Oh dinner time…that time of day when it’s sink or swim, when blood sugar is low, kids are cranky, mom is burnt out and is Daddy home yet? I would love to say that I am one of those moms who has a weekly menu planned out (I don’t…but I’m working on it) and I make wholesome, satisfying and super healthy meals for my family every day (I don’t…but I’m working on it). I would love to say that my kids have great table manners and eat all their veggies and never complain. (I don’t. Period.)
What I can say is that today I almost had all of those things in the bag. While the boys were eating lunch, I was one step ahead of the game, making dinner. I had some ground turkey in the fridge that needed to be cooked and some veggies from the garden. Now, my kids will eat meat on most days, but veggies…that’s another story, of course. I looked online for turkey veggie meatloaf recipes and found these: Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze Recipe , Turkey Veggie Meatloaf Cups Recipe and decided to combine them and tweak them to my liking, as I do with most recipes. I like to use recipes just as a guideline and I usually augment or change them to meet our tastes. I had never made meatloaf before so I was interested in giving it a try.
So, here’s what I came up with:
2 small beets and 2 carrots (both from our garden), 1 red bell pepper, 1 small zucchini, 1/2 onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1 1/2 pounds turkey (I used both dark and white), 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs, 1/2 cup couscous (uncooked), 2 eggs (from the ladies, of course), 3/4 ketchup, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 2 T balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, spices to taste (I used cumin, dried mustard, and the spice combo I CAN NOT cook without, Trader Joe’s “21 Season Salute”…it makes everything taste better.)
First, I threw all the veggies and garlic in a food processor and chopped them up VERY fine (so you can’t even tell what veggies are in it…hence the “hidden veggies”). Then I sauteed them in about 2 Tbs of olive oil for about 5 minutes or so.
Next, I beat the eggs and added the turkey, herbs, ketchup, balsamic, breadcrumbs, couscous and parmesan and lastly the veggies. When it was all stirred up, it looked very red because of the beets, almost like ground beef…which is funny because we don’t eat beef.
I put it into 2 loaf pans and popped them into the oven which was preheated to 425. They cooked for about an hour and came out perfectly done!
Now here’s the kicker…everyone ate it up and LOVED it. No one, not even Michael knew how many veggies were in it.
I felt an amazing sense of accomplishment and couldn’t help but smile. Was it the fact that I had “made” dinner in the afternoon when everyone was happy and pleasant or was it because I got my boys to eat a veggie packed dinner without them knowing? I’d have to say, a little of both.