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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mini Turkey Lentil Meatloaves

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I had my brother Quinn in mind when I made this meal. As you know, he's a college student looking for easy meals. What you don't know (unless you're my mom), is that he loves meatloaf. Granted, this isn't exactly the traditional meatloaf that he is used to.
Thing is, I know Quinn, and I know he's immediately turned off by the word "lentil" in the title. Truth be told, the boy probably doesn't know what a lentil is. Here's what you need to know Quinn (and all you other lentil-skeptics): lentils are cheap (about a dollar for a large bag of them!) and lentils are healthy (lots of fiber, folate, iron, and more!). Granted, Quinn probably cares more about the cheap part than the healthy part, but as a college basketball player always looking to up his protein, lentils are an excellent non-meat source of the nutrient!
So while this is a non-traditional version of meatloaf, I'm pretty convinced Quinn would love these. They were man-approved by my husband Ryan, whose favorite part was the glaze on top--a trio of ketchup, honey, and balsamic. The lentils bulk up the loaves without overpowering the turkey, so you still get all that meatloaf taste and flavor that you're used to! I greased our muffin tins well and each loaf had no problem popping out and keeping its shape on the plate. You could also just put the entire mixture into a regular-sized loaf pan and add an additional 25-30 minutes to the baking time!

Cheap, easy, healthy! What other cheap, easy, healthy meals do you have for our college boy?!

One Year Ago: Mini Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Nutella Bread
Three Years Ago: Red Cabbage Salad

Mini Turkey Lentil Meatloaves
adapted from Eat Live Run
*makes 18 mini meatloaves
-1 lb ground turkey
-1 cup cooked brown lentils 
-2 large carrots, diced
-1 large onion, diced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
-1/4 cup ketchup
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tbsp olive oil
-1/4 tsp black pepper
-3/4 cup panko bread crumbs (could sub oats!)
-1/3 cup milk
-1 egg, slightly beaten

for the glaze
-4 tbsp ketchup
-2 tbsp honey
-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease one or two muffin tins with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent. Add the carrots and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, until carrots have softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute before removing vegetables from heat.
3. In a large bowl combine the cooked lentils, vegetable mixture, salt, pepper, worcestershire, and ketchup. Mix well. 
4. In a separate, small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and the milk. Let sit for 3 minutes before adding to the vegetable mixture. Add the turkey and the egg and mix well to evenly combine (use your hands).
5. Drop mixture into prepared muffin tin cups, loosely packing and filling each hole to the top. 
6. Combine glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Spoon a little bit of the glaze onto the top of each mini meatloaf. Cook for 25-30 minutes until turkey is cooked through (meat thermometer should read 165F). 
7. Repeat with remaining filling and glaze, if necessary.