Mom’s! This one’s for you. Kid-friendly recipe ahead!
What if I told you that we could sneak a whole ton of vegetables into a delicious meatloaf your kids will love and that will only take you 15 minutes of hands-on time to prepare? Would you be interested?
I thought so.
In this Hide-the-Veggies Meatloaf, we are going to add all of the following vegetables into two loaves.
Yes, that’s a whole sweet potato, onion, a couple of carrots and celery stalks, a zucchini and a generous handful of spinach.
Why, am I so passionate about getting more produce into our children? Because vegetables are hugely important sources of vitamins and minerals, they add fiber to the diet, helping the digestive system to function optimally and they help safeguard the body against disease by providing antioxidants to combat cellular damage.
And, the truth is, our kids aren’t eating enough vegetables.
According to the most recent Statistics Canada Canadian Community Health Survey, 7 out of 10 children aged 4 through 8 consumed fewer than 5 servings of vegetables and fruit in a day. The survey does not distinguish whether the servings were fruit or vegetables and counts a half cup of juice as a serving as well, which I don’t really think is optimal. The numbers get a little bit better for older children, but not by much.
And, this isn’t just about our kids. Half of adults aren’t meeting the 5 serving per day minimum either.
So, let’s collectively break through the line on these statistics and fuel ourselves with more plant-powered goodness. And, trust me, when veggies taste this good, it’s easy!
To make this meatloaf, we are going to use a food processor. You can still make it without one, but it will take a lot of grating. (Maybe do it on a day when you need to work out some frustration).
The slicing disc makes quick work of the celery. Next the sweet potato, carrots and zucchini can all be run through using the grating disc. I usually chop the onion and spinach by hand. Depending on your kids you may want to chop both really fine so that they are less noticeable. For my daughter, onions only taste bad when she can see them.
I like to serve the meatloaf up with a big side of steamed broccoli or a nice green salad (just to be really sure that my daughter and I have eaten our quota for the day).
- 1 small sweet potato
- 1 zucchini
- 2 small carrots
- 2 ribs celery
- 1 yellow or red onion, finely chopped
- 1 large handful of spinach, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¾ tsp ground pepper
- ½ tsp fennel seeds (optional)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp dry parsley
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 2 lbs organic ground pork or turkey
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Using the grating tool on your food processor, grate sweet potato, zucchini and carrots.
- Switch to the slicing disk and slice the celery.
- Chop the onion and mince the garlic.
- Add all vegetables and seasonings to a large bowl and toss by hand to combine.
- Add meat of your choice (I've made it with both pork or turkey and it turned out great either way) and combine.
- Split the mixture between two loaf pans.
- Bake for 1 hour or until a food thermometer reads 160 degrees F when inserted in the center of a loaf.