Everyone knows the iconic meatloaf, a loaf of meat. You may have fond memories of your mother serving it as a child, you may have a secret family recipe, you may have only seen it on TV, or you may be a whiz at making vegetarian versions for faux-meat-loaf. Heck, maybe you don’t actually know what meatloaf is. Whatever the case, I will bet you you can adapt this recipe to suit your tastes!
When dating/living with/married to die-hard meat lovers and trying to stuff more vegetables into a resistant person’s diet, you need some tricks up your sleeve. This recipe is great because it combines two of my favorite strategies: shred the veggies so you barely know it’s there, and add lentils to meat to bulk it up without affecting taste too much. If you want a vegetarian version of this dish, easy peasy just leave the ground turkey out and double down on lentils, or try half lentils and half black beans.
This recipe creates a moist, tender, tasty loaf which is packed with all kinds of healthy goodies. The sweet potato gives it vitamin A, beta carotene, fiber, vitamin C, and other nutrients. The lentils give you tons of healthy fiber, protein, folate, iron, and other nutrients. If you add the meat, it keeps the carnivores happy too, and has a texture not much different from meat alone.
- 1 pound ground turkey (or pork, beef, chicken)
- 1 cup cooked lentils
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 egg
- 1 med-large sweet potato, shredded
- Spices to taste (suggest garlic salt, pepper, Italian seasoning)
For the Sauce:
- 1 small can tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp hot sauce
- 2 tbsp ketchup
If you are staying away from processed things (good for you!) and or feel ambitious and want to make your own ketchup (see here) or hot sauce (right here) then go for it! You can use other sauces if you don’t like ketchup such as BBQ sauce, Worcestershire, mustard, or Thai chili sauce. Or you can go sauce-less & have your meatloaf naked!
Step 1: In a large bowl, combine lentils, meat, oats, eggs, and any spices you are using. Optional additions here: diced onion, garlic, or bell peppers.
Step 2: Shred your sweet potato , and add that to the mix.
Step 3: Spray a bread pan with cooking oil, and spread the mixture into the pan, smoothing down the top.
Step 4: In a small bowl or just on top of the loaf, mix the sauce ingredients together and spread evenly over top.
Step 5: Bake in a 350 oven for about 75 minutes.
And that’s all there is to it! Slice it up and serve it up. I made some cheesy potatoes and fresh corn on the cob and it was a delightful summertime meal.
Of course, with meatloaf leftovers the best thing to do it make meatloaf sandwiches! Add some shredded cheese, maybe some extra sauce, and it has a whole new life. Mmmm-mmm!