The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection: 9 Essential Recipes You Need To Create 90 Amazing Complete Meals

Chapter 4: Meatloaf

Classic Meatloaf

Pork and Brown Rice Meatloaf

A Better Turkey Meatloaf

Mushroom and Walnut Meatloaf

Lentil and Brown Rice Loaf

Tofu Meatloaf

Mini Meatloaves

Bison Meatloaf

Stuffed Meatloaf

Veal and Lamb Meatloaf

The Principles of Meatloaf

The ultimate comfort food has to be meatloaf!! What could be easier than mixing everything in one bowl and leaving it to bake? I’ve had my fair share of meatloaves over the years: everything from very good moist ones to dreadfully dry, boring ones. Meatloaf needs to be flavorful, but subtle; no one wants to be walloped with too much garlic or heavy spices. There are a few principles to follow for the first three meatloaves in this chapter.

The most important part of making a great meatloaf has everything to do with how you handle the ingredients. When you mix your meatloaf, use the gentlest effort to get everything combined. A light hand prevents a compact, dry-tasting meatloaf. Mix it well enough to incorporate all the ingredients, but try not to overmix.

The first three meatloaves are baked without the use of a traditional loaf pan. I’ve always loved the nice crunchy coating that forms all the way around a meatloaf that’s simply shaped and then cooked on a baking sheet. I think you’ll love baking your meatloaf this way; the oven hot air has a chance to rotate around, giving the loaf a really nice appearance. Cooking this way also prevents the meat from simply steaming in a pan, which can render the meatloaf tasteless.

I skip the fine breadcrumbs called for in many meatloaf recipes in favor of the thick-cut panko ones. The Pork and Brown Rice Meatloaf is a fine example of how to use high-fiber grains that help bind the meat just as well as the breadcrumbs do. The rice should already be cooked in the recipe, so be sure to make up a batch ahead of time. Brown rice freezes well, so you could prepare more than you need and freeze it for future meatloaf making. Frozen, cooked brown rice is now a convenient staple product found in the freezer section of many major supermarkets.

All three meatloaves create a mellow flavor by sautéing the onion, garlic, and bell pepper instead of adding them raw as many other meatloaf recipes state. These vegetables will absorb the other flavors in the meatloaf and mix better than if you added the vegetables without sautéing them first.

I suggest choosing 1–3 dry spices or herbs, or a combination of both, to add to the mix. For the Classic Meatloaf, all it needs is a sprinkle of Italian seasoning. The Pork and Brown Rice Meatloaf incorporates Asian flavors of curry and ginger, and A Better Turkey Meatloaf is compatible with sage and thyme. Just by changing the choice of spices and herbs, you’ll have an entirely different meal all based on the same technique.

For a saucy topping, I’ve skipped the usual stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce, which I find flat tasting and with an overly sloppy appearance. I like a zestier flavor by combining ketchup, mustard, and just a touch of brown sugar to assist in the browning process. I switched it up in the Pork and Brown Rice Meatloaf by using hoisin sauce, which gives the loaf a really rich look.

Always let the meatloaf rest at least 5–7 minutes prior to slicing. Use a slicing knife instead of a chef’s knife to create beautiful, even-looking pieces. Go ahead and master these first three loaves and then we will move on to other types of meatloaves that build on what you’ve accomplished.

Vegetarian Meatloaves

When I started eating vegetarian more and more, I was anxious to master the vegetarian meatloaf. When done right, vegetarian meatloaf can be quite comforting.

You’ll start by sautéing onions, garlic, and bell peppers, the same way as you did for the previous three recipes. Don’t skip this step: the browning of these vegetables is critical for best results. In these vegetarian meatloaves, I added carrots to the mix for extra nutrition and to add a delightful subtle sweetness to the loaf.

These loaves are soft, so they are baked within a pan versus the free-form style of the previous loaves. It’s fun to make any of these in individual ramekins as I’ve done for the Mushroom and Walnut Meat Loaf. Be very gentle when slicing these loaves.

