Jalapeño-Cranberry and White Cheddar Turkey Meatloaf

The past few months has been challenging for me with living out in this concrete jungle. I miss my Midwestern accents and my family. There’s a ton of things I hate about it and many things I’ve yet to fully appreciate about it. I feel as if by coming back to the house after a long day of being in the city and and having the ability to come back and cook is what living is really all about for me right now. It’s something I’ve been able to appreciate even more. I’ve dealt with many individuals who have suffered from depression, and I might admit that in the past several years I’ve been struggling with a bit of 20-year-old depression myself. There’s so many obstacles that can get thrown at you in typical day that it’s no wonder the percentage of individuals in America suffering from depression has risen. There are so many people struggling to put food on their tables, working several jobs, and here I am complaining that the metro was late again! I know that the worst thing someone who is suffering from depression can do is relate their own life to another who might be less fortunate. It is a grounding thought but in the end it is just you. You are the one who can, yes, complain about the metro being late, but also be very grateful that you might be able to come back from work and do something you love.  You are the one who can decide to pursue something that creates life within you. I love that I can come back from work and cook with food. I can create my own masterpiece that might melt my mouth with deliciousness in every bite. Finding a hobby is so important and makes those moments worth living for. If you have a hobby or have been hoping to get into one, please do yourself a gratifying favor and go do it! O.K… back to this recipe.

A little spicy, a little tart, a little creamy, and maybe a little healthy (considering we’re using turkey) will enliven your taste-buds with this classic recipe I’ve been developing for a while.

Let me ask you this: Do you have a family member that makes a mean meatloaf?

If you answered “YES” then let me tell you that you can become that mean-making-meatloaf-#queen&king. I’ve found that the combination of ingredients in this has not only surprised people, but really got them thinking that there are more meatloaf 051a4f05af5981669633b929ef15b7685f7c43-wmpossibilities than just hamburger. However, this is not a case of putting it on the pizza, because there are definitely things that should not be mixed together. That’s what I am hoping to bring to others; an introduction into new, tasty, and innovative ways to the ordinary cooking recipes.

SPICE IS LIFE!

The Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey (combination of white and dark)
  • 1/2 of a chopped red onion
  • 1 chopped jalapeño
  • 1 cup of largely shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of whole, fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup of finely mixed and minced orange carrots and celery
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup of rolled oats (please don’t use instant)
  • 1/3 cup of plain bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup of ketchup (if you don’t like ketchup then use 2 TB of tomato paste, 1 TB apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 very large egg

Spice is Life

  • 1/2 tsp of dried rosemary, thyme, savory, and oregano.
  • 1 tsp fresh, pressed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1 tsp stone ground mustard
  • 2 TB freshly minced parsley

Some Tips & What-Not

What I really would like to do for you in this post and future savory cooking recipes is to cover the superior use of using herbs and spices. Fresh is always best, but when in doubt use dried from a quality source. I mean it too! Having quality spices (I’ve found) make a huge difference in the taste of your cooking. I’m always asked, “How did you get such depth in the taste of your cooking?” It’s not salt. It is the use of herbs and spices. There’s a fantastic book called “The Flavor Bible” which goes beyond following a recipe. It draws upon experiences from famous chefs using different spices. It really will make a huge difference in the outcome of your meal. I promise.

Another nifty item that I’ve been wanting for several years and finally got for a Christmas present this year was a herb cutting scissors! It’s like a regular one… except with multiple blades. You can pretty much call it the food processor of herbs. It’s really great for fresh herbs.

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Finally, lets talk about the one thing that every beginner and even an experienced chef should have in their kitchen… a meat thermometer. Oh my goodness… these things can save a dish from going dry and lame. I would highly suggest picking one up and reading when certain meats and dishes should range at. You’ll awe your guests if you’re on the grill!

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The Instructions

Dice up, chop, and grate your red onion, jalapeño, white cheddar cheese, fresh cranberries, orange carrots and celery and then mix. Add the pepper, olive oil and ground turkey. Mix well with either your hand or a nice spatula, but I prefer the hand method.

Next up you’ll want to add the soy sauce, rolled oats, bread crumbs, ketchup, plain Greek yogurt, and an egg. If you mix with your hand you might even make a meat friend… after this is done add the remaining spices.

Next up, you’ll want to spray a 9 x 5 loaf pan and spread the mixture into it.

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Bake at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes. Take it out of the oven and brush with a little more ketchup and BBQ. Put in oven for another 10 more minutes (until meat thermometer inserted into meatloaf registers 170 degrees). Let it sit for another 5 minutes and then serve. Don’t forget to add a fancy herb for decor.

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Live long, cook well, and be happy!

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