Friday, February 25, 2011

Spicy Turkey Meatloaf and Nutrifact #1: Trans Fats

I am currently in a winter wasteland hundreds of miles from home.

Winter--because I have not seen the sky since I've been here due to the snow and fog.
Wasteland--because I have not seen one green thing, either.
And miles away---because I am in Guelph, Ontario.

I am not is just very dull here. I am attending a conference about fighting world hunger...which should depress me even further. I'm sure I will have some shocking facts about that to post on here after we go to the first session.

But right now, I have a different fact to tell you. I decided that I shouldn't keep all the interesting things I learn in my nutrition classes to myself! So now I'm going to post one nutrition-related fact each week.

Nutrifact #1: Trans Fats
Even if a product says it is trans fat free, it may still contain trans fats. The recommended amount of trans fats to consume per day is 0 g. Nada.
Trans fats are formed by switching a hydrogen's position on the fatty acid. This is found naturally in minimal amounts in meat and dairy. In everything else, it is synthesized. Trans fats work in your body to increase your LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, which can increase your risk for coronary heart disease. The highest concentrations of trans fats can be found in crisco, margarine, many snack foods, and peanut butter.
So what if you check every label and see no trans fats listed? Isn't that enough? Actually, it isn't. Companies are not required to say that their products contain trans fats unless there are 0.5 g or more per serving. So, if a product contains 0.45 g of trans fats per serving, it can be advertised as "trans-fat-free." The way that companies do this is by lowering the serving size. Take peanut butter, for example. The serving size is only 2 Tbsp. That's about that size of the tip of your thumb doubled.
Here is how you know for sure if something does not contain trans fats. Read the ingredient list. If anything is hydrogenated (even partially), it contains trans fats. It's that simple.

Now for a recipe! On Monday I made Spicy Turkey Meatloaf from a Cooking Light recipe. I have never made meatloaf before...and I believe I had only eaten it once before this. But since this recipe was spicy, made from turkey, and light, I could pretty much guess it wouldn't taste like reguar meatloaf.

And Ryan and I were pleasantly surprised! We both found it quite delicious.

For the original recipe, click here.
Here is my modified version:
Spicy Turkey Meatloaf
Makes 6 servings
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
5 mushrooms, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp chopped basil
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp Sriracha
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lb ground turkey breast
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350°.

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bell peppers, mushrooms, and garlic to pan; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes.

While cooking vegetables, combine ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and nutmeg in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. 

Combine mushroom mixture, breadcrumbs, and next 8 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl; stir well to combine. Shape turkey mixture into a 9 x 5–inch rectangle on a broiler pan lined with foil and coated with cooking spray.

Spread ketchup mixture evenly over top of meat loaf; bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Info
1 serving (6 servings total)
Calories: 214
Fat: 8.3 g (Sat 3.2 g)
Sodium: about 500 mg
Carbohydrates: 16 g (Fiber 0.8 g, Sugar 9.7 g)
Protein: 17 g

The slices broke when I was serving it, so this is a lot less than one serving! Just to clarify.

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