Meatloaf has strong European influence and according to Wikipedia, a cousin to the Dutch meatball. Typically, meatloaf is a ground meat mixture that is shaped into a loaf (usually a loaf pan) and baked in the oven. Cooksillustrated.com explained that meatloaves gained popularity in the Depression; however, WWII rationing saw meat-free loaves created.  Then in the 1950s and 1960s, there was a resurgence of this family favourite. In the 1970s and ’80s, with food manufacturers attempting to make home-cooking “quicker,” the packaged “meatloaf mix” appeared on grocery store shelves. In the 1990s, creative chefs brought upscaled versions to restaurant diners.
Who doesn’t enjoy a good meatloaf? With the number of mouths to feed reduced to two, I wanted individual “mini” loaves, instead of the traditional large loaf cut into slices. Since I’m only including beef and pork occasionally in my diet, I decided to create a ground turkey version packed with vegetables.
The quality of your meat source is the backbone of your meatloaves. My food philosophy is to eat SLOW — seasonal/sustainable, local, organic and wholesome. For meat, that means selecting organic, free-ranged/pasture-raised poultry or grass-fed meats like beef, bison and pork. Organically raised meat means no antibiotics and reduced to no exposure to pesticides and herbicides, which in turn, your body doesn’t have to process or hide in fat because it cannot deal with the toxin load. Sustainable, organic meat is high in protein, which is essential for healing and reducing inflammation in your body. Protein is also needed for many enzymes and hormones throughout your body. Healthy meat choices like organic turkey are rich in vitamin B, particularly vitamin B12. B12 is a key nutrient for brain and nervous system health.
For budget conscious cooks, you need to get to know your local farmers by going to local farmers markets and “flirt with the farmers” [Meghan Telpner’s wording]. In other words, ask the farmers and their representatives questions about their farming practices. If you don’t like what you hear, move onto another farmer.
Personally, I like to load my meatloaf with lots of vegetables to pack it with nutrient density. This recipe is no exception. Onions and garlic give a wide mix of nutrients like selenium (antioxidant mineral) and zinc (anti-inflammatory mineral). Adding a little carrot provides vitamin A, mainly in the form of beta-carotene, which is helpful in supporting eye and skin health and immune protection. Celery is a low-calorie, good fibre and carbohydrate vegetable with a high water content. It is rich in potassium (important for cellular and nerve functions), vitamin A and C (both are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients), as well as, some calcium and folic acid (aids in red blood cell production, protein conversion to useful amino acids and nervous system health). Besides, with bright orange and green gems hidden in the meat, you add flavour and eye-appeal.
Mini Turkey Meatloaves
- 1 pound ground turkey organic
- 1-2 carrots washed
- 1 onion
- 1-2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 stalk celery
- ¼ teaspoon ground sage
- ⅛ teaspoon ground thyme
- ⅛ teaspoon dried rosemary crushed
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
Preheat oven to 400℉. Lightly grease muffin tins.
Put onion, celery and carrot into food processor. Chop until finely minced.
Heat frying pan and melt coconut oil. Add chopped carrot, celery, onion and garlic to heated pan. Sauté until soft.
Put sautéed vegetables into a medium bowl. Add spices and ground turkey. Mix with a spoon or with your hands until well combined.
Divide the mixture into 8 (approximately 3 oz each). Press into greased muffin tin. Put into preheated oven. Bake for 25-35 minutes until cooked through.
Pop out of muffin tins. Cool slightly and serve with salad and veggies.
These mini meatloaves freeze well for quick on-the-go meals.
As well, if you are desiring to view your health in a different way, I can support and cheer you on in making positive changes in creating the healthier body you desire. The first step is yours — call Brenda at 403.801.5698 or email today.
He who has health has hope and he who has hope has everything. -Old Arabian Proverb
 “A Brief History of Meatloaf,” https://www.cooksillustrated.com/features/8578-a-brief-history-of-meatloaf-and-how-to-make-it-extra-meat
 Elson M. Haas, MD, Staying Healthy with Nutrition, (Berkley, California: Celestial Arts, 2006) 315.
 Haas, 315.
 Haas, 313.