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I don’t think enough people take comfort in the comfort of meatloaf. It’s often characterized as this slab of ground meat, flavorless, mystery juice running from it, rubbery, gross.

Meatloaf doesn’t have to be like the kind you found in your middle school cafeteria!  If you add the right ingredients and the right spices, it will truly be a treat.

I found this recipe for a turkey-spinach meatloaf in an edition of Cooking Light. I was drawn to it mainly because of the spinach. My mom used to make a variation of this recipe, except instead of mixing the spinach into the meat, she used to wrap the meat around a mixture of spinach and cheese. It was so good.

So I had to try this variation.

Turkey-Spinach Meatloaf

Ingredients: (Adapted from Cooking Light)

  • 1/2 med. onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 (10 oz) pkg frozen spinach, thawed + drained
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • ketchup

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Heat a skillet on medium-high. Cook onions for 4 minutes until browned, then add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.

3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl except ketchup. Mix well and shape into a loaf. Place on a baking sheet lined with cooking spray OR place in a loaf pan. I chose the baking sheet because I thought it would make for a prettier picture. Drizzle ketchup over the top.

4. Cook 40-45 minutes, until firm and the meat is no longer pink.

Garlic Sweet Potato Fries

But oh, the fun doesn’t stop there. I thought about doing some traditional mashed potatoes for the side dish to this meatloaf, but I had 3 sweet potatoes in the cabinet, and they made me crave some sweet potato fries.

There are dozens of sweet potato fries recipes out there, and you can basically do whatever you want with them once you know the basic recipe. Here’s what I did.

Ingredients: (Adapted from everywhere)

3 medium sweet potatoes, chopped in whatever fashion you want–strips, chunks, etc.
olive oil
salt
pepper
garlic powder

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Drizzle your cut up sweet potatoes with olive oil (1-2 tbsp should do it). Toss to coat.

3. Sprinkle with a bunch of pepper, a little bit of salt, and a lot of garlic powder. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges start to get nice and brown and crispy. Be sure to check them at the 15 minute mark to toss them so that they don’t get too crispy on one side ;)

Use whatever spices you want—add some cinnamon to make them sweet. Drizzle some honey to make them sweeter. I went with plain and simple, and loved them!

Oh. Oh…I almost forgot. That other brownish looking side dish you see in the background there? Those are mushrooms. Mushrooms coated in butter and whiskey and salt and pepper and onion flakes and other misc. spices Chris put in the pan. They were fabulous. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a pan, add a bunch of sliced mushrooms, cook until brown, douse in whiskey, salt, and pepper. Divine.

Enjoy this non-cafeteria food dinner!

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