This millet and veggie filled turkey meatloaf changed my opinion of an icon of American cuisine.
I don’t think I’m a picky eater but I have never cared much for meatloaf, or as I call it loaf-of-meat. In general I find this classic American comfort food greasy, mushy, and lacking in flavor. It seems to me that most people are content to mask the unappealing textureless blob with a hearty squirt of ketchup, another staple food I can happily live without. The thing is My husband really likes loaf-of-meat. Every once and a while it feels good to surprise him with a food he is more excited about than I am. He sure was surprised when I told him I was making turkey meatloaf! When I mentioned incorporating leftover millet into the loaf a bit of doubt dampened his enthusiasm.
As it turns out, millet is terrific in turkey meatloaf (probably turkey meatballs too)! I know bread crumbs are a traditional binder and have seen dozens of recipes that up the nutrient content by swapping in oats for the crumbs. Millet is much firmer and cooked millet shouldn’t go soft in a recipe like this which calls for very little added liquid – avoiding the mushy texture I associate with meatloaf.
Turkey has some great perks over ground beef, for one thing there was no greasy pool around the loaf when I pulled it out of the oven. When the moment of truth arrived Mike was amazed by how much he liked the new loaf-of-meat, frankly so was I. The combination of seasonings were robust with a heavy nod to Italian flavors. The meat itself maintained a pleasing chew rather than a cafeteria mystery-meat smoosh. Between millet’s rice like texture and a healthy serving of veggies with the meat the slices were a little on the crumbly side – a whole egg in place of a one yolk would be a good solution. Either way, you can still serve up a leftover slice cold on a sandwich if that is what floats your boat.
This slightly quirky take on good old fashion meatloaf has dramatically altered my opinion of what a loaf-of-meat can be. If you too live in a house divided in its opinion of this humble meal give this turkey meatloaf recipe a try. May it bring whole new level of harmony to your family.
- ¼ lb zucchini, grated
- ¼ lb red onion, grated
- 20 oz (93% lean) ground turkey
- 1 cup cooked millet (see notes below)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon no salt tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons dry Italian herb blend
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons no salt tomato paste (divided)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and have a loaf pan ready.
- Sautée the zucchini and onion in a medium skillet until most of the moisture has evaporated and the onions begin to brown just a little. Let them cool until they can be handled with out danger of burning your fingers.
- Place all the ingredients for loaf into a large bowl. Make sure your bowl has enough room to get your hands into the fun. Use clean hands to fold the ingredients together so everything is evenly combined. And form the meat into a loaf shaped lump and place the lump into the loaf pan.
- In a small bowl mix together the tomato paste and Worcestershire for the topping. Spoon the topping over the meat and spread as needed to cover most of the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or the internal temperature is 160 degrees.
- Let the loaf sit for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.