Family dinners can be an exhausting process for the busy mom who is trying to please all the varied preferences and taste buds in her home!
One of our greatest goals here at FRESH Start is providing the busiest mom and their pickiest eaters with more family-favorites – more TASTY, HEALTHY recipes to make her life easier!
My picky family of six loves this recipe – in fact, it’s a regular at our dinner table!
It’s veggies, protein, healthy fats and whole grains all in one beautiful dish.
Makes a fabulous prep-ahead dish, too.
Just make a few extra loaves ahead of time (I do this easily by doubling the batch I'm making for dinner) then, instead of cooking them, I freeze them ready to pop in the oven on the night in question. You can freeze them right in their mini-loaf pans, leaving no cleanup on the night you fix them! Plus you'll have a hearty, no-work dinner ready to go for one of your family's busiest nights.
Here's how to make them:
1 lb or 1 package lean ground turkey (93/7)
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/4-1/2 cup sweet onion, finely diced
3-4 baby bell (Portobello) mushrooms, finely diced
2-3 garlic cloves, finely diced
1/3 cup carrots, finely diced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp cumin
2-3 cheese sticks (mozzarella) cut in half or thirds
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup low-sugar ketchup
1 Tbsp brown sugar or honey
Add 1 tsp of water at a time to get sauce to desired thickness. Stir all sauce ingredients together with a whisk until smoothly blended!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees, prepare 4-5 mini-meatloaf pans by spraying them with olive oil spray.
Put a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add 1 tsp olive oil to pan. Add in the diced onion, mushroom, garlic cloves and carrots. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes, or until veggies are softened and smell savory.
Add in the thyme and cumin. Salt and pepper to taste. Pull pan off stove, allow mixture to cool for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the ground turkey, quinoa, and egg. Once vegetable and spice mixture is cool, add that into meat mixture.
Pat meat mixture into 4-6 small loaves, placing them into mini loaf pans. Put 1/2 of a cheese stick in the middle of each loaf, then form meat around cheese stick.
Using your fingers, pat an indent into top of each loaf, and place 1-2 Tbsp of topping sauce into the well.
Bake loaves at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, uncovered, or until cooked through.
Serve with baked sweet potatoes and a side salad or other green selection for a well-rounded dinner selection!
Flexible enough to make ahead of time, or right on-the-spot, this family favorite is sure to become a go-to at your place as well! Super-healthy, and tasty to boot, you’ll be glad you added this one to your family recipe rolodex!