My Favorite Home-Cooked Meals

So as many of you know, I’m not big on cooking. Can I follow a recipe and make it work? Sure! But it’s not my thing (I have other things, okay?!). Give me a canvas and a paintbrush any day. Luckily my assistant who is the best, also cooks for me, the greatest simple perk I’ve ever been granted. Every Monday for the past five years, he shops and cooks for us. I give him full freedom to cook whatever he wants with some limitations. Whether in Miami, NY or LA, my traveling assistant/chef comes with me. Of all the fantastic meals he creates, whether it’s beef tenderloin, rack of lamb, rack of pork, stuffed Cornish hens, I have to say, my absolute favorite, every time, is something rather simple, or at least it seems simple. His EPIC stuffed turkey meatloaf with spinach and cheese wins every time. It’s my go to meal, my healthy comfort food if you will. The feeling I get from this meatloaf is safety and coziness and comfort, it’s the equivalent of like, your favorite bag of chips that’s always on deck as a snack. Except that this meal is healthy, low fat and fantastic. It doesn’t even taste like turkey. Better yet, the next day, you can throw that loaf on a sandwich. So, in writing this article, I had to ask him what how he does it and what he puts in it. Reluctant to offer the recipe (which is all “in his head”, so I couldn’t even steal it from him), he gave it up. Not sure if he left a few things out on purpose, but this is what he gave me…again, in a very reluctant way. I guess I don’t blame him. You may notice it is quite a large meatloaf, but he cooks in very large quantities, most likely because he is Italian and when he cooks with his family, there are usually a very large number of them at the table, like 15 or more. His bit fat Italian wedding, ha! Or maybe it’s because he knows how much I love the food and how many times I’ll go back for extra servings.

Turkey Meatloaf Stuffed with spinach, turkey sausage and cheese
3 bell peppers (red, green, yellow) diced small
1 whole onion diced small
¾ celery diced small
2 small containers of mushrooms (any type)
3 packs ground turkey
1 package ground turkey breast
3 eggs
½ cup whole milk
½-3/4 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
5-6 shakes of worsteshire sauce
1 8 oz can hunts tomato sauce/puree (maybe more for topping)
1 ½ cups grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 f

Stuffing (leftover stuffing can be used for spinach burgers after)
2 packages frozen chopped spinach thawed and water squeezed out of it
1 pkg shredded Sargento Italian blend cheese
½ cup grated parmesan
6 mild Italian turkey links removed from casing

For the Stuffing:
-Remove sausage from casing and sauté in a pan until cooked through, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks.
-In a bowl combine spinach, sausage, shredded cheese, ½ cup grated cheese, one egg, set aside

Meat Loaf:
-Place mushrooms in a food processer and pulse until mushrooms become a paste, sauté the mushroom with a pinch of salt and pepper in a non stick pan, (no oil needed) Sauté the mushrooms until all the water has evaporated. Set mushroom mixture aside.
-Sauté onions, celery and peppers in a pan with some olive oil until tender, set aside.
-Combine turkey, mushrooms, sautéed vegetables and all remaining ingredients in a bowl. (reserve 2 oz of tomotoe sauce for the top of the meatloaf
-Take ½ of the mixture and place it on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper with non-stick spray
-Make a small well in the meat mixture and spread the spinach and stuffing in the middle
-Take the remaining meat mixture and top the loaf, pat down to try and remove any air pockets.
-Tope the loaf with the remaining tomato sauce and smooth over loaf with your hands
-Bake at 350 f for apx 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 165 f. Let loaf stand for 15 minutes before serving.

GUYS if you make this I want to see pictures, so send them over with the hashtag below!

LOL my own personal meatloaf hashtag, how very appropriate, and how VERY 2014.