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Recipe Re-Do: Meatloaf

Meatloaf is a family favorite but unfortunately traditional recipes are loaded with calories and saturated fat.  With a few substitutions, subtractions and additions, meatloaf can be both a family favorite and a healthy option.

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Ingredient List

Original Meatloaf Recipe   
Yields 8 Servings   
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef   
  • 1 large egg   
  • 1 medium onion, chopped   
  • 1 cup 2% milk   
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs   
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (packed)   
  • 2 tablespoons mustard   
  • 1/3 cup ketchup  
  • salt and pepper to taste   
FitDay Recipe
Yields 8 servings
  • 3/4 pound lean ground turkey plus 3/4 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup, 1% milk
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Splenda brown sugar blend, packed
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1/3 cup reduced sugar ketchup
  • salt and pepper to taste
Nutritional Information* (serving size = 1/8th of loaf)

Original Meatloaf Recipe   

  • Calories    377  
  • Protein    18 g   
  • Fat    25 g   
  • Saturated Fat    10 g  
  • Sugar    10 g  
  • Cholesterol    101 mg   
  • Sodium    363 mg   
  • Fiber    1 g   
  • g = grams; mg = milligrams
FitDay Recipe
  • Calories 235
  • Protein 20g
  • Fat 11g
  • Saturated Fat 4g
  • Sugar 5g
  • Cholesterol 61 mg
  • Sodium 330 mg
  • Fiber 1g
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Saute chopped onions until brown.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, beef, egg, onion, milk and bread crumbs.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and form into a loaf and place into a baking dish leaving at least 1" on all sides.
  4. In a separate small bowl, combine the Splenda® brown sugar blend, mustard and ketchup. Mix well and pour over the meatloaf.
  5. Bake at 450° F for 15 minutes and then reduce temperature to 325°F until internal temperature is 160° (approximately 35-45 minutes).
With a few changes, you can make a big nutritional difference in your family's meatloaf.  The above recipe alterations eliminated 142 calories and over 50% of total and saturated fat per serving.  Be sure not to eliminate all fat because fat is what contributes the majority of the flavor.  In order to get both healthy and flavorful meatloaf, I would recommend not going below 95% lean meats.  Other great meat combinations would be ¾ ground lean turkey and ¼ pork sausage (fat drained) or substitute 33-50% of the meat for tofu.  For more fiber plus beneficial omega-3's, add a 1/3 cup of flaxseed mill. 

Ingredients that are used as binders for meatloaf include eggs, milk and bread crumbs.  Typically not all three of these are needed to hold the loaf together.  Try reducing the amount of bread crumbs, using low-fat milk and egg whites or eliminating the milk or eggs entirely.  Chopped or pureed vegetables such as carrots, green peppers and celery can also be added to increase the volume and act as binding agents.  To add extra flavor, try adding low sodium soy sauce or Worchester sauce.  The next time meatloaf is on the menu, get creative and try at least one change to make your family recipe healthier.  

*Nutritional information is only an estimate.

Laura N. Kenny is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Dietitian in the state of Indiana.  She received both her Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and completed her dietetic internship at Purdue University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Science degree from Central Michigan University. Laura works for the Indiana Obesity Center PC under the supervision of Dr. Keith McEwen. She specializes in both surgical and non-surgical weight loss including nutritional adherence, meal planning, and macro/micro nutrient status. Kenny also promotes healthy eating through various speaking engagements throughout Indianapolis and teaches indoor cycling and Pilates classes in her free time. Since staring her dietetics career, she has worked with a variety of populations and chronic diseases.  Each summer Laura volunteers at Camp John Warvel, a camp for children with diabetes.  She also enjoys writing, sports, exercise, and reading "hot topics" in nutrition.  Laura has a true passion for guiding people to choose healthy nutritional choices for each and every individual lifestyle. To contact Laura, email her at lkenny@ecommunity.com. She can be reached via email at at lkenny@community.com.


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