Meat loaf will be wearing new accessories this year - spinach, carrots, zucchini and whole grains. Grind the nuts in a food processor but be sure to add a little flour so you don't end up with nut butter. —Susan Preston, Eagle Creek, Oregon
- 1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 2/3 cup mashed cooked carrots
- 1 slice whole wheat bread, torn into pieces
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup grated zucchini
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce, divided
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 3 tablespoons ground walnuts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- In a large saucepan, bring 1/2 in. of water to a boil. Add spinach; cover and boil for 3-4 minutes or until wilted. Drain and squeeze dry.
- In a large bowl, combine 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, carrots, bread, eggs, zucchini, 1/4 cup tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, onion, flaxseed, walnuts, oil, garlic, seasonings and spinach. Pat into a greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan; top with remaining tomato sauce.
- Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake 4-7 minutes longer or until heated through and cheese is melted. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Mad About "Meat" Loaf in Taste of Home February/March 2012, p59
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