I am constantly re-inventing favorites from my childhood into healthier versions and this is comfort food that is good for the soul and good for the heart. Now, growing up, the women in my family each had their own version of meatloaf, most used beef, and some even added Pet milk, but I use turkey thigh meat to cut the fat and I’ve added some vegetables to add a depth of flavor.
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. Vidalia onion, finely chopped
½ c. red bell pepper, finely chopped
½ c. fennel, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning
2 lbs. ground turkey thigh meat
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. Panko bread crumbs
½ c. organic or fruit sweetened ketchup
Preheat oven to 350.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil, then add the onion, bell pepper, fennel and garlic and saute until the onions and fennel are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the parsley, thyme, salt and pepper and mix to combine, about 2 minutes. Remove the vegetable mixture from the heat and let cool, then taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
In a large mixing bowl, place the ground turkey and sprinkle with Mrs. Dash, add the eggs, panko, ketchup, and sauteed vegetables. Using your hands, work all of the ingredients into the ground turkey and shape into a ball. Place the ball onto a half sheet pan topped with parchment paper that has been lightly sprayed with olive oil and create a loaf shape with cupped hands.
Bake the loaf for 1 hour or until firm and a toothpick placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let the turkey meatloaf rest for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Serves 8.
Photo © 2010 Zavvi Rodaine.com
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