Turkey and Cauliflower Meatloaf – Grain and Nut Free

Juicy and delicious meatloaf, made with turkey mince and cauliflower, is an excellent alternative to the chicken meatloaf recipe. The only difference is the use of cauliflower as a vegetable ingredient, in addition to sautéed leek. As with any meatloaf recipe, the choice of added flavours is open to any taste. It can be made relatively plain, especially if cooking it for children, or quite spicy. My choice of added flavours remains the same as in the chicken recipe. Fennel seeds are used to saute leek/onion, ground cumin is added to salt and ground black pepper seasoning.

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The main flavour, however, comes from my own garlic, sweet and hot chilli paste, which I now make without parsley, present in the original recipe.

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Ingredients:

  • 500g tray of turkey mince
  • 150-200g of fresh cauliflower
  • 1 leek (can be substituted with 2 onions)
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of fennel seeds
  • 1 heaped tea spoon of cumin powder
  • 2 table spoons of olive oil (1 to saute leek, the other to brush aluminium foil)
  • 1-2 heaped tea spoons of garlic and chilli paste (any other herb and spices can be used)
  • salt and black pepper for seasoning
  • sesame seeds for decoration (optional)

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Preparation:

Step by step photos of meatloaf preparation can be found here.

  • heat olive oil in a pan, add fennel seeds
  • slice leek/onion in semi-circles and saute on low heat until translucent, season with salt and pepper
  • process cauliflower in a blender until fine crumbs texture

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  • mix all ingredients in a bowl: ground turkey meat, an egg, sautéed leek, cauliflower, seasoning and spices, make sure all ingredients are combined well
  • preheat fan forced oven to 200C
  • line baking tray with aluminium foil
  • brush the foil with olive oil
  • you might use the sheet of baking paper, cut to the size of the meatloaf base
  • transfer the mixture to the lined tray and shape it as a log
  • cover with foil to shape it nicely
  • open the foil, part of olive oil will transfer to the loaf
  • use sesame seeds to decorate meatloaf
  • cover with the foil again, try to organise the foil in a way that juices would not escape into the tray
  • it is important not to damage aluminium foil when making all preparations, this damage can result in juices leaking to the tray
  • bake at 200C for 30 min
  • open aluminium foil, you will see plenty of liquid in the foil
  • reduce the temperature to 160-165C
  • bake for another 50 min, until the meatloaf becomes light brown colour, by that time all the liquid from the foil will evaporate
  • rest the loaf on the tray

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  • roll the meatloaf to the cutting board

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Turkey meatloaf can be served warm or cold. It can be stored as a whole, or cut in serving pieces for up to 5-6 days refrigerated, or frozen for a longer storage.

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Meatloaf is an unbeatable choice for take-away lunches when reheating can be a problem. It tastes nice even when taken directly from fridge and can be kept in a container with any salad for several hours.

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Cauliflower with sautéed leek or onions (though with leek it tastes better) provide enough moisture to the loaf to be soft and juicy. This meatloaf is a perfect light, but filling snack, it goes well with homemade mustard.

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