Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats: March 2016

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Spinach Tortellini Salad

This fresh, springy salad is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
Hello...cheese filled tortellini?

spinach tortellini salad (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

It is so dang hard eating healthy.

All I really want to eat is pizza loaded with mushrooms, Canadian bacon and sausage, fried chicken dripping in buffalo sauce, brownies buried under ice cream topped with peanut butter cups and the occasional fried donut with maple frosting.

That, my folks, would be my ideal diet.

But alas, I cannot.  I would probably have a gut ache most of the time and my pants most definitely would NOT fit.  Plus, we are about two months away from swimsuit season around these parts.  I need a new one badly.  So bad, that even the husband mentioned that I need to throw the "old one" away.

Much agreed.

spinach tortellini salad (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Now, don't get me wrong, I definitely indulge in some of those favorite foods listed above now and then, but I am trying to sprinkle in healthier options because I know it is good for me and I know that I feel much better after eating them, instead of, let's say.....that mouth watering slice of ooey gooey pizza.

I had some girlfriends over last week {and the kiddos too, they follow us everywhere...} and when that happens we tend to all bring a hodge podge of whatever is leftover in our fridges to make lunch for the thousands.

My one friend brought the fixings for a salad similar to this one.  At first glance, I thought, "pasta in my salad"?

But I quickly squashed that thought as I like both pasta and salad so why not put them together, right? She told us how a friend of hers made it for her and since then she has been making it.  So I guess this is a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend type of salad.  Or something like that.

spinach tortellini salad (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

The salad is made up of just four ingredients - spinach, cheese filled tortellini, sweet peppers and the dressing.

Ah....the dressing.

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see my "dressing photo".  Which had mixed reviews from my followers, but whatever, I never said dressing was pretty!

So I ending up eating this salad last week, craving it again over the weekend, then after a trip for groceries and essential ingredients on Monday, promptly had it for dinner again that night.  The kids even had a helping!  I'm lucky as they will usually eat salad.  Thank god I don't have to fight them on that one, but they didn't haven't two helpings like me.

This would be a great potluck meal {just mix together right before serving} or a perfect side dish when barbecuing to go along side a juicy burger {I crave those a lot too}.

Spinach Tortellini Salad


4 c. fresh spinach leaves
8 oz. cooked and chilled cheese filled tortellini
4 sweet bell mini peppers, sliced

Dressing:
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
2 T. Parmesan cheese
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. Italian seasoning
1/2 t. salt

1.  In a bowl layer in the spinach, cold tortellini and slice peppers.
2.  Place all dressing ingredients in a mason jar, put on the lid and shake to combine.
3.  Pour enough dressing over the salad to coat {you will have some leftover, just keep it chilled in the fridge to top on more greens later}.  Toss the salad.  Sprinkle with additional Parmesan if needed.
4.  Eat immediately.

spinach tortellini salad (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Hy-Vee Aisles Online Makes Shopping for Groceries Easy

Not enough time to grocery shop?
I have a solution for you!
Read on for a great new program from Hy-Vee Grocery Stores.

hy-vee aisles online (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


When Hy-Vee recently contacted me about their new Hy-Vee Aisles Online program I was all ears.  I had heard bits and pieces about this program and recently had spoken with a few friends who raved about the service and quality.

This service allows busy customers {like you and me} to shop the way they want to shop - from anywhere and at any time.  With Hy-Vee Aisles Online, it's a cinch to shop for the same groceries you buy in stores.  After filling your cart with countless items online like produce, pantry staples and prime cuts of meat, you simply pay electronically to finish your transaction.

From there, a Hy-Vee personal shopper {what an awesome job!} hand-selects all your items to ensure accuracy and freshness and stores them in climate-controlled totes.  Within hours, your order is ready to be delivered direct to you home {say what!} or picked up at your nearest Hy-Vee store.

hy-vee aisles online (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Purchasing groceries online was fun!  Although, I personally enjoy grocery shopping, I am a mom of three and I rarely, if ever, get to do it buy myself, which in return makes me not like it so much.  All you moms out there know exactly what I am referring too.

