Recipe Makeover: Veggie-Packed Meat Loaf
Veggie-Packed Meat Loaf
Meat loaf is more than just comfort food—it's a pan full of protein. A serving of the classic ground beef-and-pork combo has nearly 40g of protein, thanks to the double portion of meat packed into each slice. Protein is a good thing, but with all that meat come more than 600 calories and 16g sat fat, not to mention the need for some fiber-filled veggies to balance the plate. Could we knock out some calories and add in some plants, too? We had to find out.
600 calories per slice
16 grams sat fat
1157 mg sodium
338 calories per slice
5.3 grams sat fat
563 mg sodium
Tip #1: Mix in Mushrooms
Classic meat loaf calls for 3 pounds of meat. That's a double portion of meat per slice. We slim down to ½ pound and add bulk with mushrooms. Per pound, they have just 100 calories, versus 964 per pound of ground meat.
#2: Bulk Up with Beans and Peas
Buttery chickpeas and creamy green peas replace some of the ground meat, adding 2g of filling fiber, 3g of plant protein, and only 45 nutrient-dense calories to each slice.
Tip #3: Toss in Some Crunch
Avoid the mush of classic meat loaf with nuts and whole grains. Bulgur replaces dry breadcrumbs, and walnuts add tasty crunch. Bonus: Together these add 2g fiber and 2g protein per slice.