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September 2013

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Starving Artists in the Kitchen--Mexican Meatloaf, and nice weather for it, too!








Mexican Meatloaf

I first made this Mexican Meatloaf 30 years ago, when I attended a group called Diet Watchers–like Weight Watchers but different. Our leader shared the recipe, and it was an instant hit in our house. It calls for ground turkey rather than beef, so it’s lower in fat–but done right, you really can’t tell the difference! My late husband loved it, so much that he requested it almost once a week.

Until....

....the fateful day we were grocery shopping together and I picked up a package of ground turkey.

“What’s that for,” says he...

“The Mexican Meatloaf you asked for,” says I...

“IT”S TURKEY?!

He never wanted it again...

Happily, J. knows up front what it is, and he loved it too! It reheats well, and it’s even good cold...


Turkey is a lot lower in fat than ground beef, especially if you can get breast meat.–it’s 99% fat free, and still delicious in your favorite recipes. (Check out the Honeysuckle White web page info, here: http://www.honeysucklewhite.com/)

---------------

It’s fairly simple to make...



1 ½ lbs ground turkey (but since it often comes in 1 lb. frozen rolls like sausage, I just used two and we had plenty...)

1 8 oz. Tomato sauce OR a pint of your home-canned tomatoes (diced) or sauce, OR a can of fire-roasted tomatoes (guess which I used this time...)

1 C. crushed tortilla chips (we were going to skip that, but...decided to go wild! The taste really did add a lot.)*

½ to 3/4 cup chopped sweet yellow onion

1 small can of diced green chilis (more or less...and you can always dice them yourself, I did!)
 

1 egg–we like cage-free, Omega 6-rich eggs.

1/4 C. salsa, if you want–which I did, green chili and lime salsa. OH yeah...

1 T. more or less chili powder...I added more, I know my husband. And we WERE making more...

A little cumin if you want, or some garlic powder

You can also mix in a half cup of grated cheese if you want...or not, if you're watching fat closely!

1 t. sea salt, except I left this out–if you’ve got high blood pressure you may want to, too.*

I did do something I always used to when I made this recipe, and add just about 3/4 t. of beef soup base. You REALLY can’t tell the meatloaf from beef, when you do that–but it’s not necessary at all...

Mix half the tomatoes or sauce with the other ingredients. Top the loaves with the rest of the tomatoes and some more salsa, especially if you have green...it’s pretty!
Make into 1 big or two smaller loaves and bake at 375 degrees for an hour. Drain, if necessary. Add a sprinkling of grated cheese, if you want (not necessary, but tasty!) and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Let it stand 5-10 minutes before slicing...YUM. (It’s tender and juicy and really, really good.

 

We froze the small one and enjoyed it a couple of weeks later--tasted like it was just made!

* You can use Fritos or Doritos or some such, if you want, but J. opted for a larger bag of tortilla chips...rather than all the exotic ingredients, they have corn, salt, and oil. (Normally we avoid corn and wheat, but as I say, we went a little wild...)

Use your food processor or blender to crush the chips, or do like I do, and put them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin or old fashioned wooden potato masher. I couldn’t find my rolling pin–I think it’s in with my pottery stuff–so the wooden masker (or mallet or a meat tenderizer) works great, and is a LOT quieter and more hands-on! Not that much slower, either, when you figure you have to clean the electric appliance.



Unless I’m just grating a mountain of cheese, I use a good old fashioned box grater that belonged to my mom. I laughed to see that not only are they still around, they’ve had a few improvements over the years while still keeping the traditional form. Check out the Oxo Good Grips Box Grater It’s got a comfortable looking handle and a cup with measurements to catch whatever you’re grating!

Of course, you can grate cheese, carrots and other veggies, chocolate or whatever, and this, like most old fashioned box graters, offers a slicing option, too.

And who knew there were still so many of these old kitchen stand-bys around? Amazon lists LOTS of graters!

What can I say? I just prefer the quieter, greener option of an old fashioned hand grater. The only power needed is my own.

If you go for more modern gadgets, though, you probably want a food processor. Maybe you have one of these!
  

*NOTE: Actually I’m told that cutting down on salt even helps you to sleep better at night, and that salt increases the permeability of your stomach lining. This does not sound so great...another reason I’m cutting back too. J. didn’t add ANY salt, and I put a single grating of sea salt on mine...

Comments

I'm glad to hear you speak in praise of the old fashioned kitchen things. Someone gave me a cuisinart food processor with the stipulation that if I had not used it in six months she would take it back and give it to someone else! Well... I couldn't face the thing. My old box grater works just fine for me and isn't scary! I must try the meatloaf, it sounds delicious.
I just don't like NOISE, mainly! I use the blender when we're making smoothies, and if I have tons of cheese to grate, I will get out the old Salad Shooter, but really, I like quiet, homely sounds...

(Anonymous)

Can't wait to make this for myself in small pans----I just called my daughter for the crushed chips---yup, she had a bag hanging arouund the house....I love the way this is presented with the photos etc.
I'm glad you like it--let me know what you think of the meatloaf, it's my favorite!
Let me know how you like it!

(Anonymous)

This sounds tasty. I'm going to give it a try this week. Thank you
You're welcome!

(Anonymous)

I have to tell you--David would LOVE this! Will love it, I guess. I've GOT to make it for him, now that I've seen it. It looks like perfect comfort food for a man ;D.
Thanks so much, sweetie!
Xoox,
Laura
It really is guy food, but I like it too! Let me know how you two like it, OK?

Hope you're well!
XO
Kate

(Anonymous)

Individual meat-loaves

Hi Kate -- I love your recipes, and this one looks super good!

I used to make two meat loaves, one to eat and one to freeze. Then I read a suggestion [at Saving Dinner] for individual meat loaves made in a muffin tin.

Well, I don't make mine in a tin, I make up a dozen or two meatloaf patties and freeze them; to serve I grill them like burgers and add veggies!

Cheers
Nona, in New Zealand

Re: Individual meat-loaves

Oh THAT sounds like a great idea, Nona, thank you!