Friday, February 11, 2011

mini turkey meatloaves (filled with shredded veggies)

These mini turkey meatloaves are filled with a few cups of shredded veggies, which keep them moist (and healthful). They are easy to make and freeze beautifully, so make a big batch and you'll have a family-friendly meal at the ready on busy nights! Oh, and as far as the veggies poking out go, if you've got a kid questioning the contents, try calling them "confetti meatloaf"...tell them there's a party in there and those are the streamers.

Mini Turkey Meatloaves (a.k.a. "Confetti Meatloaf")
(makes about 8 individual meatloaves)

1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup shredded onion
2 large eggs
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs OR Quaker oats
hearty pinch of dried basil (or fresh if you have it)
hearty pinch of dried oregano
hearty shake of garlic powder
1 lb ground white meat turkey
ketchup (optional, to swirl on top before baking)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If not already shredded, simply pulse the carrots, zucchini and onions through the shredder attachment of a Cuisinart. Then, in a large bowl, combine all ingredients with your hands. Form turkey mixture into 4" balls and place on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle some ketchup on top, if you'd like. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°.

Once cooled, you can freeze cooked meatloaves in an airtight container. Simply reheat them in the microwave.

For those who like to see the recipe in action, here are a few'll notice that I doubled this recipe, because I was doing a major re-stock of our meals in the freezer!

mix all of the ingredients together with your hands

then form them into equal-sized mini meatloaves (whatever size you want, just make them uniform so they cook evenly...I tend to make them about 4" or so)

a squiggle of ketchup to liven things up

my batch, out of the oven and ready for the freezer

and as far as my kids go, they split one between them. This week they were a hit with a side of parsnip & carrot "fries".

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