One kid begging for the latest snack food.

One kid tired and cranky.

One kid bored and complaining.

At least those are usually the moods of MY three kiddos.  So when I sat down during nap time in the peace and quiet of my living room without any distractions, it was pure bliss.  By simply, logging in and creating an account, I was able to shop for everything I normally would in house and place it in my cart.

Before shopping, you select your store location, so all prices are reflective of that store.  You are also able to browse through their weekly ads and specials and directly shop from those ads, which I thought was super cool.

Your shopping cart will give you an estimated running total for you to track as you go along. Prices may vary just a bit due to produce having to be weighed, sale prices changing, etc., but I noticed just a $2 difference in my estimated price and my final total when I was actually billed.  Really no biggie at all.

hy-vee aisles online (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

When you checkout you will choose to have them delivered straight to your door or pick them up yourself at your nearest Hy-Vee location.  We chose to pick ours up at an Iowa City location as we had other errands to run as well.

I pulled into the parking lot, got a front row seat in the reserved parking spot and called the store. Once I told them my name it was less than 5 minutes later and my personal shopper was loading them into the back of my van.

The customer service was stellar.  I even received a personal thank you note for shopping with them. My birthday girl {she's finally 5!} tagged along this morning for a little one-on-one time with mom and she also became my blog model for the day.

She had fun too!

hy-vee aisles online (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

The communication from the time I logged into my account and until when I pulled out of the parking lot with groceries in tow could not have been better.  The previous day we had rain, sleet and snow and I had been planning on running my errands then.  I thought better of it {who wants to go out in that?}, so I simply called the store and changed my pick up time.

They were johnny on the spot.  The time was changed and no sooner than I hung up the phone I also had an email stating my time change.  Super slick and efficient.  Then, that morning I had another email that my groceries were ready for pick-up.  Super neat!

If you are frequent Hy-Vee shopper I'm guessing you may have other detailed questions, so did I! Please visit their FAQ page, I promise it will answer all of them.

I was reimbursed by Hy-Vee for my purchases, but being the nice people they are they would also like to give one of my readers a $50 gift card to try out this service as well!  How about them apples? Whether you want to shop the traditional way in store or online, $50 will certainly help foot that bill.

Good luck!  This giveaway will end Sunday, April 3rd at midnight.

*Again, please note I was compensated for this blog post on behalf of Hy-Vee.  
This service is at select Hy-Vee locations.  Please check with your local store for further details.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Grilled Chicken Pesto Flatbread

Sometimes you need dinner to come together in 15 minutes.
This Grilled Chicken Pesto Flatbread fits the bill!

grilled chicken pesto flatbread (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This week has really thrown me off.  The kids are on Spring Break and lord knows they don't care about MY schedule.

They don't seem to care that Mom wants them to sleep in, yet they still wake up at 6:30 a.m. They don't seem to care that the babe and I casually make our way through our day without a zillion activities planned.  And they really don't seem to care when they are riding their bikes at warp speed to the park and this failing mom is clamoring a block back trying to juggle a toddler, a stroller and a packed lunch fit for a king.

I'm not sure if I'm ready for all three of them to be off school in a couple of months.  I better start planning now.  Well, yesterday.  I should have started planning yesterday.

Please send help.

grilled chicken pesto flatbread (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Days like I've had this past week, usually call for easy dinners.  In fact, the night I made this I had absolutely no ideas for dinner even 5 minutes before this popped in my head.

I had purchased some flatbread at ALDI, shoved it in the back of the cupboard and promptly forgot about it for a few weeks.  Maybe even a month?

As I sat staring at it on this day I knew it'd be a "pizza" night of some sort.  Earlier in the week I had grilled up a large batch of chicken {for the husband's lunches} and had some left in the fridge dying a slow death.  