I only added a glaze for the Lentil and Brown Rice Loaf. It’s rich and bold and can be spread on top of the Mushroom and Walnut Meat Loaf and the Tofu Meatloaf. I experimented with using a tomato-based glaze, but it just blended in with all the other flavors, so this BBQ balsamic glaze made a much better counterpoint to the relatively mild-flavored loaves.

Nontraditional Meatloaves

These meatloaves will add even more variety to your dinner (or lunch) menus. The Mini Meatloaves are a perfect example of excellent portion control.

The Bison Meatloaf gives you a chance to try a whole new lean protein you might not have tried. Ground bison or buffalo, as it is called, is not difficult to find and the taste is rich, but without a dense amount of fat. My recipe testers thought this was a perfect loaf to serve at the holidays.

The Stuffed Meatloaf is a great blueprint to stuff with whatever vegetables you like. Feel free to experiment. Visually, it makes a really nice appearance with the filling exposed. I’d fan it out on the dinner plate or serve sliced in a row on a nice platter.

For the ultimate in comfort food, finish your meatloaf making with the Veal and Lamb Meatloaf. It has a satisfying deep flavor and it’s a nice change from beef. Treat yourself and pick up New Zealand ground lamb—it’s the best!

Classic Meatloaf

Classic Meatloaf

Serves: 6 | Serving size: 3 ounces (approx. 1 1/2 inches thick) | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 50–55 minutes

Ask anyone about childhood food memories and meatloaf is usually mentioned. We owned a collection of loaf pans when I was growing up, but my mom used them more for baking bread than forming meatloaves. She was the one who taught me to form a meatloaf into an oblong shape on a baking sheet, which let the air circulate all the way around the loaf to produce those crusty edges.

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 small onion, minced

1/3 cup finely minced green or red bell pepper

4 ounces chopped mushrooms

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound 95% lean ground beef

1 egg, beaten 

1 cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs

1 cup fat-free milk

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)

Topping

1/3 cup sugar-free ketchup (such as Walden Farms)

1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Add in the green pepper and mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes. Add in the garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and sauté for 1 minute.

3. Add the onion mixture to a bowl, and let cool for 2 minutes. Add in the beef, egg, breadcrumbs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke, if using. Mix gently, do not over handle the meat.

4. Place the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and form into an oblong loaf. Combine the ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar and pour over the meatloaf.

5. Bake the meatloaf for 40–45 minutes until cooked through. Remove from the oven and let the meatloaf rest 5–7 minutes prior to slicing.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Carbohydrate; 3 Protein, lean

Calories 210; Calories from Fat 60; Total Fat 7.0 g; Saturated Fat 2.4 g; Trans Fat 0.1 g; Cholesterol 75 mg; Sodium 440 mg; Potassium 480 mg; Total Carbohydrate 17 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 5 g; Protein 21 g; Phosphorus 245 mg

Sides

Brussels Sprouts

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup

1/2 cup Brussels sprouts

1. Steam Brussels sprouts for 10–15 minutes, until tender, and serve with meatloaf and strawberries.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable

Calories 30; Calories from Fat 5; Total Fat 0.5 g; Saturated Fat 0.1 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 15 mg; Potassium 250 mg; Total Carbohydrate 6 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 1 g; Protein 2 g; Phosphorus 45 mg

Strawberries

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 3/4 cup

3/4 cup strawberries

1. Serve strawberries alongside meatloaf and Brussels sprouts.

Exchanges / Choices: 1/2 Fruit

Calories 40; Calories from Fat 5; Total Fat 0.5 g; Saturated Fat 0.0 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Potassium 190 mg; Total Carbohydrate 10 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 6 g; Protein 1 g; Phosphorus 30 mg

Pork and Brown Rice Meatloaf

Serves: 6 | Serving size: 3 ounces (approx. 1 1/2 inches thick) | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 45–50 minutes + time to cook rice

Brown rice will keep this moist meatloaf together. Be sure to cook up the short grain variety, as its stickier than long grain and will help keep the meatloaf shape better. The curry and ginger here give you a nice refreshing break from traditional Italian seasonings.

