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Satisfying Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf

Reduced fat, three meat blend meatloaf you can feel good about serving to your family is this week's What's For Dinner.

Even though I am dying to get outside and grill with all this fabulously warm weather, I gave in to my son's request for meatloaf and headed to the local butchery. I rarely cook meatloaf, as it has a tendency to be fatty and greasy-two things I have had a mind to avoid, of late. But sometimes it's easier to to give in, plus I love a challenge. I thought I would probably be able to load it up with chopped vegetables to keep the meal slightly more healthy.

As I perused the selection of meats in the cooler, I noticed they had ground pork and turkey, and a lightbulb went off in my brain-what a great way to cut the fat without sacrificing flavor! I went ahead and purchased enough of each to yield two meatloaves (big appetites at my dinner table, I have to double every recipe!).

As I was driving home putting together the recipe in my mind's eye, I became distracted by a horrifying thought. Didn’t I just see a report on the news about ground beef and pink slime? Surely there can’t be any of that awful additive in our local butcheries here in Danvers, I thought. But you never know for sure.

So I decided to find out. I let my fingers do the walking and called upon  store manager Russell Meredith, and then to the on North Street where I spoke to manager Catherine Hartigan.

To my relief, both managers informed me that there are no fillers, additives or chemicals in their ground beef, pork or turkey, and all meat is ground on site, as needed. Sometimes they are grinding meat up to six times in a day just to meet the demand. “The stories about pink slime have nothing to do with us,” assured Meredith, while Hartigan further stated that all ground beef at The Butchery is made utilizing the trimmings from their high quality meats, from the sirloin to the filet mignon. Satisfied with my answers, and more than a little relieved, I proceeded to create.

The ensuing spinach and cheese stuffed meatloaf turned out fabulous, and I felt really good serving this lower fat version with the three meat combination and a low fat monteray jack cheese. The best part about this delicious recipe is it was super easy to prepare, with about 10 minutes of prep time, and an hour in a 350 degree oven. I served it with a side of roasted asparagus and mixed green salad. Enjoy!

Spinach and cheese stuffed meatloaf (makes 2 loaves)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. each ground beef, turkey and pork
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 med. green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 T worcestshire sauce
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. bread crumbs or 4 slices of bread, chunked up
  • 1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 c. low fat jack or your choice shredded cheese
  • 1/4 c. parmasan cheese
  • 1/4 c. barbecue sauce (to glaze the tops of the meatloaves)

Combine the meats thoroughly. Add spices and Worcestorshire sauce, blend well. Add eggs and mix before adding milk and bread crumbs. Divide mixture in half, using each half for a top and bottom layer with filling in between.

In a separate bowl combine the spinach and cheeses. Put the bottom layer of meat in each loaf pan, use half the spinach mixture on each layer, and top with the other half of the meat.

Glaze the tops of the meatloaves with a thin layer of barbecue sauce and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Serve with your choice of mixed green salad and roasted vegetables.

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