It’s December, the month of sugar plums. I always thought that sugar plums were plums coated in sugar, but Google proved me wrong. A sugar plum isn’t actually a plum at all. It’s a small hard candy made from flavored boiled sugar. They were immortalized by the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy in Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” and in Clement Clark Moore’s “T’was the Night Before Christmas.”
Why the crash course in candy? It’s December! Candy, cookies, rich treats (including eggnoggy cocktails) abound, making it very difficult indeed to keep our weight from creeping slowly upwards.
Don’t panic. At the very least you can maintain your weight this month by planning healthy, low-Point meals for the nights when you’ll be at home and able to keep the holiday treats at bay.
This virtuous turkey meatloaf, adapted from Cooks Illustrated, is moist, flavorful and surprisingly meaty (considering there’s not a hint of the usual suspects, beef, veal and pork). The recipe serves 8, but leftovers make great dinners-on-the-fly for those nights when you have to eat and run (to a party)!
Filled with protein-rich turkey, you’ll be better equipped to withstand the sugary landmines that scatter the holiday landscape. And you’ll even have saved a few Points for a guilt-free sugar plum or two!
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. olive oil
1/2 cup milk or plain yogurt
2 large eggs
2 t. fresh thyme leaves finely chopped (or 1 t. dried thyme, Italian Seasoning or Herbes de Provence)
2 t. Dijon mustard
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t. Tabasco sauce
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds ground turkey (93% lean)
1 1/3 c. fresh bread crumbs*
1/4 c. minced fresh parsley
1/2 c. ketchup
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
4 t. cider vinegar
*Cooks Illustrated suggests using a French bread loaf, cutting off the bottom if it is very browned, slicing the bread into 1″ cubes and processing into crumbs in a food processor.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top. Fold a piece of heavy-duty aluminum into a 10″ by 6″ rectangle and set aside (you will place the meatloaf on this later).
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Combine onion, garlic and 1/8 t. salt and cook at low heat until onion has softened, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, thyme, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, pepper and 1/4 t. salt.
In a large bowl, with your hands mix together the turkey, bread crumbs, parsley, cooked onion mixture and the egg mixture until combined. Turn it out onto the prepared foil rectangle and shape the meat into an evenly thick loaf about 2″ tall and 1″ smaller than the foil on all sides.
Transfer the foil with the meatloaf onto the wire rack. Stir the ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar together and brush half of this mixture onto the meatloaf. Bake the meatloaf for 45 minutes.
Brush with remaining ketchup glaze and continue to bake until the center of the loaf registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes longer. Cool at least 20 minutes before slicing into 1″ thick pieces.
WW SmartPoints per serving: 7