Eating healthy on a budget takes work but can absolutely be done. One of the ways we save money is by eating meat only once or twice a week (that way we can afford higher quality meat too).
Meatloaf has always been a stretch-your-budget kind of meal but since I only buy ground turkey instead of ground beef (I’ve never really liked ground beef but since that whole pink slime thing came out I definitely don’t buy it) it can be sort of expensive.
So I came up with a way to stretch my favorite meatloaf recipe even further by adding lentils. Even my meat-loving husband likes it!
I created this recipe from a great recipe I found online years ago but I can’t find it again. If this recipe looks familiar and you know where the original recipe can be found let me know and I’ll update.
Turkey Lentil Loaf
- 3 T Olive oil
- 4 cups chopped vegetables (I typically use onion, celery, mushrooms, red or green bell peppers, and carrots depending on what I have available but I have also thrown in a bunch of random leftover veggies and it came out fine)
- 1-1.5 lb ground turkey
- 2 cups cooked lentils (I’ve used brown and red successfully)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 T ketchup
- 2 t salt
- 1 t pepper
- ½ t each of parsley, oregano, basil
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
Throw the vegetables and garlic cloves into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is not quite a puree.
In a large frying pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add veggies and cook for 5 minutes (they will cook in the meatloaf, this is just a head start). Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
Combine veggie mixture with the rest of the ingredients (except for bread crumbs) in a large bowl. Mix until well combined. Add breadcrumbs and mix until just combined. If the mixture is really wet you can add ¼ cup more breadcrumbs.
Add the meatloaf mixture to a loaf pan or an 8×8 pan (which is what I use).
Cook at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour or until an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
Matt really loves this glaze but it’s not exactly healthy or whole food so that’s why I’m labeling it optional :). Instead of the glaze you could top the meatloaf with cheese.
3 T ketchup
1-2 T brown sugar
1 T spicy mustard
Mix all ingredients together. Coat the top of the meatloaf with the glaze when it has about 20 minutes left to cook.
What is your favorite stretch-your-dollar meal?