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 small onion, minced

1/3 cup finely minced green or red pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound 96% lean ground pork

1 egg, beaten 

1/2 cup cooked short grain brown rice

3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Add in the green pepper and sauté for 3 minutes. Add in the garlic, curry powder, ginger, salt, and pepper and sauté for 1 minute.

3. Add the onion mixture to a bowl, let cool for 2 minutes. Add in the pork, egg, and rice and mix gently, but do not over handle the meat.

4. Place the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and form into an oblong loaf. Spread the hoisin sauce over the loaf.

5. Bake the meatloaf for 35–40 minutes until the meat is cooked through. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let rest for 5–7 minutes prior to slicing.

Exchanges / Choices: 1/2 Carbohydrate; 2 Protein, lean; 1 Fat

Calories 170; Calories from Fat 50; Total Fat 6.0 g; Saturated Fat 1.7 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 70 mg; Sodium 280 mg; Potassium 300 mg; Total Carbohydrate 10 g; Dietary Fiber 1 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 18 g; Phosphorus 175 mg

Sides

Steamed Broccoli

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup

1/2 cup broccoli

1. Steam broccoli for 2–3 minutes until tender and crisp and serve alongside meatloaf and pineapple.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable

Calories 25; Calories from Fat 5; Total Fat 0.5 g; Saturated Fat 0.1 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 30 mg; Potassium 230 mg; Total Carbohydrate 6 g; Dietary Fiber 3 g; Sugars 1 g; Protein 2 g; Phosphorus 50 mg

Pineapple

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup

1/2 cup fresh pineapple

1. Serve pineapple alongside meatloaf and broccoli.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Fruit

Calories 40; Calories from Fat 0; Total Fat 0.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.0 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Potassium 90 mg; Total Carbohydrate 11 g; Dietary Fiber 1 g; Sugars 8 g; Protein 0 g; Phosphorus 5 mg

A Better Turkey Meatloaf

Serves: 6 | Serving size: 3 ounces | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 35–40 minutes

Developing a turkey meatloaf recipe made perfect sense to me; however, many turkey meatloaf recipes can be disappointing, as they are often dry and bland. This meatloaf follows the same exact blueprint as the classic meatloaf recipe and simply changes the choice of meat. The loaf cooks up moist and juicy and makes a delicious, healthy alternative to red meat.

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 small onion, minced

1/3 cup minced green or red pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced 

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

1 pound lean ground turkey 

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs 

1/2 cup fat-free milk 

2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Topping

1/3 cup sugar-free ketchup (such as Walden Farms)

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Add the green pepper and sauté for 3 minutes. Add in garlic, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper and sauté for 1 minute.

3. Add the onion mixture to a large bowl, and let cool for 2 minutes. Add in the turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, milk, and Parmesan cheese. Mix gently, but do not over handle the meat. Combine the ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar and pour over the meatloaf.

4. Place the mixture on the prepared baking sheet. Bake the meatloaf for 35–40 minutes until the meat is cooked through. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it rest 5–7 minutes prior to slicing.

Exchanges / Choices: 1/2 Carbohydrate; 3 Protein, lean; 1/2 Fat

Calories 190; Calories from Fat 80; Total Fat 9.0 g; Saturated Fat 2.1 g; Trans Fat 0.1 g; Cholesterol 85 mg; Sodium 390 mg; Potassium 280 mg; Total Carbohydrate 10 g; Dietary Fiber 1 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 19 g; Phosphorus 205 mg

Sides

Steamed Broccoli

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup

1/2 cup broccoli

1. Steam broccoli for 2–3 minutes until tender and crisp and serve alongside meatloaf and cantaloupe.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable

Calories 25; Calories from Fat 5; Total Fat 0.5 g; Saturated Fat 0.1 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 30 mg; Potassium 230 mg; Total Carbohydrate 6 g; Dietary Fiber 3 g; Sugars 1 g; Protein 2 g; Phosphorus 50 mg

Cataloupe

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/3 cup

1/3 cup cantaloupe, diced

Lime wedge

1. Serve diced cantaloupe melon with a lime wedge.

Exchanges / Choices: 1/2 Fruit

Calories 20; Calories from Fat 0; Total Fat 0.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.0 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 10 mg; Potassium 135 mg; Total Carbohydrate 4 g; Dietary Fiber 0 g; Sugars 4 g; Protein 0 g; Phosphorus 10 mg

