A few years ago, when the munchkin was just a far off idea in my head, I came across a blog called Weelicious, which has tons of baby/toddler/kid-friendly recipes. Even then I loved the idea of being able to cook wholesome, home-made food for my future kids, so I filed the site in the back of my mind until the time was right. Once the munchkin started on solids, I combed Weelicious and noted all of the recipes that I wanted to try – there are tons! – and am slowly working my way through. Little did I know that the recipes are adult-friendly, too, and I could have been trying out this food all along! Well, lesson learned, and hubby and I are thoroughly enjoying some of the ideas we’ve gotten from Weelicious (Banana Wheat Germ Muffins, Carrot-Zucchini Pancakes, Mini-Cornbread Muffins, and Pumpkin Butter to name a few!).
My latest creation was the Weelicious Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf Bites, and wow, am I ever sad I didn’t try these sooner. They are so moist and delicious! I made only a couple of changes – hubby and I don’t like red pepper, so I left out the pepper and garlic (didn’t think it was necessary) and added a little extra onion to compensate. I think they had exactly the right amount of flavor, and the cheese is such a great addition – they almost taste more like meatballs than meatloaf, but still went perfectly with mashed potatoes and string beans. And the best part? Even the munchkin enthusiastically ate almost an entire mini-bite! I can’t wait to stock my freezer with a bunch of these to pull out for easy dinners for all of us.
Turkey Meatloaf Mini-Bites
adapted from Weelicious
1 zucchini, cut into chunks (or 3/4 cup of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained)
3/4 cup onion, cut into chunks
1/2 cup carrots, cut in chunks
1 tbsp worsteshire sauce
1 tsp Italian herbs
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs (whole wheat, if possible, or at least ones without partially hydrogenated oils and preservatives)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 lb ground turkey (white meat only or white/dark mix)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray or grease a nonstick mini-muffin tin* with vegetable oil.
Place all of the ingredients except the turkey in a food processor. Pulse until everything is finely chopped and well mixed. Place the ground turkey and vegetable mixture in a bowl and mix throughly with your hands.
Distribute mixture into prepared muffin tin. I used a 3 tbsp scoop and the cups were filled nearly to the top. Smooth down the tops with the back of a spoon.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the meatloaf mini-bites are cooked through.
Makes 24 mini-bites
*Making these in a mini-muffin tin was part of the appeal for me (hubby insists that I am absolutely obsessed with my mini-muffin tin, and I think he’s right!). It makes them the perfect portion for little ones, and they are fun for adults, too. But if you don’t have a mini-muffin tin or don’t like this idea, you can certainly make these in a regular muffin tin, loaf pan, or in whatever shape you want on a baking sheet – you’ll just have to adjust the cooking time.