LOAF-ing on a Friday

It was a lazy day off today. Spring is nearly here! I know because I have several of these gorgeous lavender krokus’ coming up in my yard. They’re always a welcome and cheery sign that warmer weather is on the horizon!

I had lots of time today for resting and relaxing, but I was motivated to cook something new. I’ve been carrying a magazine recipe around, for days now, for a turkey meatloaf. I like to cook but rarely do I take a chance on a new recipe. We have a lot of the same old fare around here. However, this looked really good and I’ve never tried my hand at a meatloaf of any kind before. Why not start with a slightly more healthy turkey version?

It looked so beautiful with its sweet and tomatoey salsa. I have to tell you that it was AMAZING! I received rave reviews and was told to keep the recipe handy for a future repeat appearance! All-in-all, I’d call it a great success! I topped it off with a cornbread and potatoes. Yum.

Though I began with a recipe, I did make a few of my own modifications, so I thought I’d share it with you (below). Keep in mind, it’s a large meatloaf. It should yield 8 servings. 

My sweet pet, Lola, had to sample the finished product, then she took a nice long nap!

Don’t let the ingredients list throw you. There are several items, but it really doesn’t take too long to put together!

Turkey Meatloaf in Tomato Salsa

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound white mushrooms, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2-1/4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons roasted red pepper, diced
2 pounds ground turkey (white meat)
1-1/2 cups bread crumbs
2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon allspice

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
– In a non-stick skillet, over medium high heat, heat the olive oil and then saute half of the onion, the mushrooms, garlic, roasted red pepper and crushed pepper flakes until the mushrooms begin to brown and onions get translucent.
– Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and then add the fire-roasted tomatoes, 1/2 each of the sage and thyme, vinegar, brown sugar and allspice to the mixture and simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes or until about 1/2 of the liquid reduces.
– In a separate mixing bowl, combine the turkey with the remainder of the salt, pepper, onion, sage and thyme. Add the bread crumbs and ginger and mix well. Using your hands, pack the turkey mixture firmly into an oiled, glass casserole dish. I used a slightly smaller than a 13″ x 9″ x 2″ as you want your turkey-loaf to fit the pan well. There will be some shrinking of the loaf as it bakes.
– As soon as your mushroom mixture (salsa) is reduced, top your turkey loaf with half of the salsa. Cover with foil and bake for approximately 40 minutes. Then uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. You can serve the remainder of the salsa on the side for additional garnishing.

Enjoy!

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