Comfort food but make it fast! This recipe incorporates a number of pantry ingredients and shortcuts like frozen cauliflower and steam-in-the-bag green beans to cut way down on prep time. Baking the meatloaf in a muffin tin reduces cook time by more than half and makes portion control easy.

EatingWell.com, April 2021

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Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

active:
30 mins
total:
30 mins
Servings:
4
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Here's how we made over this recipe to be healthy and diabetes-friendly:

1. Meatloaf is one of those classic comfort-food recipes and makes for a delicious dinner—but with an average cook time of over an hour, it can be a challenge to fit in on a weeknight. We sped up this recipe by switching to mini meatloaves, which are made in a muffin tin rather than in a loaf pan. We also cut the saturated fat in the meatloaves by opting for 93%-lean ground beef rather than the more traditional 80- or 85%-lean. People with diabetes are at a higher risk for developing heart disease, so limiting saturated fat where you can is a good idea.

2. Another benefit to making mini meatloaves: it helps take the guesswork out of portion size! That's especially important for diabetes, since tracking carbohydrates in mixed dishes like this one can be challenging. Each serving (which includes 2 mini meatloaves, 1 cup green beans & 2/3 cup cauliflower) provides 24 grams of carbohydrates, or about 1½ carbohydrate exchanges.

3. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes might be a classic combination, but whipped cauliflower makes the meal more diabetes-friendly: the swap saves 22 grams of carbs per serving. By using a combination of Greek yogurt and olive oil instead of butter, we maintained the creaminess but eliminated at least 3 grams of saturated fat per serving.

4. This dinner is packed with dried and fresh herbs and spices—from the onion powder and paprika in the meatloaves to the chives and lemon zest that top the veggies, you get tons of delicious flavors, with just the right amount of salt. Since people with diabetes are at a higher risk for developing heart disease, it's a good idea to limit sodium where you can.

Having diabetes doesn't mean you have to give up all of your favorite foods. You just need the know-how (and easy cooking tips) to make better choices. In Make Over My Recipe, a fun cooking show geared toward beginner cooks, Mila Clarke takes classics like mac and cheese, meatloaf, brownies and more comfort foods and uses simple tricks to make them healthier—but just as delicious as ever.

Tips from the EatingWell Test Kitchen

Can I make this with ground turkey or ground chicken?

Swapping the meat here is absolutely possible. While we haven't tested those alternatives, we recommend choosing 93%-lean ground turkey or chicken. Anything leaner than that will result in meatloaf that's on the dry side. Note that if you use chicken or turkey it will change the overall nutrition numbers as well. The mixture may also be a little more sticky; using wet hands will help you handle the raw meat more easily.

Can I make this on a baking sheet if I don't have a muffin tin?

Of course you can! Line your baking sheet with foil coated with cooking spray. Divide the mixture evenly into 8 servings, then shape into rounds or mini loaves on the baking sheet, allowing plenty of room between them. Bake as directed, but check a bit sooner, at 15 minutes, for doneness.

I don't have frozen cauliflower; can I use fresh cauliflower instead?

Great news—yes! Fresh cauliflower is a great substitute for frozen. You can even experiment with different varieties, such as purple, orange or green cauliflower. Use the same method for steaming, but cut the cooking time in half.

Can I use riced cauliflower?

That's such a good idea! Using riced cauliflower should speed up the process since it's already in such small pieces. Follow the package directions for cooking, then drain the cauliflower and proceed with the recipe.

What if I can't find steam-in-the-bag fresh green beans?

No problem at all. If steam-in-the-bag fresh beans aren't available, purchase an equal amount of fresh green beans from the produce section of your store and follow our directions for making Steamed Fresh Green Beans. If you can't find fresh, frozen green beans make a great substitute. Look for plain frozen beans without any sauces or seasonings, and follow the package directions for cooking.

There's no way I can eat all of these meatloaves; can I freeze them?

If your belly is full and your family is fed, go ahead and freeze your meatloaves. Let them cool before transferring to a freezer-safe container. Seal it airtight, label and date it, then freeze and enjoy within 3 months.

Ingredients

Meatloaves
Whipped Cauliflower & Green Beans

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare meatloaves: Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat 8 muffin-tin cups with cooking spray. Stir ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar together in a small bowl; set aside.

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  • Combine panko, yogurt, egg, Worcestershire, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add beef and gently mix until just combined. Divide the mixture between the prepared muffin cups (avoid packing too tightly). Brush the top of each mini meatloaf with some of the ketchup mixture. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 160°F, 18 to 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, prepare whipped cauliflower & green beans: Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Add cauliflower and steam until very tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and return to the pot. Add yogurt and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Using an immersion blender (or food processor), puree until smooth. Sprinkle with chives.

  • Steam green beans in the microwave according to package directions. Drain well and transfer to a bowl. Add oil, lemon zest and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss to coat.

  • Serve the meatloaves with the beans and cauliflower.

To make ahead

Freeze mini meatloaves for up to 3 months.

Equipment

Muffin tin with 12 (1/2-cup) cups

Nutrition Facts

2 mini meatloaves, 1 cup green beans & 2/3 cup whipped cauliflower
332 calories; fat 12g; cholesterol 114mg; sodium 658mg; carbohydrates 24g; dietary fiber 6g; protein 33g; sugars 9g; niacin equivalents 2mg; saturated fat 4g; vitamin a iu 554IU; potassium 640mg.
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