Comforts of Autumn: Spinach Swirl Turkey Loaf

by Marjan

Regular visitors on our blog have probably assessed by now that my recipes are influenced by the splendor and gifts of the seasons. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year; however, I’m constantly polarized between the angel and devil voices in my head. The devilish voice wants me to incorporate into every recipe more butter, bacon, cheese, starch and all ingredients that comforts and warms the soul as the weather cools down. The angelic voice reminds me that I worked hard all summer watching my diet to keep in shape! After all, it is easy during summer to stay trim- I tend to gravitate less towards heavy, starchy meals and enjoy light flavors of fresh vegetables and fruits. As you have also already realized, I do my very best to offer recipes that are healthy, nutritious, and robust with flavor!

Today, I warmed up a cup of almond milk and accented it with a dash of cinnamon and honey; I sat in my library and relished the view of the magnificent, multicolor foliage outside my window. I wrapped a warm blanket around me as the rain played a symphony of drops on the grounds. I savored every sip as I contemplated my menu for tonight’s dinner. Of course I would like to make my favorite Persian walnut and pomegranate stew, fesenjoon, (the perfect fall dish, warming and sweet); however, I want to make something a little more quick and easy.



In the United States, autumn recipes center on our favorite November bird: the turkey! Just in time for Thanksgiving. Meatloaf screams comfort to me. However, I try to eat less ground red meat and save my red meat consumption for an unadulterated, hearty, juicy steak! Therefore, I make my meatloaf with ground turkey and add spinach to incorporate a dark green vegetable for not only taste but also nutrition! Even if you are not a meatloaf lover, try my recipe for a hearty, healthy, comforting dish! It is light, tangy, and stuffed with flavor.


Ingredients:
1 lb. ground turkey
8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
½ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
½ cup finely chopped onions
1 egg
¾ tsp crushed oregano leaves
9 oz. frozen chopped spinach- thawed and strained/pressed of all its liquids
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 thin carrot steamed until cooked (still firm, but not soft!)
½ tsp salt and pepper



1. Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees.

2. Blend tomato and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, blend well turkey, bread crumbs, onion, eggs, oregano and ¾ of the tomato sauce (reserve 1/3 of the sauce for later). Form mixture into one large compact ball and place on a large piece of foil (approximately 2 feet).

3. Pat down with the palm of your hand on the meat to form a 12”x8” rectangle. Sprinkle spinach on turkey mixture, covering the entire rectangle. Sprinkle on top of the spinach mozzarella cheese. Place carrot (cut ends off to make it approximately the same length as the mix) on one short end of the rectangle and carefully roll meat mix tightly to the other end and seal edges to form a compact loaf.

4. Place loaf on a greased cookie sheet, cover with foil and cook for one hour. Later, remove foil and spoon remaining tomato sauce over the loaf and cook for another 10 minutes.






Fantastic! All the flavor, and none of the guilt!

Comments

  1. sounds heavenly! Does using ground turkey make the meatloaf more tough in texture?

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  2. You will be surprised how tender ground turkey can be if you use chopped onions which will help to keep your loaf moist!

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