Susan G. Heino and the Birthday Meatloaf

I have to admit, I got a little scared when Susan mentioned those dreaded words:  meatloaf.   But after reading her recipe, I just might try it.  I have good intentions, really.  I just…  it’s meatloaf.  Read on and see if it’s something you’d like to do.

You can read more about Susan on her website.  So tell  me about this meatloaf of yours…

My kitchen is, literally, the heart of my household. It’s the reason I fell in love with this otherwise non-descript, beige ranch house the minute I saw it–the whole house plan revolves around the kitchen. It is bright, open, and has lots of wonderful storage space. There is even a built-in computer area so I can work right there, plus eavesdrop on my children during their online time. Yeah, this kitchen makes my house feel special.

Mess in the Kitchen

We do lots of special stuff in my kitchen, too. We eat, of course, which is always pretty special if you ask me, but we also dance, laugh, brainstorm and talk about boy troubles. My kids chase each other in circles and giggle. My dogs chase each other in circles and bark. I chase my cats in circles when they insist on jumping onto the counters. Come to think of it, I spend a lot of my days going in circles.

Hopefully, these are creative circles, though. I want my kitchen to be a place where fun, creative things happen and memories are made. I think maybe I’m succeeding.

Recently it was my husband’s birthday. The kids were helping me plan the meal but we had a bit of a problem. The guy wanted meatloaf. He loves meatloaf. However, he does not love cake. Seriously, who does not love cake? How was I going to make a special, creative birthday dinner out of boring meatloaf and a cake he wouldn’t even eat?

My husband has been on a bit of a health kick, so I knew it would be special for him if I made a healthy meatloaf. I’d been experimenting with recipes and come up with one that seemed to work. But what about the cake? I could bake a cake, sure, and the kids and I would enjoy it, but obviously that wouldn’t be much of a treat for the birthday boy. Then my son had an idea.

Why not let the meatloaf be Daddy’s cake? We could decorate the meatloaf, put candles on it, and not bother the man with cake at all. I thought that sounded brilliant.

So, instead of waiting to sing Happy Birthday at the end of the meal, we lit up the first course and let him make his wish right away. First time I’ve ever actually seen the guy eager to blow out the candles and dig in. I’m pretty sure he wished for seconds.

I was proud of my son for thinking outside the box, and I was thrilled that our birthday meal turned out so special. Yes, Abigail Sharpe, meatloaf can be special. In a good way. (Indeed, I’ve heard about your meatloaf phobia, but I’m going to include my very simple, kid-friendly recipe here anyway. Muwahahaha.)

So here it is, my Healthy Birthday Meatloaf:

Birthday Meatloaf!

2 lbs. ground turkey
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp Lowery’s Seasoned Salt
Pepper to taste
Fresh or frozen green beans
2 cans stewed tomatoes
plenty of ketchup
birthday candles

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In large bowl, mix ground turkey, rolled oats, seasoned salt and pepper. Beat eggs in separate bowl, then add to turkey mixture. Form into tight loaf by hand and place into roasting pan. (I don’t use a loaf pan because I want meat to soak up juices around it.) Pour green beans and stewed tomatoes around loaf, and drizzle over with ketchup. Lots of ketchup. Bake covered for 1 hour. Uncover, drizzle more ketchup, and bake for another 15 mins.

To make the children happy, I serve meatloaf on a plate. Green beans and tomatoes are served separately in a bowl. My daughter will not touch anything even closely resembling a bean.

Place appropriate number of birthday candles on meatloaf, light, sing, blow, then enjoy!

What fun, creative stuff goes on in your kitchen to make it feel special?

Birthday Meatloaf
Recipe Type: Low Fat; Low Calorie
Cuisine: Main Dish
Author: Susan G. Heino | Chicklets in the Kitchen
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 15 mins
Total time: 1 hour 35 mins
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp Lowery’s Seasoned Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • Fresh or frozen green beans
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • plenty of ketchup
  • birthday candles
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In large bowl, mix ground turkey, rolled oats, seasoned salt and pepper.
  3. Beat eggs in separate bowl, then add to turkey mixture. Form into tight loaf by hand and place into roasting pan. (I don’t use a loaf pan because I want meat to soak up juices around it.)
  4. Pour green beans and stewed tomatoes around loaf, and drizzle over with ketchup. Lots of ketchup.
  5. Bake covered for 1 hour.
  6. Uncover, drizzle more ketchup, and bake for another 15 mins.

 

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12 thoughts on “Susan G. Heino and the Birthday Meatloaf

  1. Okay. I might try this. *sigh* I really want to conquer this meatloaf thing, but… I dunno. Maybe if it was covered in frosting.

    Ewwww. Or maybe not.

    Susan, thanks for being our guest today! I love my kitchen as a gathering place, where I can cook and the kids can do homework and we can pretend we’re like Leave It to Beaver. Dinner is always the one time each day where everyone is in the same room at the same time.

    • Thanks so much for having me, Abigail. I used to be a meatloaf hater, but when I found out that this is one meal my family will all agree on, and it’s pretty easy to make, I became a fan. (I do like that frosting idea, though… Maybe a nice rich cream cheese frosting…) And I love your Leave It to Beaver fantasy evening. But tell me, do you wear pearls with your frilly apron or something a little more blingy? lol

  2. Quick note on this… allow the meatloaf to cool a bit before you start sticking candles in it! The last thing you want is a bunch of melting candles in the middle of your meatloaf! 🙂

    • Good call on the melting candles, Jon. I should have mentioned that I used those little plastic candle holders that you poke into the cake/meatloaf and then put the candles in them, rather than directly into the steaming hot loaf. I did worry about the plastic melting so we tried one and saw it was good, then went all out.

  3. I use a meatloaf recipe very much like that (I add a little bit of V8, which is less sugar but more sodium than ketchup. Tell your son he’s a genius for thinking of a meatloaf cake (Still, I’d have been pulling for something chocolate. If the b-day boy hated it, I’d eat his portion.) LOL

    You can use turkey and McCormicks taco spices to make sloppy joes. There are healthy (multi-grain) or low cal buns available. Put low fat shredded cheese or cottage cheese on it for some substance. That’s about as wild as we get here at Chez Crowley.

    • Thanks for dropping by, Margs. I love the V8 idea. Sounds like a great idea to reduce the sugars (if you’re into that sort of thing) and still go heavy on flavor. I wonder if the low sodium V8 would work, or be too bland? I’m more of a sweet than salty person, so I don’t mind the low sodium things. My husband, on the other hand, would put salt in his V8 and then dip chips in it! lol

      And I’ll second you on the turkey taco idea. We love those! Hmmm, you’re making me wonder if I could make a meatloaf with taco seasoning in it and then cottage cheese on top as a garnish… I think I’ll give that a try one day and serve it on a bed of lettuce and tortilla chips! Thanks for nudging those creative juices!

  4. Hey, Susan, birthday meatloaf sounds like a great idea! IMHO ketchup makes the meatloaf. Mine is a similar recipe, but I add minced carrots, celery, garlic and onion. If the veggies are processed up fine enough, nobody can tell they’re in there (well, that’s my theory and the ketchup covers everything anyway).

    When my DH had surgery and could only eat soft foods, I invented a Thanksgiving turkey meatloaf–with poultry seasoning and turkey gravy instead of ketchup. It didn’t quite have the same zing, but still….

  5. Great recipe, Susan! I have a similar turkey meatloaf recipe, but it includes a half cup of shredded zuccini. And instead of ketchup, I simmer red wine with tomato paste and garlic, basil, and oregano and use that. Just made this last night. Yum!

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