Weekly Winner:  It’s not easy being green — especially if you’re a meatloaf!

 I was not always a fan of meatloaf.  I never actually refused to eat it or anything, but it was never one of my favorites.  Just acceptable.  I’ve come to  realize that the reason for my previous thoughts on meatloaf was simply because it’s not easy to make a good meatloaf!  Most meatloaf is, at best forgettable and at worst, leaden doorstops.

Lately I’ve found some interesting recipes and have had success (both at my own dinner table and with my clients) introducing both a spinach-and-cheese-stuffed beef meatloaf and an amazingly popular horseradish-y glazed turkey meatloaf to my repertoire.  Then I found this recipe and I have to admit… I was intrigued.  Chicken and Broccoli — in a meatloaf.  What’s not to like?  Well, first there’s the color.  It is somewhat disconcerting to eat a green meatloaf.  Your survival instincts generally tell you to avoid such things.

Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe.  It certainly is easy.  It’s definitely healthy.  I’m just not so sure it qualifies as a meatloaf.  It doesn’t really taste like a meatloaf, but it does most certainly taste good!  I also think it would make an awesome chicken burger and I intend to play around with that as well.

So bottom line, if you can get past the color, try this recipe.  I’m pretty sure that the recipe came from Martha Stewart Living, but for the life of me, I can’t find it online.  So I’ll give her credit for it.  The recipe worked beautifully, which is a sign that it probably came from Martha.  Again, my apologies for the picture.  I’ve included the picture from the magazine after the recipe, but I think they may have “dampened down” the green color. At least with me, you know there’s not going to be any photoshopping.  I post it like it turns out!

Chicken-and-Broccoli Meatloaf

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 head broccoli, cut into small florets, stems peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices

Olive oil, for the pan

1 small onion, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 pound ground chicken

1 large egg, lightly whisked

1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/3 cup finely grated parmesan

2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill

1-1/2 tsp coarse salt

Freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup ketchup

2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Set a steamer basket or colander in a large saucepan filled with 2 inches water; bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Place broccoli florets and stems in basket cover, and steam until bright green and just tender, 4 to 6 minutes.  Remove basket from pan; let cool slightly.
  2. Brush a 5×9 inch loaf pan with oil.  In a food processor, pulse onion, carrot, and celery until finely chopped; transfer to a large bowl.  Pulse broccoli in food processor until finely chopped.  Transfer to bowl.
  3. Add breadcrumbs, chicken, egg, 1 tablespoon mustard, Parmesan, dill, and salt to bowl.  Season with pepper.  Using two forks, mix until combined.  Transfer to prepared loaf pan.
  4. Stir together ketchup, remaining 2 teaspoons mustard, and brown sugar in a small bowl until smooth; brush evenly on top of loaf.  Set loaf pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until glaze is caramelized and a thermometer inserted in center of loaf registers 160 degrees, about 1 hour.  Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

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