Mushroom and Walnut Meat Loaf

Mushroom and Walnut Meat Loaf

Serves: 4 | Serving size: 1 ramekin | Prep time: 25 minutes | Cook time: 50–55 minutes

Prepared correctly, mushrooms can be the perfect substitute for meat. Be sure to use a variety of mushrooms in this recipe, as the different flavors and textures make for a more flavorful loaf. These retain their shape well because they are baked in individual ramekin dishes and are perfect for portion control. Feel free to top these with a dollop of barbecue or tomato sauce before baking, if your eating plan allows.

Cooking spray

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, chopped 

1 pound mixed mushrooms (white, cremini, Portobello, or others) stemmed, cleaned, and finely chopped 

1/3 cup diced red bell pepper

1/3 cup minced rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes 

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

1 egg, beaten 

1 cup panko breadcrumbs 

1/2 cup fat-free milk 

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat 4 (8-ounce) ramekins with cooking spray. Set the ramekins aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions and mushrooms for 10 minutes or until richly browned. Add in the red pepper and sun-dried tomatoes and sauté about 8 minutes. Add in the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and sauté 1 minute.

3. Add the mushroom mixture to a large bowl, allow to cool for 2 minutes. Add in the egg, breadcrumbs, milk, and walnuts. Mix gently. Divide the mixture among all the ramekins, pressing down on the mixture to fit all the ramekins.

4. Set the ramekins onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30–35 minutes until the top is browned. Run a knife around each ramekin to loosen the loaf.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Starch; 3 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 1 Protein, lean; 2 1/2 Fat

Calories 300; Calories from Fat 140; Total Fat 15.0 g; Saturated Fat 2.0 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 45 mg; Sodium 340 mg; Potassium 1050 mg; Total Carbohydrate 33 g; Dietary Fiber 6 g; Sugars 10 g; Protein 13 g; Phosphorus 320 mg

Sides

Fresh Spinach Salad

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1 1/2 cups

1 cup fresh spinach leaves

5 cherry tomatoes, halved 

1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced 

1 teaspoon olive oil 

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1. Combine spinach, tomatoes, and onion slices in a small bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and top with lemon juice.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 1 Fat

Calories 70; Calories from Fat 45; Total Fat 5.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.7 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 25 mg; Potassium 360 mg; Total Carbohydrate 7 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 2 g; Phosphorus 40 mg

Carrots

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup

1/2 cup carrots

1. Steam carrots and serve alongside meatloaf and salad.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable

Calories 25; Calories from Fat 0; Total Fat 0.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.0 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 45 mg; Potassium 180 mg; Total Carbohydrate 6 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 1 g; Phosphorus 25 mg

Lentil and Brown Rice Loaf

Serves: 4 | Serving size: 1 (1 1/2-inch) slice | Prep time: 25 minutes | Cook time: 50–55 minutes + time to cook rice

A lentil and brown rice loaf was the very first non-meat meatloaf I made, way back in the 1970s. This isn’t the original version as that one didn’t work out too well! Lots of experimentation later, I believe this is a recipe you’d be happy to serve in place of traditional meatloaf. Making loaves with lentils is tricky, as the legumes can make everything taste flat and mushy. With the addition of sturdy rice, flavorful seasonings, and a tangy topping, this veggie version is a keeper!

1 cup brown lentils 

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups water

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

1/4 cup finely minced parsley

1 cup cooked short-grain brown rice

2 eggs, beaten

4 1/2 ounces low-sodium tomato sauce (about 2/3 cup)

3 tablespoons commercial barbecue sauce

1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Topping

3 tablespoons prepared barbeque sauce

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1. In a 2-quart saucepan, bring the lentils, salt, and water to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer 25 minutes until the lentils are tender. Drain, add the lentils to a bowl, and mash with a potato masher or carefully with an immersion blender, leaving some of the lentils coarse. Set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9 × 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

3. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 6–7 minutes. Add the carrots and sauté for 4 minutes. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, and black pepper and sauté for 1 minute. Add in the parsley and remove from the heat. Add the vegetables to the lentils and let the mixture cool for 2 minutes.

