Bulgur increases the meatloaf's vitamins and decreases its saturated fat. (Ken Burris / EatingWell)
The addition of richly flavored dried mushrooms and the whole-grain goodness of bulgur increases the vitamins and minerals and decreases the saturated fat of this meatloaf. The loaf is free-form, rather than baked in a loaf pan, which means more delicious, browned crust. This recipe is large enough to feed a big group or, even better, have leftovers for a cold sandwich the next day.
1 cup dried mushrooms, such as shiitake, porcini or chanterelle
1 cup bulgur (see ingredient note)
1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
½ cup nonfat evaporated milk
½ cup ketchup
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1 ½ pounds 90 percent lean ground beef
1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
Place mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with warm water; let stand for 30 minutes. Combine bulgur with the boiling water in another small bowl and let soak until the bulgur is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the liquid; trim stems and coarsely chop caps.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat and add onion, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add Worcestershire and cook for 3 minutes, scraping the pan well as the mixture becomes sticky. Add tomatoes, evaporated milk and ketchup; stir to combine. Continue cooking until the mixture is very thick, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Whisk egg and egg whites in a large bowl. Add beef, breadcrumbs, the soaked bulgur, the mushrooms and the tomato mixture. Stir in parsley, thyme and salt. Mix gently but thoroughly with your hands.
Mound the meatloaf mixture into a free-form loaf on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 165 F, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Yield: 10 servings.
Ingredient note: Bulgur is made by parboiling, drying and coarsely grinding or cracking wheat berries. It simply needs a quick soak in hot water for most uses. Look for it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets, near other grains, or online at kalustyans.com or lebaneseproducts.com.
Per serving: 312 calories; 10 g fat (3 g saturated fat); 32 g carbohydrates; 66 mg cholesterol; 467 mg sodium; 24 g protein; 6 g fiber.