before, you know how much garlic this house goes through.  Bobby Flay never fails to deliver when it comes to plated flavor bombs, and this one is no different.

The only thing I’d change for the next time around (believe me, I will be making this again) is on the glaze I’d just slightly change the ketchup to vinegar ratio.  The glaze was just a bit too sharp for me, but it didn’t stop me from going back for seconds.  This is totally worth the nearly two hours it takes to make it, so plan this one for a night you have the time.

It also threw me off that the meat used in this recipe is ground turkey.  Being a bit of a meatloaf traditionalist, I thought this couldn’t possibly taste right, but after tasting the outcome, I might use turkey more often.  I know that sounds crazy from a girl who loves to eat her cow in all forms, but a few things changed my mind. For one, turkey is a great platform for bold flavors to shine.  For two, this was the first meatloaf I’ve made where there wasn’t a pool of grease sitting in the bottom of my loaf pan.  Even better, this meatloaf only has 270 calories per serving – beef just can’t do that.

Bobby Flay’s Vegetable Meatloaf with Basalmic Glaze (from Food Network.com)

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

    I would have gone back for thirds if I had no dignity.
    I would have gone back for thirds if I had no dignity.
  • 1 small zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed to a paste with coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (90 percent lean)
  • 1 cup panko (coarse Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the zucchini, bell peppers, garlic paste and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are almost soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Whisk the egg and fresh herbs in a large bowl. Add the turkey, panko, grated cheese, 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and the cooled vegetables; mix until just combined.

Gently press the mixture into a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes in a small bowl; brush the mixture over the entire loaf. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

I made this next one a few weeks ago, when it was so bitter cold that it took a whole lot of convincing to removing myself from the gift from God that is flannel sheets.  (I don’t mind winter, I just really hate being cold.) The mention of spring gave me happy thoughts, so it made it to the menu schedule.  This only takes 25 minutes to make, great for the everyday on-the-go.  I left out the sambal oelek, as I couldn’t find it, but otherwise this came out great, chocked full of veggies and bursting with flavor.

Spring Vegetable Lo Mein (from halfbakedharvest.com)

Spring Veggie Lo Mein
Having “Spring” in the title makes me thing a little bit warmer.

Serving Size: 4-6

 INGREDIENTS
  • 1 (10 ounce) package dried lo mein noodles
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 small head cabbage, thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 red orange pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/4 pound mushrooms (any variety is fine), stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces (maybe about a cup and a half) snowpeas, trimmed (I never trim mine, but you might want to)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews (or peanuts), for sprinkling
  • fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet or wok (you want it big guys), heat the sesame oil over high heat. When the pan is hot add the red pepper, orange pepper, mushrooms, snowpeas and carrots. After about 3 minute add the cabbage . Stir fry for 2-5 minutes longer or until the vegetables have just begun to soften, but have not lost their crunch. This took me about 5 minutes.

While the vegetables cook combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, fish sauce, sambal oelek, ginger and garlic, Whisk to combine and set aside.

When you feel the vegetables are ready add the sauce and stir fry for a 2-3 minutes to cook the garlic and ginger. Add the noodles (and chicken, if using) and toss well. Stir fry for one more minute and then remove from heat. Serve immediately and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and chopped cashews

Tip of the week:  When reading and deciding on cooking a recipe found online, trust your gut.  If something doesn’t sound good on paper, or just plain doesn’t sound right, there’s a probability it won’t work out on the stove as well.

 

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