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Recipe: Meatloaf Made Healthy

A low-calorie twist on a cold-weather classic

When it comes to home-cooked comfort food, meatloaf ranks among the all-stars. For me, it’s right up there with roasted chicken or baked spaghetti. Traditionally cooked as a way to use leftover meat scraps and stretch the grocery budget, the humble meatloaf has witnessed a revival in the last 10 years, showing up on restaurant menus in various iterations to add a bit of retro charm. The problem? The classic, old-fashioned recipes can pack as many as 400 calories and 29 grams of fat into a single serving. But when moistened with chicken broth and sautéed veggies, lean ground beef and turkey produce a version that’s just as hearty as the original, with just 192 calories and less than 6 grams of fat per serving.

I added carrots and bell pepper to this recipe, but onion, mushrooms, celery or even chopped spinach can be substituted. Traditional recipes call for whole eggs. They’re used primarily as a binder, so replacing them with egg whites further minimizes calories and fat without any noticeable effect on the dish’s flavor or texture. Serve it with roasted or smashed potatoes and a green vegetable for a classic cold-weather supper. Prep time: 20 minutes. Cook time: 45 minutes. Serves four.


6 oz extra-lean ground turkey 6 oz 95% lean ground beef
2 egg whites
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup grated carrot
1 slice whole wheat bread, toasted
1 tbsp Italian seasoning 1 tsp red pepper flakes 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/3 c + 1 tbsp chicken broth
• Cooking spray 1 (15 oz) can seasoned tomato sauce for meatloaf*


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Pour 1 tbsp chicken broth into a medium skillet and cook pepper and carrot over medi- um-low heat for 15 minutes or until softened. Pulse toasted bread in a food processor or blender to create breadcrumbs. (If you’re using a blender, tear the bread into four or five pieces first.) Add breadcrumbs and remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly, using your hands. Add vegetables and cooking liquid from skillet and incorpo- rate into the mixture. Coat a baking pan or loaf pan with cooking spray. Shape the mixture into a loaf on the baking pan, or fill the loaf pan. Bake 45 minutes or until the meatloaf is firm to the touch and its juices run clear. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Top each slice with 1/4 of the warmed tomato sauce (about 1/4 cup) and, if you have them on hand, a fresh rosemary sprig or basil leaf.
** For testing purposes, I used Hunt’s Seasoned Tomato Sauce for Meatloaf. If unavailable, substitute 15 oz tomato sauce + 1 tsp Italian seasoning.

Nutrition information:

Calories: 192
Fat: 5.7 g
Sodium: 507 mg
Carbohydrates: 8.6 g
Protein: 26.1 g
Vitamin A: 63%
Vitamin C: 31%



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