I have to admit, I got a little scared when Susan mentioned those dreaded words: meatloaf. But after reading her recipe, I just might try it. I have good intentions, really. I just… it’s meatloaf. Read on and see if it’s something you’d like to do.
You can read more about Susan on her website: susangh.com. So tell me about this meatloaf of yours…
My kitchen is, literally, the heart of my household. It’s the reason I fell in love with this otherwise non-descript, beige ranch house the minute I saw it–the whole house plan revolves around the kitchen. It is bright, open, and has lots of wonderful storage space. There is even a built-in computer area so I can work right there, plus eavesdrop on my children during their online time. Yeah, this kitchen makes my house feel special.
We do lots of special stuff in my kitchen, too. We eat, of course, which is always pretty special if you ask me, but we also dance, laugh, brainstorm and talk about boy troubles. My kids chase each other in circles and giggle. My dogs chase each other in circles and bark. I chase my cats in circles when they insist on jumping onto the counters. Come to think of it, I spend a lot of my days going in circles.
Hopefully, these are creative circles, though. I want my kitchen to be a place where fun, creative things happen and memories are made. I think maybe I’m succeeding.
Recently it was my husband’s birthday. The kids were helping me plan the meal but we had a bit of a problem. The guy wanted meatloaf. He loves meatloaf. However, he does not love cake. Seriously, who does not love cake? How was I going to make a special, creative birthday dinner out of boring meatloaf and a cake he wouldn’t even eat?
My husband has been on a bit of a health kick, so I knew it would be special for him if I made a healthy meatloaf. I’d been experimenting with recipes and come up with one that seemed to work. But what about the cake? I could bake a cake, sure, and the kids and I would enjoy it, but obviously that wouldn’t be much of a treat for the birthday boy. Then my son had an idea.
Why not let the meatloaf be Daddy’s cake? We could decorate the meatloaf, put candles on it, and not bother the man with cake at all. I thought that sounded brilliant.
So, instead of waiting to sing Happy Birthday at the end of the meal, we lit up the first course and let him make his wish right away. First time I’ve ever actually seen the guy eager to blow out the candles and dig in. I’m pretty sure he wished for seconds.
I was proud of my son for thinking outside the box, and I was thrilled that our birthday meal turned out so special. Yes, Abigail Sharpe, meatloaf can be special. In a good way. (Indeed, I’ve heard about your meatloaf phobia, but I’m going to include my very simple, kid-friendly recipe here anyway. Muwahahaha.)
So here it is, my Healthy Birthday Meatloaf:
2 lbs. ground turkey
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp Lowery’s Seasoned Salt
Pepper to taste
Fresh or frozen green beans
2 cans stewed tomatoes
plenty of ketchup
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In large bowl, mix ground turkey, rolled oats, seasoned salt and pepper. Beat eggs in separate bowl, then add to turkey mixture. Form into tight loaf by hand and place into roasting pan. (I don’t use a loaf pan because I want meat to soak up juices around it.) Pour green beans and stewed tomatoes around loaf, and drizzle over with ketchup. Lots of ketchup. Bake covered for 1 hour. Uncover, drizzle more ketchup, and bake for another 15 mins.
To make the children happy, I serve meatloaf on a plate. Green beans and tomatoes are served separately in a bowl. My daughter will not touch anything even closely resembling a bean.
Place appropriate number of birthday candles on meatloaf, light, sing, blow, then enjoy!
What fun, creative stuff goes on in your kitchen to make it feel special?