A Healthy, yet Comforting, Family Meal

Nutrition & Good Eats

You know those days when the only dinner that really sounds good is a comfort meal? Something warm, and hearty, and just feels like home. Growing up I hated meatloaf, but it was a common “comfort” food in our house. As my cooking has evolved, I’ve adapted to find ways that I actually enjoy meatloaf. The secret is, no bread, no large and soggy loaf, and add veggies when at all possible.

Last night the kids and I stayed at my father-in-law’s since my husband was on call and I decided I should invite Grandma and Grandpa over as well so we could all share a meal together and they could play with the great grandkids. Grandma and Grandpa also make for extra hands so that Mama has a better chance of preparing dinner without too many interuptions.

Anyways, the dinner menu looked as such:

Bacon wrapped mini meatloaves, greenbeans and onions, mashed potatoes, and homemade elk and onion gravy. Our side salads would be spinach, strawberries, cranberries and a tiny sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.

From just the name, you might think bacon wrapped meat loaf doesn’t sound healthy, am I right?

Here’s my recipe, it’s a bit different from your typical meatloaf. Remember, it has to be in order for me to like it.

(The recipe was doubled last night since we had a total of six adults and two kids eating)

1 package organic, ground turkey

1 package ground elk burger

1 large carrot grated

2 eggs

A combination of spices

Uncured, nitrate/nitrite free turkey bacon

And that’s it. Hand mix that all together, form into large patties, wrap with the turkey bacon, and set onto a foiled cookie sheet (or use a broiler pan) and bake at 425 degrees. Depending on the size of the patties, cook for about 15 minutes, flip over and cook another 15. If you want to add a lititle crisp to the edges, broil the last couple minutes.

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Now, for the sides.

Who doesn’t love green beans cooked with onions?! I had some freshly frozen green beans that needed to be used, so I sauted a full yellow onion and a little garlic until tender and beginning to turn translucent, and added the green beans. Seasoned only with a little garlic powder and black pepper, I put a lid on these guys and let them cook a little while.

The potatoes can be where healthy turns to unhealthy, so whenever we have potatoes it’s more about portion control for me than anything. Simple mashed potatoes, a little butter a little milk, and salt and pepper. (I like to leave the skin on my potatoes if they are red or yukon gold)

The gravy base was leftover from a roast we just made a couple days ago so the flavor was full and spectacular. Full of onions and garlic already, all I had to do was thicken it. I didn’t have any organic corn starch here at my father-in-law’s so I used a pack of organic brown gravy mix.

And there you have it, a comfort meal for a family event that won’t leave you over full and feeling guilty about over eating. Unless of course to go for seconds, but that would be your fault, not mine. 🙂

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