Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stealth Veggies

I have a love/hate relationship with stealth vegetables. You know the kind, where you're having a delicious meal and then the cook casually mentions that she put 13 heads of lettuce in the main dish and you had no idea.

On one had, I love it. Eating more vegetables is a good thing! And getting picky eaters (children or husbands!) to eat them can sometimes be difficult. And I would love to feel like I was getting something good for me when I eat a whole pan of brownies by myself (not that I have ever done that...).

But on the other hand, do you really need to trick people into eating something good for them? There are tons of studies out there showing that people tend to like the food they are exposed to. So, if we give kids/husbands broccoli, the first second or third time they might only have a bite or two, but the fourth, fifth, or 100th time they will dig right in (this of course is not true for every food. I grew up hating hot corn meal cereal, no matter how many times my mom made it!). And wouldn't it be better to teach someone to like a real veggie then to trick them into thinking that brownies are good for them? What happens when you are not there to stuff a vegetable into everything?

I am (obviously) conflicted about this, so while I make up my mind, try out this recipe for stuffed meatloaf. Tons of good for you spinach, but you can totally see it, so it's only semi stealth! Also, a great way to use up spinach that's a little too wilty to put in a salad but still good enough to eat.

Spinach and Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf

1 pound ground turkey
2 egg whites (or one whole egg)
1/2 cup oatmeal (you can also use bread crumbs)
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 oz shredded mozzarella
2 cups fresh spinach

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the turkey, egg whites, oatmeal, onion, 1/3 cup of BBQ sauce, and spices in a large bowl. Spread half of the turkey mixture in a bread pan. Layer cheese and spinach on top (trust me, put the spinach on after the cheese, it's much easier to spread the rest of the meat on!). Layer the remaining meat on top of the cheese and spinach. Cover with remaining BBQ sauce. Bake for 1 hour. Cut into 6 slices, and enjoy!

Nutrition: Calories: 262, Fat: 12g, Total Carbohydrates: 10g, Fiber: 1g, Protein: 28g

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