4. Add the remaining ingredients to the lentils and vegetables and mix well. Add the mixture to the prepared pan, patting it down evenly.

5. Combine the topping ingredients. Spread the topping over the lentil loaf. Bake the loaf for 35–40 minutes until browned. Remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes prior to slicing.

Exchanges / Choices: 2 Starch; 1/2 Carbohydrate; 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 1 Protein, lean

Calories 250; Calories from Fat 40; Total Fat 4.5 g; Saturated Fat 1.4 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 65 mg; Sodium 380 mg; Potassium 610 mg; Total Carbohydrate 39 g; Dietary Fiber 9 g; Sugars 10 g; Protein 13 g; Phosphorus 270 mg

Sides

Fresh Spinach Salad

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1 1/2 cups

1 cup fresh spinach leaves

5 cherry tomatoes, halved 

1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced 

1 teaspoon olive oil 

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1. Combine spinach, tomatoes, and onion slices in a small bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and top with lemon juice.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 1 Fat

Calories 70; Calories from Fat 45; Total Fat 5.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.7 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 25 mg; Potassium 360 mg; Total Carbohydrate 7 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 2 g; Phosphorus 40 mg

Strawberries

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 3/4 cup

3/4 cup strawberries

1. Serve strawberries alongside meatloaf and salad.

Exchanges / Choices: 1/2 Fruit

Calories 40; Calories from Fat 5; Total Fat 0.5 g; Saturated Fat 0.0 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Potassium 190 mg; Total Carbohydrate 10 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 6 g; Protein 1 g; Phosphorus 30 mg

Tofu Meatloaf

Serves: 6 | Serving size: 1 (1 1/2-inch) slice | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 50–55 minutes

When tofu first made its way onto the American food scene, it was everywhere and in everything from hot dogs to ice cream. I truly love the versatility of tofu. This tofu meatloaf combines oats, lentils, and cashews, and produces a soft, but sliceable loaf. It’s also delicious served cold the next day stuffed into a lettuce wrap or served on an open-faced sandwich.

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 small onion, minced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, minced 

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

10 ounces firm tofu, mashed 

1 1/2 cup rolled oats 

1 cup cooked brown lentils (follow instructions from the Lentil and Walnut Loaf)

1/3 cup finely chopped cashews

3 tablespoons lite soy sauce

2 tablespoons low-sugar ketchup (such as Walden Farms)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1. Coat a 9 × 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5–7 minutes. Add the carrot and sauté for 3 minutes. Add in the garlic, Italian seasoning, and pepper and sauté for 1 minute. Add the vegetables to a large mixing bowl.

3. Add the remaining ingredients to the vegetable mixture and mix well. Add the mixture to the prepared loaf pan, pack well, and bake for 40 minutes until the loaf is browned. Remove from the oven and let the tofu loaf stand 5 minutes prior to slicing.

Exchanges / Choices: 2 Starch; 1 Protein, medium fat

Calories 220; Calories from Fat 70; Total Fat 8.0 g; Saturated Fat 1.4 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 450 mg; Potassium 390 mg; Total Carbohydrate 28 g; Dietary Fiber 6 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 12 g; Phosphorus 250 mg

Sides

Fresh Spinach Salad

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1 1/2 cups

1 cup fresh spinach leaves

5 cherry tomatoes, halved 

1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced 

1 teaspoon olive oil 

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1. Combine spinach, tomatoes, and onion slices in a small bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and top with lemon juice.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 1 Fat

Calories 70; Calories from Fat 45; Total Fat 5.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.7 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 25 mg; Potassium 360 mg; Total Carbohydrate 7 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 2 g; Phosphorus 40 mg

Apple

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1 apple

1 small apple

1. Serve apple alongside spinach salad and meatloaf.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Fruit

Calories 50; Calories from Fat 0; Total Fat 0.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.0 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Potassium 110 mg; Total Carbohydrate 14 g; Dietary Fiber 3 g; Sugars 11 g; Protein 0 g; Phosphorus 10 mg

Mini Meatloaves

Serves: 4 | Serving size: 1 mini meatloaf | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 40–45 minutes

I love to create recipes that illustrate portion control. These mini meatloaves are rich and filling. If you are cooking for one or two people, go ahead and prepare the entire recipe and freeze the leftovers. It’s easy to defrost a single serving for lunch or dinner the following week.

