Monday, October 26, 2009

You put WHAT in the meatloaf?!?

Have you seen those Chef Boyardee commercials where the father is reading the can on the counter while the mother is washing the dishes and their son is eating a bowl of heated canned pasta? The father starts to ask his wife if she knows that the can o' noodles has hidden inside a whole serving of vegetables and the wife quickly hushes his astonished declaration as she averts her eyes to her son--who is too busy devouring the pasta to even hear a bomb being dropped let alone the father stating he is eating vegetables. I hate that ad. I hate the implication that there is nutrition rammed inside this $.89 can of junk food and that parents should be encouraged to purchase such a wholesome meal for their kids. Remember that sage expression "If it seems to good to be true it probably is?" Well, count that when you are purchasing a small canned pasta "dish" that claims is has a whole serving of vegetables and protein in it. That is called, playing with words. However, that did get me thinking about how much you could hide in a meal--nutrition wise. Of course Squeaky Gourmet is all about comfort foods with nutrition packed inside of it--real whole foods that you can buy in the store and create at home--not packed into a bar or soup can or frozen dinner. Well--this recipe is one of my favorite ones because in this meatloaf that serves 8 I have 1lb of mushrooms, 2 bell peppers, 1 whole tomato and 1 onion and of course a whole avocado. Yeah--I slammed a damn garden in this dish and your kids will ask for seconds!

Garden Meatloaf
serves 8 (or 4 hungry individuals!)
16 ounces ground turkey breast
16 ounces whole mushrooms
1 large avocado seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups sweet bell peppers diced fine
1 large red tomato sliced thin
1/2 cup onion chopped fine
1/2 cup raw oatmeal ground into oat flour
1 large egg

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large colander wash the mushrooms. You want to use your hands to wipe these mushrooms off as you gently run water on them--these are like sponges so do not soak them in water. The longer the water runs on them the soggier they will become in the meatloaf itself.

Next you want to add these mushrooms to a large bowl and using your hand blender--kill them all. Smash these little vegetables that are loaded with nutrients from earth into a messy dirty pulp like mixture. It will look and smell like wet earth--which is a very good thing. (Take that Martha!)

Add to the 'mashedrooms' your oat flour, avocado, peppers, onions and egg and blend well. Look how full the bowl is before we even add the meat! Next you of course want to add the turkey meat, have your kids wash their hands and allow them to fully blend this miracle into the raw meatloaf.

Then using a non stick pan of your choice--we like to use the angel food cake pan for our load--add half the mixture to the pan and half the tomato neatly to the top, cover with the remaining meat mixture and add a final covering of the tomato.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 35-45 minutes. We served this with sesame roasted Brussels sprouts because--vegetables do not come from a can! We did not even use any added spices because this dish is really loaded with such good flavor and really, even if your kids did know how much you are hiding in this they won't care--they will love it!

Calories Per Serving- 187
Fat- 5 grams
Carbohydrates- 11 grams
Fiber- 4 grams
Protein- 21 grams


  1. Awesome. I sneak mushrooms into meals by turning them into mush too!

  2. What a neat meatloaf! I am very intrigued with avocado in it, must try it!

  3. Wow, so impressive! The meat loaf looks amazing. Great job!

  4. Wonderful meatloaf recipe - looks and sounds delicious!

    I HATE those Chef Boyardee ads too; I guess they fit in nicely with the "ketchup is a vegetable" belief system...

  5. Cooked it tonight and it was DELISH!!! I asked the 7 yo what he thought of it and he said "YUM YUM YUM!!" (FYI, he hates mushrooms according to him LOL) Even the 4 yo loved it.

    I tweaked the recipe by exchanging oat flour for gluten free corn flakes due to an oat sensitivity, and I added a big spoonful of minced garlic as I like it spicey :)