Slowly but surely

I’m officially a convert! Well, at least I think I might be.

It was high time for me to get back to cooking, and after Lindsay raved about a great a turkey meatloaf recipe she tried last weekend, I knew I had to give it a shot. The few times I’ve made meatloaf it’s been pretty traditional (minus the fact that I generally cook it in muffin tins to make sure it’s thoroughly cooked and there’s set portion sizes), so I was nervous about using ground turkey and lots of minced onions instead of the onion soup mix that most recipes use. But I never back down from a unique cooking opportunity.

The end product definitely wasn’t quite like a traditional meatloaf. With all the Italian seasons, it almost felt like I could have paired it with pasta. But, it was fun a fun twist on a staple meal. I will admit I didn’t use the peppers the recipe called for since it was impressive enough that I was going to use onions. I also didn’t use as much of the ketchup topping since I’ve never been a huge fan of it (plus it didn’t seem healthy, and given that I’m about to spend five days at home, I need to pace myself).

While the meatloaf was a pleasant surprise, what really carried the meal was my side dish. I’m not sure how healthy it is, but I absolutely loved the toasted orzo with peas. The prep was actually a lot like making rice-a-roni (which I was sadly an expert at in college…). I was nervous given the amount of onion, but a quick taste to see if the noodles were done had me floored. It was so packed with flavor between the onions, garlic and chicken broth that I could have just eaten it as it was.

Knowing my love for color and vegetables, though, I had to throw in the extra ingredients. In addition to the green peas, I also put in some mushrooms I had on hand. While I also put in the parmesan cheese (although not as much as the recipe called for), the dish almost could have gone without it. And for a girl who loves cheese, that’s really saying something!

I won’t lie – I’m a little bummed at the lack of color, but I loved all the flavors. And who knew I would have enjoyed the onions so much?! Dare I say I actually like them now?

Overall it was another successful venture in the kitchen! Given I haven’t cooked an actual meal in about two weeks, it was definitely needed, too.

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