Saturday, May 8, 2010

Rye bread meatloaf

Meatloaf is a popular dish at our place. Both of us like the stuff hot with veggie sides and leftover, cold, as sandwich filler.

Up until a few years ago we made meatloaves pretty much the same way our grandmothers did: Ground beef, milk, eggs, cracker crumbs, bake and eat.

After joining Weight Watchers about three years ago that had to change. Even the leanest of ground beef is so high in fat ... according to our program we wouldn't have been eating much for dinner. Maybe a spoonful.

We tried the WW-recommended ground turkey loaves. Um, eww. These were OK for sandwiches, but as a hot-out-of-the-oven dinner? Yuck.

The texture especially was undesirable -- I just don't think any cooked meat should be aptly described as gooey. After sitting in the fridge over night they firmed up, thus making the sandwiches edible.

Our fix was to make two loaves at once: Following a basic recipe, but mixing 1 pound of extra lean ground beef and two pounds ground turkey. This made the texture slightly denser and added a lot of non-turkey flavor without pushing it up the scale of fat and calories.

Then, early last week we accidentally discovered the best low-fat meatloaf fix EVER! I'd thawed the ground meats, gathered ingredients and realized ... shit ... no white bread or crackers or anything.

You know breadcrumbs, or something similar, are an important factor. The crumbs bind as well as thicken the loaf. So, out from the pantry came a loaf of rye bread. A few turns through the food processor and tada! Rye bread crumbs.

WOW! The loaves were dense and delicious out of the oven and made savory sandwich meat -- My Guy describes it as "bringing back that flavor."

He's absolutely correct. This version of meatloaf is low fat, with a bit of healthy fiber, dense and does a great job of pretending to be grandma's classic.

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