Last night's dinner.
My granddaughter, Adesia (aged 13), comes regularly on Tuesdays after school to cook with me. My challenge is to keep this sous-chef interested so I always plan to have a culinary experiment on hand to intrigue the both of us.
This Tuesday, that challenge was meatloaf. I had both ground chicken and turkey on hand, and I wanted to expand on my earlier ground turkey recipes* by adding in more vegetables.
When I presented the challenge, the sous-chef only wanted to make sure that the dish would include bread crumbs. “A meatloaf without bread crumbs?” I said. “Heaven forbid.”
(Interestingly, my granddaughter’s desire for breadcrumbs meant that I had to add eggs, which I did by using the 1 egg per 1 pound of meat rubric. These additional ingredients raised the calorie count of the meatloaf, and I think it would be possible to do this dish without either breadcrumbs or eggs.)
All of which is a preamble to the final thumbs-up, high-five result: a delicious, spicy meatloaf with saltiness from the cheese, crunchiness from the slaw and green onions, and occasional sweetness from the dried cranberries. Oh, and it was delicious cold when I had it for lunch today.
What to do with eight cups of marked-down mushrooms that were actually in great shape? (What was that store thinking?)
First I made mushroom soup. Of course. Then I decided to see what would happen if I tried a mushroom bean bake.
I acknowledge that this savoury dish isn’t the prettiest of my experiments to date, but I do love its subtle mixture of flavours. In fact, it turned out to be a perfect complement for Peanut Butter Tomato Soup, which I recently served at a dinner party. Usually I have a gluten-free sweet cornbread, but this bake fit the bill instead. (And imagine the fun I had asking my guests what they thought was the bake’s main ingredient!)
In a recent post on the food possibilities for roasted vegetables, I listed 16 different types of vegetables. Now, I’m not a math person in the slightest, but a bit of Internet research suggests that the total number of veggie combos (from any 2 to all 16) would be “factorial 16” or approximately 21 trillion different dishes! To put it mildly, we’ve got plenty of scope to experiment.
I’ve certainly been on a roasted-vegetable roll and suspect it will go on all winter. First, these vegetables are easier on my wallet; they tend to be plentiful and cheaper in the winter. Second, they’re good for me, being full of super-healthy nutrients. And, finally, I can just about eat them to my heart’s content. Ever heard of anyone overdosing or gaining weight on brussel sprouts? Me neither.
This recipe came about because I thought brussel sprouts would be delicious with leeks, which are sweeter than regular onions, and that fresh sage, which I love, would suit the combination. So I just threw them all together and then decided to sprinkle on some grated sheep romano cheese. Yum!
As my husband and I are eating less and less red meat, I’ve been turning to turkey to fill some of the gaps. Hence, for example, the Turkey Burgers post last month. The trick, as I noted then, was to counter turkey’s bland flavour by adding spices and other ingredients to enrich it.
In this recipe, the flavour of ground turkey is enhanced primarily by quinoa, fresh sage, and a little bit of tomato paste. The result is a tasty, healthy meatloaf, high in protein and low in fat.
- 2 lbs. ground turkey
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. hot sauce
- 1 tbsp. salt
- Cooking spray
- Add all ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Mix with hands until ingredients are well combined.
- Taste mixture to see if it requires additional seasonings.
- Spray a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan and fill it with meat mixture.
- Bake in a 350° F oven for 75 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the center reaches at least 160° F.
- Drain liquid and let cool for 10 minutes.
For Weight Watchers: Your points depend on your serving size. Cut your serving and weigh it, counting 1 point per ounce. Then add .5 point for the quinoa and egg if you’ve made 8 or more slices. Good for both the Points and PointsPlus plans.
(This recipe was adapted from “Turkey and Quinoa Meatloaf” by Drew at allrecipes.com. You can also check out the 13 custom versions by other chefs at that page.)