Hmm....chicken.

A jar of pesto in the cupboard.

A lonely tomato on the counter.

Cheese.

Lots and lots of cheese.

Dinner was settled.  Grilled Chicken Pesto Flatbread.  Done.

grilled chicken pesto flatbread (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This bubbly piece of heaven takes about 5 minutes to assemble {if that} and about 10 minutes in a super hot oven to turn golden brown.  Cut into slices and dinner is done!

On this night I also made a Hawaiian version {because really, ONE pizza no where near feeds us anymore}.  That version had finely diced chopped pineapple and salty chunks of ham and cheese, loads of cheese.

We ate well!

So good in fact, that the husband claimed it was better than a local pizza joint we often order from. Cha-ching!  I love when a dinner comes together without much thought, but better yet gets raves reviews unexpectedly.

Make this one soon!

Grilled Chicken Pesto Flatbread

1 store bought Flatbread crust
2 c. seasoned grilled chicken, cut into chunks
1 c. jarred pesto, or homemade
1 tomato, diced
2 c. mozzarella cheese
1 c. feta cheese

1.  Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
2.  On a pizza stone or baking sheet place the flatbread crust down.  Assemble in this order: pesto, half of the grilled chicken, half of the chopped tomato, 1 cup of the mozzarella, the remaining chicken and tomato, the remaining mozzarella and finally the feta.
3.  Bake for 10 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
4.  Cut into squares and eat!

grilled chicken pesto flatbread (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Want other fun pizza dinners?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

$600 Cash Pinterest Giveaway

$600 cash pinterest giveaway (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Hey friends!

So, sometimes I get a bit crazy and branch away from recipes and just want to give away some cold hard cash.

What do you think?

My #1 referral source to my food blog is Pinterest.  Heard of it before?  Are you following me?  This is where most of my traffic is coming from, that little beauty called Pinterest.  So, to say thank you I joined a handful of other bloggers to give away some cash.  Just for fun.  Just to say thanks.

Happy Spring! Good luck!

Giveaway ends March 28, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. EST.  One winner will receive $600 PayPal cash.

Disclaimer: This giveaway is blog sponsred and is in no way associated with PayPal.  If there are any questions, please email hello@prettymyparty.com.

Rafflecopter Only Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 20, 2016

7 Tips to Create Non-Picky Eaters

Test out my 7 Tips to Create Non-Picky Eaters on your kids.  It is worth a shot.
Over time it has worked on mine!

7 tips to create non-picky eaters (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


Having picky eaters at home is just the worst isn't it?  We've all been there.  You slave over a meal, set it in front of your children only to have them complain, cry and refuse to touch it, let alone take a bite.

It is such a drag.

Why won't they eat?  What will they eat?  One day they love tacos and eat three and the next day the lettuce is touching the meat all wrong and you put too much shredded cheese on top.

Somehow being a mom automatically gives us the title of chef as well and when you are feeding littles they don't care whether or not they hurt the chef's feelings.  Kids are so very honest.

So what do you do when your kids enter the stage of picky eating?  I've found the pickiest stage for my kids was between the ages of 15 months and 2.5 years.  Ahem....I have one right now stuck in the middle of that equation.

And since I have one in that stage and two that have graduated from that stage I feel that I qualify as an expert in childhood eating.  I'm sure nutritionists and child psychologists would differ, but I don't see you reading any research papers of theirs so here we are.

I have compiled my 7 Tips to Create Non-Picky Eaters for you my friends.  After meal planning {because that is the #1 question I receive}, kids-not-eating-a-lick-off-their-plate comes in at a close #2.

Do your kids eat everything you make and publish on your blog?  Well, yes and no.

Do you make them finish their meal at dinner?  Well, pretty much, YES.

Do your kids throw a fit if they don't like something you serve?  Well, yes.

Being a food blogger doesn't make me exempt from having picky eaters.  But I have learned some tips along the way to steer them in the opposite direction.  The right direction.

