Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze

This past weekend, I took a major – and I mean major! – step out of my comfort zone. You see, as long as cooking has been a hobby of mine (so…about five years,) I have trusted one meatloaf recipe, and one only. It can be found in my very first blog post, and its called Brown Sugar Meatloaf. I’ve never strayed from it, though I’ve been tempted!

While going through my little black box of cards containing recipes dating back to my first cooking magazine, I stopped at a brand new meatloaf recipe – “Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze.” Several thoughts went through my head: “I’ve got a ton of balsamic in the pantry that needs to be used. I can’t cheat on my old meatloaf. This recipe is loaded with tons of veggies and its so colorful! I can’t cheat on my old meatloaf. Oh, the glaze looks so yummy! I can’t cheat on my old meatloaf.”

Eventually, I gave in. At first, the finished recipe was hard for me to get used to – I’m so accustomed to the sweet taste of Brown Sugar Meatloaf, whereas this one is very tart, thanks to the balsamic. The texture is different as well, because the chopped veggies are so loaded with moisture, that the meatloaf doesn’t hold its shape quite as well as others. I think the most rewarding aspect of trying this new meatloaf was Brett’s reaction – he loved it!!! He even said, “I am obsessed with it!” after eating 4 helpings for lunch the next day.

So, there you have it. I’ve betrayed my one and only meatloaf recipe…and it paid off! Here’s to always trying new things, but keeping the old favorites close to your heart.

Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze

extra virgin olive oil
3 bell peppers, finely chopped (use different colors!)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1 large egg
dried herbs such as thyme and parsely
1.5 lb ground turkey meat
1 C panko/breadcrumbs
1/2 C grated parmesan
1/2 C ketchup + 1/4 C ketchup
1/4 C + 2TBS balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 425. Heat oil in large pan and add chopped peppers. Sautee for 7-8 minutes, until tender. Add red pepper flakes and garlic. Sautee another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.

2. Whisk egg and herbs in bowl. Add turkey, panko, cheese, 1/2 C ketchup, 2 TBS vinegar and vegetable mix. Mix well (with your hands, if you’re brave!)

3. Gently press the mixture into a 9×5 loaf pan. Whisk the remaining 1/4 C ketchup, 1/4 C balsamic and a sprinkle more of red pepper flakes. Brush this mixture over the meatloaf. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

First, the delicious glaze:

The (very colorful) finished product:

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