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Recipe: Kid-Approved Easy Turkey Meatloaf

turkeymeatloaf_loloThe holidays are officially over, and though we had plenty of fun grazing on appetizers and sweets at Christmas parties and enjoying indulgent dinners with loved ones, I am so ready to shed the eggnog. (Er, or at least I keep telling myself that.)

Yesterday, we kicked off 2012 with a nice leisurely walk around Green Lake (and it seemed so did the rest of Seattle, for that matter!), and then we hit up the grocery store for this week's eats: salad mix, chicken, broccoli, ground turkey... It is most certainly January.

We stuck to the outer aisles of the store like good 2012'ers, and though I'll miss the mashed potatoes... and the gravy... and the rest of the goodies that we treated ourselves to in December, this homemade turkey meatloaf really hits the spot --  and I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't excited to begin adding our lower-cal, lower-fat meals back into the weekly rotation.

This healthy meatloaf is a favorite in our home and it's one that everyone looks forward to (picky eaters included), regardless of the season. Our home stands divided when it comes to green peppers and mushrooms, so this recipe was a good pick for us, but if your family loves both of these bitterly contested vegetables add them back in! To keep the meatloaf from being a dry mess (as turkey can sometimes unfortunately be), we also use ground thigh meat, which has that much-needed little bit of extra fat included that works perfect for the binding.

Overall, I'm excited for 2012. Last year brought family illness for us and big changes that we weren't quite prepared for. Getting back to the gym, focusing on nourishing our souls and bodies, and setting simple resolutions such as "make more 'me' time," "laugh more," and "finally catch up on that stack of books that has been waiting so patiently." I'm looking forward to our nights together in the kitchen again, and slow weekday evenings where our main goal is to sit down at the table and catch up while enjoying a delicious home-cooked meal.

Homemade Turkey Meatloaf
Adapted from our friends at HealthyChild.org

1/2 cup onions, small diced
1/4 cup carrots, small diced
1/4 cup celery, small diced
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. canola oil
3 lbs. ground turkey meat
1 tsp. parsley, chopped
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
3 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
3 Tbsp. ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute onions, garlic, carrots, and celery in canola oil until soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a separate bowl.

Combine the sautéed ingredients with the turkey, parsley, bread crumbs, eggs, salt, and pepper; mix well. Pack meat into prepared loaf pan, coat top with ketchup, and bake to an internal temperature of 140 degrees.


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