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Meatloaf is classic midwestern comfort food, one of America’s favorite dishes. I’ve heard it said that one should never eat anyone’s meatloaf except your mother’s. But, then again, not every mother makes great meatloaf. My mom made perfectly serviceable meatloaf, but the recipe is lost to posterity, which never seemed like a great tragedy, honestly.

I wasn’t really looking for a meatloaf recipe when, years ago, a friend enthusiastically shared this healthy version of the traditional dish. It’s moist and tasty, and hits those basic comfort food notes. While this meatloaf is not gourmet fare, we like it enough that it makes it into our family meal rotation with some regularity.  It has the benefit of being low fat, and having a good amount of vegetables in it, but in such small bits that even my persnickety 8 year old doesn’t mind.

I bet my mom would like it, too.

Turkey Meatloaf

Makes 2 loaves (each about 6 servings).

Ingredients:

1 cup onion

3/4 cup carrot

1/2 cup celery

1/2 cup red pepper

2 cloves garlic

2 1/2 lbs ground turkey (93% lean)

1 cup oats

1/3 cup ketchup

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground coriander

2 eggs (or 4 egg whites)

Directions:

Whirl onion, garlic, carrot, celery and bell pepper together in food processor until finely chopped.

Sauté vegetables in 2 tsp. canola oil until tender.   Set aside.

In large bowl combine remaining ingredients. Add cooled vegetables and mix well.

Grease 2 (9″x 5″) loaf pans.

Fill with meat mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes.

Top with mixture of 1/3 cup ketchup and 3 Tbsp. brown sugar.

Bake additional 30 minutes.

Nutrition Information, per serving:  192 calories, 8.6 g fat, (2.4 g sat fat), 100 mg cholesterol, 21 g protein, 356 mg sodium, 9 g carbs, 1.3 g fiber, 3.2 g sugar, 45.5 mg calcium.

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