7 tips to create non-picky eaters (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


1.  Let Your Kids Choose 1 Meal a Week That They Want

I learned this little tip from another fellow mommy and although hesitant about it, I gave it a try.  I mean, why would I {the primary caregiver who shops and does ALL the cooking} let them decide a meal?  For all I knew they'd pick chicken nuggets or something.

But then I got to thinking about it.  What if they did pick chicken nuggets?  Would it really be THAT bad?  Would I go to foodie hell?

Giving your children some direction and responsibility when it comes to their food can steer them in the right direction.  If your kids tell you they pick chicken nuggets, you walk over to the calendar, choose the day and mark it down.  They are proud.  They picked dinner.  On Monday when they complain about the tacos, you remind them that on Wednesday we get to eat their beloved processed chicken nugget meal, but tonight we have mommy's picked meal.  We all take turns.

And don't forget to serve a healthy side with those chicken nuggets {like a salad or fresh fruit}.  If you are getting really ambitious, make your own chicken nuggets.  My version is AWESOME.  It will take you a bit more time, but you'll love 'em.

2.  Watch Cooking Shows Together

Food has kinda of a cult following nowadays.  Ten to 15 years ago I don't think we could say that. We now have food game shows, food competitions and food talk shows.  Everyone is obsessed about food {me included}.

When my kids are running around crazy after dinner at night and I want them to settle down, I turn on a cooking show.  Their favorite is the Kid's Baking Championship on the Food Network.  First off, kids are baking, so it does not look intimidating to them.  Secondly, it is fun, fast-paced and there is a winner in the end.  Kid's love trying to guess who will win.  And finally, it creates conversation.  Last week they were using white strawberries.  White strawberries?  I didn't know they existed and the kids didn't either.  They learn things, I learn things, it all balances out.

If the kids see something that looks fun or different they often ask if we can make it.  Now, one time it was SQUID and I promptly said NO.  Because I don't do squid.  But when they asked about fresh crab meat, I said sure.  Why not?  Let's have crab cakes for dinner some night.  It is all about your children learning and you going along for the ride.  The more they see, the more they are willing to try.

3.  Bake With Your Kids - Make A Dessert!

I know you all think I've lost my mojo on this one, but stay with me for a second.  Why bring in more sugar when all they are craving already is sugar?  Again, stay with me.

Baking is a process.  It requires measuring, a bit of math, patience and sometimes luck.  You simply never know what will pop out of that oven when the timer goes off.  It is all a big science experiment if you will.  Kids love this stuff.  It will be messy.  Prepare yourself for that.  My OCD self often has problems with this, but I just try to breathe through it and hang on.

During this baking time, explain what is for dinner {and maybe even have them help prep while the dessert is baking}.  Tell them that their "treat" for their hard work in helping will be a nice slice of this cake or cookie or brownie AFTER they eat their dinner with no complaints.  You need to be strict about this.  Praise them to the heavens at how well they did baking this dessert and how they are just going to LOVE dinner tonight, especially after their plate is clean and cake can be eaten.

Sometimes a little treat is okay for a reward.

4.  Plant A Garden.

Now this tip is obvious, right?  I think we all pretty much know that the more kids are involved with our foods, they better they will eat.  I'm pretty sure there is scientific proof to this one.

We have lived in our current house for almost 7 years and we have had a garden for six of those years {cut me a break, the first summer we moved here I was 8 months pregnant}.  It is nothing spectacular. Nothing that will ever grace the cover of Better Homes & Gardens.  BUT, it does grow food and that is all that matters.

My kids love helping it get started in the spring.  When the first strawberry popped up last year you would have thought it was Christmas.  When the tomatoes are over flowing and I'm up to my elbows in batches of my slow cooker basil marinara they are the first to help pick.  When my basil plant is over my head {seriously} the kids will pick it for me and we make pesto together and hang more to dry.

