What’s Cooking: Top mom tips to win at mealtime – Smokey Mini-Meat Loaves

(NC) Resolving to eat healthier is one of the most common goals people make each year but despite this, many have already given up on healthy eating and exercise by mid-January.

To help stay on track in 2020, follow these tips for feeding a family:

1) One meal: sliced and diced for different tastes. Make one customizable meal for various tastes and preferences in the family. For example, taco night is customizable and means kids can load up their tacos with as many or as little toppings as they want. To enjoy taco night, but also stay true to healthier choices, consider a taco salad. Skip the shell, opt for ground turkey or lean ground beef, use lettuce as a base, and load up on veggies.

2) Kid-approved weekly meal plan. Make weekly meal planning a family affair by allowing your kids to help build the menu for the week. Remind them that fruits and vegetables need to be included in each meal. This will help them feel ownership and teach them healthy habits.

3) Avoid recipe rut: healthy inspiration from wellness apps. The WW app (formerly Weight Watchers) and ww.com/ca have thousands of healthy family-friendly recipes like the one below.

Smokey Mini-Meat Loaves

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 8


Olive oil cooking spray, 8 sprays
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 oz cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
½ can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeds removed, finely chopped
½ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
¼ cup low-fat milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp table salt
? cup barbecue sauce, divided
1 tsp store-bought adobo sauce


Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are soft and pan is mostly dry, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Place turkey, chipotle, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, chili powder, salt and 2 tbsp barbecue sauce in a large mixing bowl; add onion mixture and combine thoroughly. Scoop 1/3 cup turkey mixture into each muffin cup.

In a small bowl, combine adobo sauce and remaining 3 tbsp plus 1 tsp barbecue sauce; brush evenly over tops of meat loaves. Bake until a meat thermometer inserted in center of a meat loaf reaches 165°F, about 18 to 22 minutes.

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