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1 h 15 m
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“In this lightened-up meatloaf, healthy low-calorie shredded zucchini keeps very lean beef moist but doesn't take away from the meat itself. The flavor gets a boost from a touch of smoked paprika, Worcestershire and a sweet ketchup glaze. We've also included a variation with Italian flavors.”
1½ cups shredded zucchini (about 1 small)
½ cup finely diced green bell pepper
1 medium shallot, minced
1 tablespoon water
1 large egg
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked (see Tips)
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¾ cup dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Tips)
1½ pounds lean (90% or leaner) ground beef
2 tablespoons ketchup or barbecue sauce
1Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2Place zucchini, bell pepper, shallot and water in a medium microwavable bowl, cover and microwave on High until the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes. Carefully uncover and drain the vegetables in a sieve, gently pressing out as much moisture as possible; spread out on a large plate to cool slightly.
3Whisk egg, tomato paste, mustard, Worcestershire, marjoram, salt, paprika and pepper in a large bowl. Add the vegetables and stir to combine. Add breadcrumbs and toss to combine. Add beef and gently knead with clean hands to combine with the vegetable mixture; do not overmix. Form the meat mixture into a loaf shape (approximately 10 by 4 inches) on the prepared baking sheet. Spread ketchup (or barbecue sauce) over the top of the loaf.
4Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 160°F, 40 to 45 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Substitute ½ cup diced fennel bulb for the bell pepper, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning for the marjoram, regular paprika instead of smoked and marinara sauce in place of the ketchup (or barbecue sauce).
Paprika is a spice made from grinding dried red peppers. Paprika specifically labeled Hungarian delivers a fuller, richer flavor than regular paprika. Smoked paprika is made from smoke-dried red peppers and adds earthy, smoky flavor. It can be used in many types of savory dishes. Look for different types of paprika at some large supermarkets or at tienda.com or penzeys.com.
To make your own fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. To make fine breadcrumbs, process until very fine. To make dry breadcrumbs, spread coarse or fine breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry, about 10 to 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs or about ⅓ cup dry breadcrumbs. For store-bought coarse dry breadcrumbs we like Ian's brand, labeled “Panko breadcrumbs.” Find them at well-stocked supermarkets.
Easy cleanup: Recipes that require cooking spray can leave behind a sticky residue that can be hard to clean. To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you apply the cooking spray.