Thursday, February 17, 2011

Turkey Mini-Meatloaf Muffins

I had a craving for meatloaf - big time. Meatloaf is the ultimate comfort food - I'm sure many of you ate it growing up. I did, but certainly not with ingredients found below. Traditionally it is made with ground beef but I lightened it up by using ground turkey instead. This recipe was adapted from the Cooking Light website. I had to make quite a few variations to the ingredients in this recipe because I had a 20 ounce package of ground turkey, not 8 ounces.

Cooking spray
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 cup)
1 carrot, shredded
3 tbsp dry breadcrumbs (1/2 cup)
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (4 tbsp)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (2 tbsp)
1/4 tsp salt (use more to taste)
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper (use more to taste)
8 ounces ground turkey breast (20 ounces)
1 large egg white (1 whole egg)
3 tbsp ketchup, divided (8 tbsp)
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. I used a little bit of olive oil in the pan. Add onion and carrot to pan; saute 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

Combine onion/carrot, breadcrumbs, and next 7 ingredients (through egg white) in a large bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons ketchup. Spoon about 1/2 cup meat mixture into each of 3 muffin cups coated with cooking spray; place muffin tin on a baking sheet. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon ketchup and hot pepper sauce in a small bowl. Brush ketchup mixture over meat loaf tops. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165 degrees. Serves 3. Because I more-than-doubled the original recipe, I made 12 muffins total and they took about 45 minutes to cook.

The Worcestershire sauce used in this recipe really enhances the flavor of the turkey. I have to admit, I like using ground turkey because it adapts itself to any flavor you add into it. It is almost like a blank pallet, unlike beef, which has a very distinct taste. One problem with turkey is that it has a tendency to dry out easily, but adding Worcestershire sauce and shredded carrot solves this problem. One step not to skip is sauteing the onions and carrots before-hand; it brings out the flavor in them.

Can you say YUM?

If you follow this recipe exactly, each serving is only 142 calories and 1.5 grams of fat - nice and healthy! Even with the adjustments I made, it is still a very healthy meal. I served these cute little meatloaf muffins with tater tots and a salad made with Boston Bibb lettuce. During the week, I like to pair easy sides with a yummy meal that might take me a little longer to whip up. It doesn't get easier than putting frozen tater tots on a baking sheet and browning them up, that's for sure! Tutti Mangia!


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