Hang on to your hats, folks! Something big is about to happen: it’s a recipe post. Even better: it’s a recipe for Turkey Cranberry Meatloaf. And it might be my favorite thing I’ve ever made.
I realize recipes have been a bit thin on the ground lately. There’s been a lot going down over at the Carrie Brown Kitchen, and, as it happens, a lot coming up.
My white blood cell count was up to 3 times what it should be, and – without putting too fine a point on it – there was an awful lot of stuff coming up out of my mouth that should have exited my body from another orifice. Yes. I was taken out by the “Thing”. Even my therapist’s office did not escape the ravages of the “Thing”. Thanks goodness for garbage cans lined with plastic bags, located close at hand. Oh, and tissues. Thank goodness for tissues. Boxes of tissues. So that was 3 days and 2 nights of my life last weekend; and brought the number of ER visits in the last 6 weeks to 2. I like to think I am done for the year now, thank you very much.
Curiously, after a rather disoriented ramble around Trader Joe’s on my way home from hospital, I had a sudden burst of energy and decided that I needed to make meatloaf. Bear in mind that I have never made a meatloaf in my life. I am trying to remember if I have ever even eaten meatloaf in my life. I think maybe once. Possibly twice, but I really don’t think so. We Brits, we’re just not big on meatloaf like Americans. Americans love meatloaf. Why I had the urge to make meatloaf at all is a little perplexing to me. Why I got that urge after being supine in a hospital bed, hooked up to an IV merrily shunting sugar-water around my veins for 3 days is a deeper mystery altogether; and not one I think we should pursue at this point.
So I called Bea and said, “Bea, I’m going to create a *SANE Meatloaf. Have you eaten? Would you like to come and be my guinea pig?”
Bea did indeed wish to be the first person to chow down on my inaugural meatloaf. She’s a brave soul. I didn’t even know if it would work, let alone taste good. When Bea rolled up and plonked herself at the kitchen table, I was in the last throes of meatloaf creation. “Oh!”, she exclaimed. “That’s a very fancy mixer-upper thingy!”, pointing to my food processor. Indeed. It made very short work of chopping the veggies in about 12 seconds flat.
This is super-fast and simple to throw together. Then it’s an hour in the oven and marvelous meatloaf nirvana will be yours. There’s A POUND AND A HALF of veggies in this sucker, and you wouldn’t even guess. Trick your children! Trick your errant anti-diet husband! They’ll never know.
I was really worried about my first meatloaf falling apart when I tried to get it out of the tin, or even worse – watching it crumble when I sliced it. It was time mis-spent worrying. This meatloaf holds together beautifully, and slices like a dream – especially when it’s cold. I would recommend using a serrated knife to cut it, and using a sawing action. It will slice better that way. Don’t use a straight-edge knife that you push through the loaf.
This is fantastic comfort food served hot. It’s fantastic lunch food served cold. I even ate it for breakfast one day; but that’s because I just couldn’t wait for it to be lunchtime – it was cooing at me from the ‘fridge and I was powerless to resist its charms. You can freeze this whole, you can freeze this in slices. You can freeze each slice individually and then just grab a slice (or two) as you head out the door in the morning. Eat it alongside salad. Eat it with steamed veggies. Eat it with a huge dollop of mashed cauliflower. Eat a slice as a snack when you get the munchies – it’s pretty much a balanced meal all on its own. It would even make fantastic party food sliced into small cubes or fingers and speared with a toothpick. And look at that puppy – fancy dinner party offering if I ever I saw one.
It’s true. I have succumbed. I’ve been converted to the throngs of meatloaf lovers across America. Hurrah!
PS. Bea loved it. She also said it needed more salt, so I adjusted the recipe. It’s why we love taste-testers around here.
- 4 large stalks celery
- 1 lb / 450g leeks
- 1 TBSP coconut oil
- 3 oz. / 85g dried cranberries
- 2 TBSP fresh sage, finely chopped
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp xanthan gum
- 8 oz. / 225g almond meal (with skins on)
- 3 TBSP egg white
- 2 lb / 900g lean, ground (minced) turkey (or chicken)
- OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce (click for recipe + video!)
- Finely chop the celery and leeks, or pulse in a food processor.
- Heat the coconut oil in a pan and sauté the vegetables – stirring regularly – over medium heat until the water has all been cooked out. About 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, put the cranberries, sage, salt, pepper, xanthan gum, and almond meal, and mix well until completely combined.
- Once the vegetables are ready, turn into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients.
- Add the egg white and stir well.
- Add the ground turkey and mix well. Hands are the best tool here, although the mixture is a little sticky.
- Turn the meat mixture into a loaf pan that you had sprayed with coconut oil, and press into all corners and sides.
- Bake the meatloaf in the center of the oven at 350 F for an hour.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Slide a knife around the edges of the meatloaf to make sure the sides are free.
- Take a cooling rack and place on top of the meatloaf in the pan.
- Carefully turn the cooling rack and pan over and the meatloaf will slide out. It may need a little shake.
- OPTIONAL: spread whole berry cranberry sauce on the top surface of the loaf before serving.