They LOVE having spaghetti knowing the sauce came from our back yard, or making homemade pizza and topping it with our peppers.  And pickles?  We made a ton last summer using the 4,592 cucumbers that snaked across my lawn.

And the photo for this post?  That is my middle child when she was around 2.  I just love that photo of her.

5.  Pretend That You Like ALL Foods.

Just like any other normal adult, there are a few foods that I do not like.  Water chesnuts, raw onion, oysters, salmon and honeydew melon to name a few.  I would never tell my kids that.  They think I like and enjoy everything.

Kids watch everything we do.  They are like little hawks staring at our every moves 24/7.  If they see us flinch, grimace or turn away a certain food the probability of them doing the same is very high. They follow our lead.  They want to be like us.  If it takes me eating a few bits of salmon and pretending I like in order to get them to try it, then I'll do it.

Do not keep certain foods away from them.  Serve them spicy salsa on a tortilla chip at a young age. Cook with onions and peppers and do not make a fuss about it.  Pretend that ALL foods are normal and their palate will return the favor.  Keeping foods away that you "think" they won't like, will only create more problems for you down the road.

Believe me.

I remember a friend of mine once refusing to give her 1 year old a pickle because, "there is no way he'll like it".  Well, how do you know if you don't try?

6.  Talk About Food All of the Time.

I get it.  I'm a food blogger so it kinda seems like I would talk about food all the time.  But for a normal run-of-the-mill person?  I still think you should talk about food often with your kids.  Not in the obsessive way, but more like:

"I cannot wait until we can stop at the farmer's market this summer!"

"I really want to make homemade egg rolls again, what do you think?"

"Lets make a list of possible birthday dinner foods!  I mean, I know it is a month away, but let's start a list and then we'll narrow it down, okay?"

All of this chitter-chatter is fun for kids.  I cannot imagine being in a home where bland chicken, green beans and boring potatoes are served each night and there is no talk about food.  I wouldn't do very well in a household like that.

Bring up random conversations about different foods.  Foods that you don't feed them often. Sometimes we'll play hangman and I'll pick a word like "crab rangoons".  Once the kids figure it out I'll then show them a photo of a crab rangoon on the computer and I'll explain what is in it, how it tastes, what restaurants you can get them at, etc.

It's fun!

7.  Take Them to Adult Restaurants

Again, maybe you think I'm losing my mind.  Taking a toddler to a sit down restaurant?  I know, it sounds a bit crazy, again, here me out.

We don't eat out much as a family, especially when the kids were really little, but now with a 6, 5 and almost 2 year old we go about once a week, usually on Friday nights.  It is my firm belief that you need to get kids used to a restaurant setting.  Teach them the rules from the beginning.  We tell them the same rules apply at restaurants as they do at home.

Look at the menu with them - not just the kid's menu.  In fact, if you can, have them split an adult order if you have two or more kids.  Explain to them what the items are and let them branch out.  If you only give them the options of a cheeseburger or mac and cheese then that is what they will ALWAYS pick.  Instead, tell a little white lie {seriously, don't send me hate mail about this} and give them three choices for them to pick from {this works best with kids who cannot yet read}.

Say, "Your choices tonight are: a chef salad, a grilled chicken sandwich or the lasagna"  Then, leave it at that.  They will "think" that is the kid's menu and often will not bat an eye about it.

Pick restaurants where you know you can get in and out fairly quickly and that are kid friendly.  If you made a dessert earlier in the week {like I told you too}, tell them their good behavior at dinner will result in dessert at home.  Don't expect every dinner out to go smoothly, especially the first few times, but once the kids gets used to it and they have a routine it will get better.

Thoughts?  Insight? 

I'd love to hear your rambles about my 7 Tips to Create Non-Picky Eaters.  These tips have gotten me through almost 7 years of parenting so far.  I don't have all the answers, but I'm hoping we've set up our kids to be food lovers in the future.

