Back to School: Healthy Deliciousness!

Veggie Packed Turkey Meatloaf Burgers

Despite the fact that I got a call from a young boy looking for his dad this past week (wrong number), it’s probably pretty obvious that I don’t have a kid. But after reading a bunch of “back to school” food related blogs this past week, kids were on the brain…Parent’s around the country struggle to get their kids to eat well and I’ve got to be honest, I’ve never really understood how the issue has escalated so far. It’s not that I can’t see all of the harmful marketing and terrible school lunches, etc that help develop kids eating habits, but to me it’s got to be about a commitment. A commitment to preparing foods that are healthy but taste undeniably friggin delicious!

Like these turkey meatloaf burgers I made for Em and I last night. Being that we are both big kids at heart, and the rain has been unrelenting, it was time for some comfort food. But how can you make a “burger” something to feel good about serving? Luckily in the case of turkey, the stuff is terribly dry. That doesn’t sound like a good thing, but the solution is where the good stuff comes in to play. Loading these meatloaf burgers with spinach, tomato, and just a bit of feta introduced some healthy vegetables and a ton of moisture and flavor. Instead of the ketchup, I decided to make a slightly spicy and just a touch sweet tomato sauce packed with even more veg. String beans, mushrooms and onions pick up all of the tomato flavor and act as a great topping for this healthy meal. And the best part is, this meal was prepared in less than 40 minutes.

Sticking to the “back to school theme”, over the next few weeks I’m hoping to come up with a few great ideas for kids lunches as well! Any parents out there with some insight?

Turkey “Meatloaf Burgers”

1 lb ground turkey

3 handfuls of baby spinach rough chopped

10 cherry tomatoes rough chopped

1/4 feta cheese rough chopped

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp chili powder

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

Salt and Pepper

Homemade tomato sauce

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl toss all of the ingredients together without over mixing. Form 3-4 patties (I prefer oval for the “meatloaf” factor) and season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet or cast iron pan over med/high heat, sear the patties for three minutes on one side. Flip the patties and sear for one minute. Before placing in the oven, spread one spoonful of the tomato sauce over each patty. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through. (Because this is turkey, it’s a delicate balance between “cooked through” and “overcooked”. Don’t be afraid to peek into the middle if you are worried). Serve with the tomato sauce and enjoy!

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