I love to cook. I love to follow a recipe, listening along to music as I measure and read and saute and chop. I have a recipe book with all of my grandmother’s recipes, and I love going through them, reading her writing, adding and adjusting to my own tastes. That being said, until last year, my go to recipes were “Cheesy Wonderfulness,” “Spaghetti Monster,” and my personal favorite, “Meatloaf Muffins and the Bestest, Most Ignorant Portion of Mashed Potatoes You’ve Ever Seen,” which are, respectively, baked mac and cheese with three cheeses, baked spaghetti with cream cheese and marinara sauce, and well, the last one pretty much explains itself. Don’t get me wrong – they are all amazing. But, believe it or not, eating giant portions of the above for dinner every night caused me to gain weight at a rather alarming pace. I know, right? Where did I go wrong?
All jokes aside, one of the biggest problems I’ve always had with trying to lose weight is that I love my comfort food. I truly enjoy sitting down late at night – I eat dinner super late, after most well-adjusted adults have gone to bed – in front of the TV, and digging into one of my favorite meals. Salad doesn’t cut it for me. Sure, it does the trick at lunch, but late at night? When I’m settling in with a great Law and Order rerun? I want something that’s not only filling, but satisfying. That whole, “Eat to live, not live to eat,” motto is great and it is wise, but for my late night dinner? It’s not going to fly. I really fucking like mashed potatoes.
But I can’t eat mashed potatoes very much, because there’s no stopping me. I want ALL THE POTATOES and I want them now. So I needed to find some alternatives for my own standbys. I needed to find foods that satisfied my need for comfort food while not letting one meal derail my entire day of clean eating and exercise.
I’ll keep adding to this page as I go along with the site, but I’m starting with the one recipe that basically changed my life.
If you would have told me six months ago that I would ever lick the spoon from the bottom of a bowl of cauliflower, I would have laughed so hard I may have kicked you. But I am telling you – try this recipe and you will never miss mashed potatoes again. Believe me when I tell you that no one that has walked the Earth loved mashed potatoes more than me, and this? Truly is a substitute that satisfies on all levels. The first time you make it I recommend following her recipe exactly, but it can be modified in a lot of ways to suit your tastes and eating plan.
Also, I realize the beginning of this is very potato-centric. I have other recipes, I promise. The mashed potatoes is just a good example of where I was and am, eating wise.
Veggie-Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf
I don’t have a link here, because I kind of took a couple of recipes and combined them into this one. I make this at least once a week. It keeps well, you could probably freeze it, and it’s completely versatile. You can add and subtract your own veggies as you so choose, you could add tomato paste or use ground beef. Sometimes if I’m feeling fancy I make this in those cute little muffin tins so I have meatloaf “muffins.” At any rate, this is the basic recipe. A note? This base version can be a little bland. I don’t mind it, but you may want to add some different spices. If you don’t use the veggies or use considerably less, I would add a bit of water too so it doesn’t dry out.
Chop up one onion, three stalks of celery, and a big ole handful of spinach. I like to chop everything very fine. Throw it in a big bowl.
Add a half cup of rolled oats – not the instant kind. I use Quaker.
Add a pound of ground turkey. Then crack an egg over the whole mess.
Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. I use quite a bit.
Grease a loaf pan – or really any shallow baking dish, I use whatever’s not in the dishwasher.
Mix the whole thing up with your hands, combining thoroughly. Put it in the loaf pan or baking dish, making sure it’s evenly distributed.
Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, depending on your oven.
Enjoy! It, um, goes great with the mashed cauliflower 🙂
This is from the fabulous Detoxinista site. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth – in fact, it’s one of the few things I can actually resist pretty easily. But every once in awhile I get a taste for something sweet, so I keep this in the freezer. It’s super easy and contains no sugar, flour, butter – pretty much all the things you’d expect in fudge. If you want to be like me you can make your own almond butter too. I’m not posting a recipe for that because it’s two steps: Put almonds in food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. Done! (It takes about fifteen minutes.)