Ahh, the wonders of Autumn: leaves turn bright crimson and gold – here in SoCal, the beach and boardwalk belong to us again, cooler days call for cozy sweaters and covered shoes – we’re still slipping into our flip flops but days are blissfully balmy and the blistering sun has given way to a warm embrace. Well, normally that ‘s what happens, this year, not so much … East coast, West coast, North or South, for sports enthusiasts everywhere, fall is heaven on earth! Last attempts at a Wild Card spot in baseball seasons final games leading up to the World Series, your team is either in – or let you down miserably (we’re looking at you Red Sox), and are out. Then, Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday it’s football – love it or leave it, it’s hard to escape.
That means only one thing: it’s time to break out the football food! In our house, football food has evolved over the years (thank goodness) into healthier fare, but still satisfying and downright delicious with no complaints from the peanut gallery. Today I give you Kickin’ Konfetti Meatloaf – it’s not vegetarian like my lighter more nutritious takes on traditional chips & dip – the Creamy Zucchini & Goat Cheese Dip and Curry Cauliflower Dip which were both über popular, as were other game day mainstays like chili, sliders, and Hoppin’ John salsa for nachos – but it garners nutritional bonus points for the addition of chard, red bell pepper, and carrots and has been a total palate pleaser for everyone – man, woman, and child - that has tried it at my house!
Don’s first reaction was, “You’re not going to ruin perfectly good meatloaf are you?” While it was baking and a savory aroma drifting from the kitchen to the family room where he was fixated on – you guessed it, football, he change his tune to, “Well, at least we wont’ need a salad!” I used a combination of three ground meats because that’s what any respectable Italian mama would do (not that I’m Italian). All my Italian friends’ mothers or grandmothers made their meatballs with a combination of beef, pork, and veal. The only thing I did different, besides adding veggies, was substitute turkey for veal and give it a hit of Kickin’ Ketchup – a new, pleasantly spicy ketchup locally-made in Dana Point, that’s so good it was picked up by Whole Foods within months of hitting the market. It adds a spark to anything that you would normally put regular ketchup (how boring) or hot sauce on – give it a try!
Last but not least, besides a superior meatloaf, you must do it justice with an equally superior loaf of bread – like this Whole Grain Sourdough from Baguetier on 5th Street in Huntington Beach.
Kickin’ Konfetti Meatloaf
A combination of three meats, a confetti of vegetables, and a hint of spicy ketchup makes a meatloaf better than mama’s – perfect for dinner, even better the next day in a sandwich.
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground turkey
1 cup Swiss chard, middle stem removed and chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 carrots, diced
3/4 cup panko or homemade bread crumbs*
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons Kickin’ Ketchup, plus more to decorate the top (optional)
6-8 grinds of fresh pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, if desired (omit for low-sodium)
Yield: 3 bread-loaf sized meat loafs, 8-10 servings
*Note: Kickin’ Ketchup is certified gluten free and substituting gluten free bread crumbs easily makes this meatloaf gluten free.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 3 loaf pans or a large baking dish with cooking spray.
1. Wash the chard, pat dry with a paper towel, cut out the thick stem. Roll the leaves up, cut into strips and then chop. Wash and chop the peppers and carrot.
2. Using your hands or a serving spoon or fork, break up the meat and mix together until all three kinds are evenly distributed. Be careful not to overwork the meat, you don’t want a tough dense meatloaf.
3. Add the Swiss chard, bell pepper, carrots, panko, egg, and Kickin’ Ketchup and mix together.
4. Form 3 equal sized loaves and place in the bread pans or baking dish. For some extra pizazz, pour some Kickin’ Ketchup into a squirt bottle and decorate the top with squiggles, zig zags, or your kid’s names (they love this!). Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 50-60 minutes depending on size.
Shown served on Whole Grain Sourdough bread, caramelized onion, arugula, and drizzled with more Kickin’ Ketchup.
Follow me on Pinterest where I’ll be adding lots of other mouth-watering lower-fat recipes to my Guilt-Less Party Food board.