As warmer weather peeks over the horizon, we're ready to pack up the casserole dishes and slow cookers and get ready for lighter fare. But it's not too late to enjoy one last helping of a classic comfort food — with some healthy ingredients and a few new twists. Forget the ketchup-spiked, drab meat loaf of yore. Many of these eight recipes include international flavors, whole grains and lots of vegetables.
Mexican Meat Loaf by Terry Golson
Salsa and spices perk up this recipe, which uses a combination of lean ground turkey and lean ground beef to cut fat and calories. You can assemble it a day ahead of time, then wrap it tightly and store it in the fridge until you're ready to pop it in the oven for an hour before dinnertime.
Per serving: 181 calories, 4g fat, 10g carbohydrates, 25g protein, 2g fiber, 519mg sodium
Moroccan Meat Loaf by Maryana Vollstedt
Ground turkey or chicken mixed with ground lamb is less fatty than some other meat combinations, but this Moroccan dish is still full of flavor. Bell peppers, green onions and zucchini get you servings of healthy vegetables along with the protein.
Per serving: 325 calories, 17g fat, 19g carbohydrates, 24g protein, 2g fiber, 433mg sodium
Peppery Meat Loaf With Couscous by Judith Finlayson
Old-fashioned beef meat loaf is supplemented here with couscous, Mediterranean veggies and spices. With baked potatoes and a salad, this makes a satisfying meal.
Per serving: 310 calories, 18g fat, 17g carbohydrates, 20g protein, 2g fiber, 432mg sodium
Gala Meat Loaf With Spinach by Barbara Kafka and Christopher Styler
This microwave recipe is quick and easy, and it includes healthy spinach and garlic. Make sandwiches the next day with leftovers!
Per serving: 227 calories, 12g fat, 5g carbohydrates, 25g protein, 2g fiber, 469g sodium
Barbecue Turkey Meat Loaf by Gina and Pat Neely
Craving the taste of barbecue without firing up the grill? This well-seasoned turkey meat loaf does the trick. To make sure the dish stays nice and moist, you'll want to avoid extra-lean ground turkey.
Per serving: 318 calories, 13g fat, 23g carbohydrates, 25g protein, 2g fiber, 645mg sodium
Italian-Style Mini Meat Loaves by Anne Byrn
Making single-serving loaves speeds up the baking time and offers a fun presentation. You can also freeze them individually for weeknight dinners.
Per serving: 273 calories, 14g fat, 16g carbohydrates, 19g protein, 405mg sodium
Tamarind-Glazed Meat Loaf by Suvir Saran
Mushrooms add a nice moisture to the pork and beef in this recipe. Spices often found in Indian cooking — coriander, cumin, garam masala and ginger — provide a delicious and unexpected flavor.
Per serving: 491 calories, 34g fat, 15g carbohydrates, 31g protein, 939mg sodium
Glazed Meatloaf With Bacon Strips by Maryana Vollstedt
This recipe includes a hearty chili glaze and would pair well with a light new-potato salad. (Note: It tastes wonderful, but you may want to skip this dish if you're keeping a strict eye on your sodium intake.)
Per serving: 395 calories, 26g fat, 14g carbohydrates, 25g protein, 972mg sodium.
PROMO:So many ways — none boring — to create this classic carnivore dish
Makes 1 cup
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- Sea salt
- 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses, homemade or store-bought
- 1/4 cup organic vegetable or chicken broth, homemade or store-bought
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed blood orange juice (can substitute Valencia orange juice)
1. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, shallot and a pinch of salt and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in the pomegranate molasses, broth, maple syrup, tomato paste and cinnamon stick. Decrease the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, remove the cinnamon stick and stir in the orange juice. Do a taste test; you may want to add a pinch more salt and more lemon juice to taste.
3. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Nutrients per serving (2 tablespoons): 45 calories, 11g carbohydrates, 0g protein, 0g fiber, 0g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 5mg sodium
Kale, Orange, Grape Tomato and Carrot Salad With Rebecca Katz's Greener Than Green Goddess Dressing
- 1 (12-ounce) bunch kale (preferably Tuscan or black kale), stems removed, leaves cut into thin strips
- Greener Than Green Goddess Dressing (recipe follows)
- 2 organic carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 10 grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 very small orange or clementine, peeled and separated into sections and diced
1. Place the kale in a large bowl. Pour 1/2 cup of the dressing over it. Using your hands, gently massage the dressing into the kale for 2 to 3 minutes. Let rest for 30 minutes. (This will marinate the kale and help remove some of its bitterness.)
2. Just before serving, add the carrots, tomatoes and orange sections. Drizzle with a quarter to half a cup of the remaining dressing, toss to combine and serve immediately.
Nutrients per serving: 57 calories, 3g protein, 13g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 1g fat (0g saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 43mg sodium