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces 93% lean ground beef

8 ounces 96% lean ground pork

1 cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs

1 cup fat-free milk

1 egg, beaten

Topping

3 tablespoons low-sugar ketchup (such as Walden Farms)

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5–7 minutes. Add the carrot and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Remove the vegetables from the heat and add to a large bowl. Allow to cool for 2 minutes.

3. Add the beef, pork, breadcrumbs, milk, and egg to the vegetables. Mix gently. Form the mixture into 4 football-shaped mini meat loaves. Place the loaves onto the prepared baking sheet. Combine the topping ingredients and spread on top of each loaf.

4. Bake the loaves for 35–40 minutes until well browned.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Carbohydrate; 3 Protein, lean

Calories 210; Calories from Fat 60; Total Fat 7.0 g; Saturated Fat 2.1 g; Trans Fat 0.1 g; Cholesterol 75 mg; Sodium 430 mg; Potassium 410 mg; Total Carbohydrate 16 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 5 g; Protein 20 g; Phosphorus 225 mg

Bison Meatloaf

Serves: 6 | Serving size: 1 (1 1/2-inch) slice | Prep time: 25 minutes | Cook time: 60 minutes

The first time I ever ate bison was at a barbecue. The lean meat was reminiscent of roast beef and I was intrigued by its light game flavor. My local butcher had ground bison on sale one day and I took the opportunity to create this bison meatloaf. It has a hearty flavor, yet it is lower in fat content than beef.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, diced

8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, and diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon fresh minced thyme

1 tablespoon fresh minced sage

1 pound lean ground buffalo meat 

1/2 cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs

2/3 cup tomato sauce, divided use

1 egg, beaten

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms sauté for 5–7 minutes. Add in the carrot and sauté for 3 minutes. Add in the garlic, thyme, and sage and sauté for 1 minute. Remove the vegetables from the heat, add to a large bowl, and allow to cool for 2 minutes.

3. Add the bison meat, panko, 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce, egg, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to the vegetables and mix gently. Add the bison mixture to the center of the baking sheet and form into an oblong loaf. Bake the loaf for 30 minutes. Pour over the remaining tomato sauce and continue to bake for 20 minutes.

4. Remove the bison meatloaf from the oven and let stand for 5–10 minutes prior to slicing.

Exchanges / Choices: 1/2 Starch; 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 3 Protein, lean

Calories 180; Calories from Fat 45; Total Fat 5.0 g; Saturated Fat 1.2 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 80 mg; Sodium 380 mg; Potassium 540 mg; Total Carbohydrate 13 g; Dietary Fiber 3 g; Sugars 4 g; Protein 21 g; Phosphorus 205 mg

Stuffed Meat Loaf

Serves: 6 | Serving size: 1 (1 1/2-inch) slice | Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 50–55 minutes

Need a recipe to make with your kids? This is it! They will have so much fun rolling the loaf up and over the vegetables. When you slice this loaf after it is cooked, the vegetables peek out over the beef and turkey. Shape the mixture in a rectangle and use the waxed paper as directed, as it will help you to roll the meatloaf into a nice spiral.

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 slice (1/2 ounce) pancetta, diced 

1 large onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 red bell pepper, cored and diced 

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 pound 93% lean ground turkey

1/2 pound 93% lean ground beef

1 egg, beaten 

1 cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup fat-free milk

1/4 cup tomato sauce

Topping

3 tablespoons low-sugar ketchup (such as Walden Farms)

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil. Heat the oil and pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and red pepper and sauté for 4 minutes. Add in the garlic and Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and sauté for 1 minute. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the ground turkey, ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, milk, and tomato sauce; mix gently.

