Thursday, May 26, 2011

Turkey spinach meatloaf

On my way back from Puerto Rico, I was reading trashy magazines on the plane. Don't judge me too much, I was on vacation and I had read the Omnivore's Dilemma, while on the beach (incidentally, it's very good if you are interested in food issues). One of the magazines I read was the May issue of Self, which had a tasty looking recipe for low-calorie turkey meatloaf.

I actually don't like meatloaf normally. The idea of eating a big slab of greasy meat never really appealed to me but this looked delicious! Maybe it was because it had spinach in it. Plus I had about 2 lbs of ground turkey in the freezer from when my dad visited and all the other ingredients on hand too, except for the spinach.

When I started to mix up the ingredients, one thing was abundantly clear - the recipe did not call for nearly enough bread crumbs. I imagine this is make it healthier, since it's part of Self's weight-loss program, the Self challenge. I was also really tempted to pour some red wine over the meatloaf, Portuguese style, but I did not, maybe next time. It also called for feta, which I don't know, seemed weird to me, maybe I'll give it a shot some time.

Turkey Spinach Meatloaf (with my adaptations, original is here)

1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 eggs
3/4 cup chopped spinach
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 Tb of Oregano
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Grease small glass baking pan (circa 9x11). Form meat mixture into a loaf and place in greased pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

This was super delicious, I ate significantly more than I should have. One note for the singletons, this will make 3-4 servings. If you wanted to pare it down, you could use half a pound of meat, 1 egg and adjust everything else accordingly to get two smaller servings but it is by no means huge if you follow the directions above.

Following the Self recipe exactly, a 1/4 of the meatloaf is 270 calories, taking out the feta will definitely lower that a little but since I increased the bread crumbs, I'd imagine it to come out about even. So long as you pair it with a healthy side, you are looking at a very low calorie dinner - unless you eat as much of it as I did!

Taste: A
Cost: A+ (ground turkey is much less expensive than other meat options)
Waste: A+ (The ingredients are basic and should be easy to use any extras)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Urban Gardening: Update!

I'm just getting started getting things planted in the garden. I was surprised how late the last frost in DC is! I also did not want to plant things right before I left on vacation, so I had to wait. It was torturous passing all the plants Home Depot had on display every day on my way to and from work.

But now, I have plants. And a growing awareness that I don't have a clue what I'm doing. I felt a tiny bit overwhelmed surveying all of my options for pot sizes, tomato varieties and potting soil.

By the way does anyone know if there is a USDA standard for organic potting soil? I could not figure out if there actually was a difference looking at the package. I'd rather use something the compost-derived nitrogen than petroleum. Please let me know if you have any information.

I decided to start small, I bought two pots which I hope are big enough (the next size up looked huge) a cherry tomato plant and a red pepper plant. I felt that I was most interested in these vegetables and they would take longest to fruit, though why I thought that I have no idea. I took my plants, soil and pots home and set to work. I gingerly placed my plants in there new homes on top of lots of soil. I sent my sister, an avid gardener, a photo of my accomplishment.

Later, when her and I were talking on the phone, she basically told me I screwed it all up. Apparently, I should've broken up the roots when replanting them, so that they take better to their new home. Apparently, there are also varieties of tomatoes bred for growing well in pots and I should have looked for one of those. Oh well, good thing I only started with two plants. Hopefully, they will still turn out alright.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


One reason I haven't posted in a while, is that I was on vacation last week! I went to Puerto Rico with a friend and have come back very tan. You might be wondering, what are the tasty things to eat in Puerto Rico? Good question!

In the cab from the airport, my friend and I had the fortune to have a very dynamic driver. Not only did he point out all of the interesting sites we passed but he also recommended multiple restaurants. He told us the typical dish from Puerto Rico is monfongo - green (unripe) plantains mashed and stuffed with some kind of meat. You can stuff it with pork, chicken, beef or seafood. We went to one of the restaurants he recommended, called Raices, which had a whole mofongo menu.

I had mofongo with fried pork, delicious!