We’ve taken turkey meatloaf up a notch by adding spicy-sweet, nutrient-packed chutney

My mother, bless her heart, was not exactly a great cook. (True story: Until I was a teenager, I actually thought spaghetti and meatballs came out of a can.) But she did know how to make meatloaf, which she actually did rather well. So meatloaf occupies a warm, fuzzy spot in my culinary memory bank, just like it does for so many other people.

The problem is that conventional meatloaf is high in fat and calories, stuffed with bread crumbs (unnecessary carbs and calories), and most often made with meat that contains hormones, steroids, and antibiotics. Enter this crowd-pleasing, low-cal version made with clever substitutions that boost its nutritional value without losing one iota of flavor or comfort. Lean turkey instead of feedlot-farmed mystery meat, rolled oats instead of breadcrumbs, a bevy of nutrient-packed vegetables, and a healthy dose of chutney for a sweet and exotic spiciness. My mother would have loved it!

Notes from the Clean Food Coach:

We don’t normally opt for no-fat ground meats, but in this recipe, it’s more aesthetically pleasing to use ground turkey that’s low in fat so excess oils don’t pool around your meatloaf “cupcake.”

Featured Ingredient: Chutney

What if you could snap your fingers and get every member of your family to take a high-quality, high-dose multivitamin supplement every single day? Most people would do it. But in the real world, it doesn’t work like that. Some people (especially kids) don’t like to take pills, and others simply forget. Many adults think supplementing is a good idea, but are confused about which ones to take so they take none. If you can relate to this, I’ve got a solution for you: Chutney.

Related: The Difference Between Different Types of Fruit Spreads

Chutney is nature’s way of adding a high-quality, high-dose vitamin supplement to the dinner table, one that everyone will “take” because it’s cleverly disguised as delicious food. It doesn’t fit into any neat categories—it’s not a sauce nor a vegetable. It’s sort of a relish but not really. It’s not even (really) a side dish. It's actually a flavorful, delicious, usually (but not always) spicy condiment. (The term “chutney” comes from the East Indian word “chatni,” which means “very spicy.”)

Did you know ... While mango chutney contains a generous amount of sugar, many chutneys don’t require a single gram, including mint chutney, peanut chutney, and green chutney.

Chutney has so many variations that saying a food is a “chutney” is like saying a food is a “soup”—it’s a general name for a type of food that has infinite variations. Most all chutneys are made from spices, fruits, vinegar, vegetables, herbs—and often sugar.

Sugar is actually one of the few negatives about chutney, especially if you’re watching your intake of the sweet stuff. But although frequently used in chutneys like the famous mango variation, sugar isn’t necessary for making a great chutney. In fact, there are many chutneys that don’t require a single gram. Mint chutney, peanut chutney, and green chutney are just three examples of chutneys that are nutritious, delicious, and sugar-free. (Note: yummly.com has a wonderful collection of the top 10 sugar-free chutney recipes, and it’s free.)

When Dr. Steven Masley and I wrote Smart Fat back in 2016, we pointed out that spices were an unappreciated asset in the journey toward health and longevity. I’d go so far as to say that spices are a “secret health weapon.” There are so many natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories in spices that you might as well think of your spice rack as a second medicine cabinet. With chutneys, you get to go to town in the spice and herb department—you really can’t make a mistake!

Chutneys are traditionally used as accompaniments to all kinds of dishes—much like a relish—and go particularly wonderfully with curry. But you’ll also find chutneys served with everything from bread to meat dishes. It’s a great place to experiment in the kitchen—so be creative!

  • Makes 12 mini-loavesServings

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup prepared chutney (such as Native Forest Organic Pineapple Chutney or Trader Joe’s Mango Ginger Chutney), or to taste 
  • 1 ½ lbs. leanest ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup whole rolled oats
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup grated zucchini or summer squash, optional
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cracked black pepper

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly spray 12-cup muffin tin with cooking oil or line with parchment liners.

2. In large bowl, whisk together egg and chutney. Add turkey, oats, carrots, zucchini, mustard powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper, and mix with hands until well combined—do not overwork. Gently spoon meat evenly into muffin cups, but do not pack. Bake 30 minutes, or until cooked through.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: Makes 12 mini-loaves
  • Calories: 130
  • Carbohydrate Content: 7 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 55 mg
  • Fat Content: 6 g
  • Fiber Content: 1 g
  • Protein Content: 12 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 1.5 g
  • Sodium Content: 190 mg
  • Sugar Content: 2 g