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Do you ever have trouble getting your kiddos to eat their veggies? Most of the time my kids are pretty good at it but I do have a couple boys who are not big fans of much other than a fresh carrot or celery stick. I learned a trick from a friend a few years ago that makes sneaking in some extra veggies into your child’s diet easy and delicious! When you grate or chop vegetables into small pieces and mix them in with your ground meat they not only become mostly invisible, they add incredible flavor and keep your meat so moist! This trick works with hamburgers, meatballs, and meatloaf. You can do this with ground turkey, ground chicken, or like this Meatloaf Packed with Veggies which is made with ground beef.
Meatloaf Packed with Veggies
The best part about this recipe is that the meatloaf is loaded with veggies that a couple of my kiddos don’t usually like to eat and I know that they are getting some added nutrition with their dinner. The second best thing is that this recipe uses up a lot of vegetables I have in the refrigerator. I can use up the last of a head of cauliflower, some onion, peppers, and zucchini or whatever I happen to have on hand the day I decide to make it. This week I had a half of a green pepper, half of a red onion, a zucchini fresh from our garden, some radishes also fresh from our garden, and a partial head of cauliflower. I grated and chopped all the veggies into tiny pieces. This is important if you’re trying to hide them!
There’s no set amount of vegetables to add. You can use as little or as much as you like. Add the veggies to your ground beef.
Next you’ll want to add your egg and whatever you like to use for binder. We’ve used cracker crumbs but with our little guy with Celiac Disease, we love using gluten free oats. For 2 lbs of meat I use about 1 1/2 cups of gluten free oats and 2 eggs. Whisk the eggs before adding to the meat and veggies, then add the oats.
I also add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to my mix. I like to add a little ranch dressing and Worcestershire sauce for extra flavor too. Use your hands to knead the mixture until everything is evenly distributed and well combined. Transfer this to a glass baking dish and form it into a loaf.
Bake the loaf in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees or higher.
Remove from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before cutting into serving sizes and plating. We served our with roasted potatoes and zucchini.
My little boys said “this is the best meatloaf ever!” and ate it right up. My 11 year old spotted the cauliflower and wasn’t super happy about it but ate and liked it!
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