Meat loaf is a quintessential, all-American comfort food. It is a simple matter to assemble a meat loaf, though it is not a meal to make if you're in a hurry: It takes about an hour to bake. Below are a couple versions: a low-fat turkey meat loaf that's great for watching the fat but packed with flavor and a Tex-Mex meat loaf with a spicy boldness that's sure to please. Tip: When forming a meat loaf, don't compact it too much, and don't overmix it: both lead to a drier, denser loaf.
TURKEY MEAT LOAF (Low Fat)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 carrot, chopped
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup ketchup, divided
2 tablespoons brown mustard
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 pound lean ground turkey (7 percent fat)
1 pound ground turkey breast
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet or the bottom of a broiler pan with cooking spray. Heat the oil in a medium-sized nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes, or until the carrot is soft. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, 1/2 cup of the ketchup, mustard, bread crumbs, salt, black pepper and lightly beaten egg white; mix thoroughly. Use a fork to cut in the two kinds of ground turkey. Mix thoroughly but do not overwork. Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet and form into a 10-by-5-inch loaf. Spoon the remaining 1/2 cup of ketchup over the top and sides of the loaf, spreading it fairly evenly. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the center reads 165 degrees, about 70 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
Makes 8 servings.
Nutritional analysis per serving: 233 calories, 28 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 678 mg sodium
TEX-MEX MEAT LOAF
1 large egg
1/2 cup chunky mild salsa, divided
1 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 pounds 93 percent lean ground beef
1 cup shredded low-fat Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
2. Place the egg in a large bowl and beat it lightly with a fork. Stir in 1/4 cup of the salsa, chile powder, oregano, cumin and salt. Add the beef and mix thoroughly, taking care to not overwork the beef.
3. Place half the mixture into the loaf pan, patting it lightly just to shape. Top with the cheese, leaving a 1/2-inch border clear all around the edge. Top with the remaining meat mixture. Spread the remaining salsa evenly over the top of the loaf.
4. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf registers 160 degrees, about 60 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before slicing.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutritional analysis per serving: 206 calories, 27 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 10 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 606 mg sodium.