Turkey Meatloaf, String beans, Pasta w/Tomato Pesto and Beet/Carrot Salad

The Colors of Dinner

Ask the kids to count how many colors are in your entire dinner.  Dr. Oz tells kids to try to eat foods with the same colors as a rainbow to ensure a balanced diet.  Tonight:  1) purple beets 2) orange carrots 3) green string beans 4) brown meatloaf  5) white pasta  6) red tomatoes

Meatloaf:  I like to use a little more than a pound of fresh ground turkey from Fresh Market which is good for the four of us (w/ a slice leftover).

  • Cook 1/2 onion (chopped VERY fine) in a little olive oil with salt/pepper and 1/2 tsp of poultry seasoning (do not brown).
  • Add 1/3 cup of chicken broth and 1 teaspoon of ketchup and mix with onion in the pan.
  • Put onion mixture in the fridge while you mix the ground turkey with 1 egg and 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs.
  • Blend onion and turkey mixtures together.
  • I let the kids squirt a ketchup design on the top of the meatloaf or you can just spread ketchup all over the top.
  • Bake at 325 for about 45 min. or til meatloaf hits 150-160 degrees.

STRINGBEANS:  Boil fresh or frozen string beans until cooked and toss with garlic and olive oil, salt/pepper.   At Christmas (or for more color) I add cherry or grape tomato halves for the Christmas colors!

PASTA:   Cook pasta (try Cavatappi) in salted water and add a little sun-dried tomato pesto in the jar (it is actually VERY mild and has no chemicals/ preservatives).  Add salt/pepper to taste and a little basil and parm. cheese if you like for added flavor.

BEET/CARROT SALAD:    Roughly cut and cook (boil or microwave) beets and carrots separately (carrots will not take long).  Cut into smaller pieces and mix with salt/pepper and little olive oil and vinegar (rice/red wine).  Go light on the vinegar to get the kids used to the texture and mild flavor.  I added leftover fennel too.  You can also nix the vinegar and serve this warm with just the olive oil, salt and pepper.

How Can the Kids Help?

  • Count the colors in the meal
  • Learn how to use peeler (a little at a time)
  • Help measure and mix meatloaf ingredients
  • If using fresh string beans, they can snap the ends and in half
  • Grate a little cheese over the pasta
  • Make ketchup design over meatloaf (Mia does her name, tonight she wrote “family”)
  • Color beets/carrots – coloring pages:  http://www.coloring.ws/fruit6.htm

Did you know?

  • Did you know that “frosted meatloaf” is actually meatloaf covered with mashed potatoes?
  • Meatloaf was invented for 3 reasons:  1) fillers allow more meat to go to more people  2) it makes tough meat more palatable
    3) enables more meat to be used and less to be thrown out
  • Meatloaf was originally made from Buffalo meat in the U.S.
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