You can’t get more all American than this classic traditional dish. Invented around World War 2 when ground meat was cheap and plentiful, this family dinner staple became popular for its easy preparation and ability to be carried over for several meals. Satisfying and filling, it is nevertheless not a healthy dish. But you can tweak the basic recipe with these simple tips that will render it healthier and even tastier.
- Use Lean Meat: If you plan to use beef or pork, choose the leanest variety you can find. But if you truly want to halve the calories and saturated fat besides upping the health quotient, substitute with lean ground chicken or turkey. Just remember to use slightly more liquid for moisture since there will be less fat to do that job. You could also try ketchup, salsa or even milk instead.
- Add Whole Grains: Mixing in cooked whole grains like quinoa or even bulgur or barley will bring in a load of muscle building protein, colon cleansing fiber and manganese that aids in building bones.
- Introduce Vegetables: Finely chop cooked veg like beets, sweet potatoes, kale, carrots, or celery stalks and mix them in. This is a great way to get fussy kids to eat more vegetables without them throwing a tantrum.
- Go Easy On The Yolks: Instead of using yolks, simply add two egg whites for every yolk you would have used. Since an egg white contains 17 calories and a mere gram of fat compared to 55 calories and 5 grams of fat found in the yolk, you will be considerably reducing the calories in the meatloaf.
- Choose Smarter Binders: Traditionally breadcrumbs have been the glue that keeps a meatloaf together, but instead of using the variety made from processed white bread, try whole-wheat breadcrumbs for more fiber for better digestion and satiety. You could also try using crushed rice crackers or saltines.
- Pump It Full Of Flavor: Lend your meatloaf some earthy flavor by using finely chopped mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes. Even a small spoonful of curry paste, chili and garlic sauce or olive tapenade can radically redefine its taste profile.