Good luck!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Easter Egg Cupcakes

The Easter Bunny left us something darling!
These Easter Egg Cupcakes are kid tested and approved.
#MixUpAMoment #ad #sponsored

easter egg cupcakes (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This post is second in the series sponsored by J.M. Smucker Company.  Be sure to seek out the first one.  I replicated a classic American candy bar into cake form!  It was epic.

With Easter early this year {March 27th}, and just two days after our middle daughter's birthday, it was time to make treats again!  Cute Easter desserts are essential for this holiday...at least I think so. Kids love baking and cupcakes are super simple.

My soon-to-be-birthday-girl and I got to work with the help from Pillsbury.  Their Funfetti cake mix, has, and will be, I'm guessing always a fan favorite with kids.  White cake studded with sprinkles. What's not to like? 


easter egg cupcakes (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I'm still amazed when shopping at Walmart, the vast array of flavored cake mixes and frostings. Affordable, high quality and readily available, Pillsbury mixes allow families to #MixUpAMoment on a random Saturday {like me} or heck, even on a weeknight!

I snagged this Funfetti mix and frosting a week earlier fully knowing what little treat we were going to whip up.  I wanted to replicate Spring in all it's glory.  Nothing screams this much wanted season more to me than the birds coming back into our life and having some little birdies of their own.

These Easter Egg Cupcakes represent just that!



easter egg cupcakes (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Now, while baking is a forte of mine, decorated them is NOT.

It's not that I can't do it, I just don't have the patience for doing it.  I'd much rather slop on some frosting and pop that thing in my mouth.  So kudos to you frosting gu-ru's out there.  I give you props!

But here's the thing, I included sweetened shredded coconut for the topping as well.  This fluffy topping hides blemishes very, very well.  People will be so engrossed in your Easter egg bird nests that they'll never know the catastrophe underneath.

Thank goodness for coconut.

And sprinkles.

And these darling pastel mini chocolate Easter eggs. 

See?  Decorating these cupcakes is fun!


easter egg cupcakes (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This batch made a dozen regular cupcakes and nine mini cupcakes.  I decorated the big ones and I saved the mini ones for the kids.  They had a blast.  Whoa, was it a mess, but who cares?  There were a lot of giggles and really in the end that was all that mattered.

We wanted to spread the Easter love after getting them all decorated so I promptly texted a good friend with kids.  When I bake she comes running and this day was no exception. Shortly after that one of our neighbors randomly stopped by, and yes, you guessed it...he took one for him and his wife as well.


easter egg cupcakes (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

How cute are these?

I was pretty darn excited about my decorating skills.  With the ease of the cake mix and frosting, it was simply a matter of tossing on more sprinkles, colored sugar, coconut and topping them with the chocolate eggs.

I think even the Easter Bunny would be proud.

Stocking up on Pillsbury cake mixes and frostings make moments like these easy and fun. From start to finish, we had these done in less than an hour.  And we demolished our first one shortly there after. We are not ashamed.  Spring in nearing!  It was due time.

Easter Egg Cupcakes

16 oz. Pillsbury Funfetti frosting
1 c. sweetened shredded coconut
green colored sugar

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Place paper liners into a 12-count muffin pan and a 12-count mini muffin pan {will only use 9}.
3.  Mix the cake mix according to directions.  Using a cookie scoop, place the batter into the paper liners.  I used two scoops for each regular cupcake and one scoop for each mini cupcake.
4.  Bake for 20-24 minutes or until golden brown and springy to the touch.  Put the mini cupcakes in with 15 minutes left to bake so they finish at the same time.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
5.  Spread cupcakes with the Funfetti frosting, Funfetti sprinkles, green colored sugar, coconut and top with three mini Cadbury chocolate Easter eggs.
6.  Store in an airtight container for freshness.


easter egg cupcakes (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

We aren't finished!  If you want or need ideas to #MixUpAMoment with your family head on over to Pillsbury's Pinterest page!  You might see a recipe from me and....well....a TON others.  Great inspiration!

