Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Let stand at room temperature while oven preheats; bake until an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F, about 1 hour.
Tip: Try whole-grain bulgur--parboiled cracked, dried wheat berries--as a filler for things like meatloaf and burgers or as the base for salads and side dishes. (Don't confuse bulgur with cracked wheat, which is simply that--cracked wheat.) To cook, combine one part bulgur with two parts boiling-hot water in a mixing bowl. Soak until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain if necessary. Look for bulgur in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets, near other grains.
Loaf Pan Variation: If you want a more uniform-shaped “loaf” you can bake your meatloaf in a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan instead of on a baking sheet. Coat the pan with cooking spray, pat the meatloaf mixture into the pan and cover with the topping. Bake for about 1 hour. Let stand for 10 minutes in the pan before slicing.
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.
1/2 fruit, 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 other carbohydrate, 2 1/2 lean meat, 1/2 fat