Perfect meatloaf weather

In last week's Onion, a headline caught my eye: "Perfect Soup Weather Coming." I can't help but laugh every time I think of that headline, because how many of us have uttered something exactly like that? "Ooohhh... it's cold. This is perfect soup weather." "Mmmm... soup would be so good on a day like today." The Onion is so good at pinpointing the dorky little cliches we all say, and that's why it's (usually) universally hysterical.

Well, the kind of weather that's hit us so brutally in Wisconsin this week really is perfect soup weather. But if you're craving something a little more substantial, it's also perfect meatloaf weather.

No... Not that Meat Loaf. But really, come to think of it, any kind of weather is good Meat Loaf weather, right?


I had an unexplainable craving for meatloaf the other day, and when I suggested we have that for dinner, Eric said he'd been thinking of meatloaf too! I guess you could say I "Took the words right out of [his] mouth..." Or, you know, you could not say that. 

I'll stop now.

So.... the meatloaf. I wanted something a bit healthy, so I opted for a turkey meatloaf, stuffed to the brim with healthy veggies. Digging through my "Recipes that make me say YUM" book (yes... I really made a cover sheet with that title on it), I found just what I was looking for: Kicked up Meatloaf, originally posted by Eat, Live Run. I drooled while looking through the ingredient list. I had to get to work.

First, you chop up a large onion and start sauteing 'til they get soft and translucent.

Then, add in some diced carrots and minced garlic. Keep sauteing!

After a couple of minutes, add in some chopped mushrooms.
Mmmm.... Sizzling veggies.

When the mushrooms get nice and juicy, take the pan off the heat and transfer everything into a large bowl. Then, add in some beans (next time I make this I think I'll mash the black beans first), ketchup, salt, pepper and Worcestershire.
Mix it all up!

Then, mix together some milk and panko bread crumbs.

When the crumbs absorb the milk (about three minutes), add it to the veggies mixture. THEN, add in the egg and ground turkey! Try your best to leave your vanity outside of the kitchen - it's best to mix in the ground turkey with your hands. Trust me, it's not that horrible.

Once everything's all mixed together, transfer to a greased loaf pan.

Then, whip up your glaze of ketchup, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar, and brush it all over the top.

Finally, pop it in the oven at 400 degrees for 55 minutes. 

At about 30 minutes, your kitchen should smell like Grandma's house. You'll win to dig in right then, but Grandma would tell you you have to wait, so listen to her. Wait until a meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees. Just do it.

Once it hits 165, you're good to go! Pull it out of the oven, let it cool for a spell, and slice in!
The result is tender, slightly sweet and soul-warming. And, dare I say, perfect for a snowy day? 

We may or may not have taken down the entire loaf that night.

Kicked Up Turkey Meatloaf - adapted from Eat, Live, Run
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 cup cooked black beans (or black or green lentils)
1 large carrot, diced
1 large onion, diced (I had a red onion on hand, but use whichever you prefer!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp salt
1/2 T olive oil
1/4th tsp black pepper
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten

2 T ketchup
1 T pure maple syrup
1 T balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a loaf pan, and set aside.
Heat your olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onions until soft, about five minutes. Add in carrot and garlic, continue sauteing for about two minutes. Then add in the chopped mushroom and continue cooking until soft, another five minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer to a large bowl. Add in mashed beans (or cooked lentils!), salt, pepper worcestershire and ketchup. Mix it all up.
Combine milk and panko crumbs in a small bowl and let crumbs absorb the milk. Add to the veggies. Then add ground turkey and a slightly-beaten eggs. Mix it all in with your hands. Once mixed, transfer to the greased pan and smooth out the top.
Combine ingredients for the glaze and spread over the loaf. Bake for 55 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.

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