And make sure to stock up on their products like I did.  Click HERE for a coupon to get started.



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Healthy Hidden Veggie Meatloaf

Hey mamas, be proud to serve the family this Healthy Hidden Veggie Meatloaf!
It's chalk full of healthy stuff, yet tastes delicious.

healthy hidden veggie meatloaf (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Oh....meatloaf.

Growing up I was not a fan, but now as an adult I really love it.  In fact there are many foods that I didn't like growing up - onions, broccoli, tator tot casserole, juicy red tomatoes from the garden, beans in any form, cabbage, peaches - just to name a few, but now I love them all.

Bon Appetit has a great article about our ever-changing taste buds.  As children we are loaded with them and they are as strong as they will ever be {hence, why kids sometimes have such a strong dislike to a food or smell}, but then as we grow up they get milder {hence, why we tend to start liking more foods}.

All of this is telling me why I can now handle onions, broccoli, tator tot casserole, juicy red tomatoes, beans, cabbage and peaches.

healthy hidden veggie meatloaf (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

The family LOVES meatloaf.  Especially the men of the family.  I mean, isn't meatloaf a "man's meal" anyway?  I kind of feel like it is.

I'm currently working on a healthy meal plan for a company behind-the-scenes, and this hidden veggie meatloaf is a part of the plan.  I wanted to take out some of the fat from the ground beef {using ground turkey} and amp up the filling by basically stuffing every veggie I had on hand into it.

I'm happy to report it worked.

Charmingly.

healthy hidden veggie meatloaf (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I can never get by, by just using one pound of any ground meat anymore {these kids can eat!}, especially with meatloaf.  If you've made it before you know that, that beauty can shrink.  Quickly.  You put it in the oven all beautiful and loaf-like and it comes out the size of a hockey puck.

And hockey puck sized dinners do not feed my hungry family.  Do yourself a favor and use two pounds of meat.

Plus, if you do have leftovers {pleeeeeeease}, you can take a slab between a slice of bread and have a killer sandwich for lunch the next day.

healthy hidden veggie meatloaf (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Oh, and can we talk about this glaze?  You cannot have meatloaf without a ketchup-y glaze of some sort on top.

Growing up my mom would simply take the ketchup bottle and squeeze out a cute saying in letters on top.

"Go Trojans!" {our school mascot}

"Hi, Ally!" {duh, my name}

These random little sayings were fun, but I'll be honest I'm a bit of a sauce junkie.  I like a lot.  I want that stuff slathered all over the top and dripping down the sides.  I cannot have meatloaf without a rich, tangy glaze.  So please, do not skip this crucial step.

Make this one a day or two ahead and your dinner is ready to go for a busy week!

Healthy Hidden Veggie Meatloaf

2 lbs ground turkey
1 egg
1/4 c. Italian style breadcrumbs
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 c. fresh spinach
1 zucchini
1 c. broccoli
1 c. ketchup
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 T. Worchestershire sauce

1.  In a large bowl place the ground turkey, egg, cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic powder and pepper.  Set aside.
2.  In a food processor pulse together the spinach, garlic, broccoli and zucchini until it is finely shredded.  If needed add a bit of water to help it come together.  Remove the mixture, place it on a paper towel, wrap up and squeeze out any excess water.  Add this mixture to the meatloaf mixture and combine.
3.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a baking pan.  Shape the meat mixture into a loaf size and place in the pan.
4.  In another bowl combine the ketchup, brown sugar and Worchestershire sauce.  Spoon this generously over top the meatloaf, leaving a little bit to baste later.
5.  Bake uncovered for 45 minutes to one hour, until juices are clear.  Towards the end add the remaining glaze to the meatloaf.  Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

healthy hidden veggie meatloaf (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Interested in another meatloaf recipe?  I also make them into burgers.  Yes, you heard me right!  My Mom's Meatloaf Burgers are awesome on the grill in the summer.  Something fun and different!