3. Form the meatloaf into a neat rectangle, about 1/2-inch thick, on top of a sheet of waxed paper. Spread the meatloaf with the vegetables, leaving a 1-inch border all around the sides. Start rolling the meatloaf using the waxed paper to help you lift up the meat from the shorter side. Roll the meatloaf tightly. Place the meatloaf on the prepared baking sheet. Combine the topping ingredients and pour over the meatloaf.

4. Bake the meatloaf for 40–45 minutes until cooked through. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes prior to slicing.

Exchanges / Choices: 1/2 Starch; 2 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 2 Protein, lean; 1 Fat

Calories 240; Calories from Fat 80; Total Fat 9.0 g; Saturated Fat 2.7 g; Trans Fat 0.2 g; Cholesterol 85 mg; Sodium 430 mg; Potassium 500 mg; Total Carbohydrate 20 g; Dietary Fiber 3 g; Sugars 7 g; Protein 20 g; Phosphorus 240 mg

Sides

Broccolini

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup

1/2 cup broccolini

1. Steam broccolini and serve alongside meatloaf and apple slices.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable

Calories 30; Calories from Fat 0; Total Fat 0.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.0 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 20 mg; Potassium 220 mg; Total Carbohydrate 5 g; Dietary Fiber 1 g; Sugars 1 g; Protein 2 g; Phosphorus 45 mg

Apple

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1 apple

1 small apple

1. Serve apple alongside meatloaf and broccolini.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Fruit

Calories 50; Calories from Fat 0; Total Fat 0.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.0 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Potassium 110 mg; Total Carbohydrate 14 g; Dietary Fiber 3 g; Sugars 11 g; Protein 0 g; Phosphorus 10 mg

Veal and Lamb Meatloaf

Serves: 6 | Serving size: 1 (1 1/2-inch) slice | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 55–60 minutes

My friends and recipe testers voted this Veal and Lamb Meatloaf their absolute favorite. This version is great for special occasions as most of us don’t eat veal and lamb every day. Be sure to seek out the very best lamb from New Zealand and if possible, have a butcher grind fresh lamb for you. There’s nothing like it. Feel free to serve with a nice mustard or BBQ sauce.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 slice bacon 

1 medium onion, chopped 

1 cup mushroom slices

1 1/2 carrots, peeled and diced

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme 

2 garlic cloves, minced 

1/2 pound lean ground veal

1/2 pound lean ground lamb

1/4 cup egg substitute 

3/4 cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil.

2. Heat the oil and bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and sauté until the bacon is lightly crisp. Drain off all but 1 teaspoon fat. Add the carrots and sauté for 3 minutes. Add in the parsley, thyme, and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the vegetables to a large bowl, and allow to cool for 2 minutes.

3. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix gently. Add the mixture to the prepared baking sheet and form into an oblong loaf. Bake the loaf for 40–45 minutes. Turn on the oven broiler and broil the top of the loaf for 2 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes prior to slicing.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Carbohydrate; 2 Protein, lean

Calories 160; Calories from Fat 50; Total Fat 6.0 g; Saturated Fat 1.9 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 50 mg; Sodium 300 mg; Potassium 370 mg; Total Carbohydrate 12 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 16 g; Phosphorus 160 mg

Sides

Carrots and Broccoli

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1 cup

1/2 cup carrots

1/2 cup broccoli

1. Steam carrots and broccoli and serve alongside meatloaf and pear.

Exchanges / Choices: 2 Nonstarchy Vegetable

Calories 50; Calories from Fat 5; Total Fat 0.5 g; Saturated Fat 0.1 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 75 mg; Potassium 410 mg; Total Carbohydrate 12 g; Dietary Fiber 5 g; Sugars 4 g; Protein 2 g; Phosphorus 75 mg

Pear

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 pear

1/2 small pear

1. Slice pear in half and serve alongside meatloaf and carrots and broccoli.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Fruit

Calories 40; Calories from Fat 0; Total Fat 0.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.0 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Potassium 85 mg; Total Carbohydrate 11 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 7 g; Protein 0 g; Phosphorus 10 mg