Farley Favorite #1: Transforming a classic into a masterpiece

Before you make any assumptions, I already know what you’re thinking……

“Ew, meatloaf?  Isn’t that the mystery meat they used to serve in the cafeteria in middle school?”

“Who makes meatloaf anymore?  It’s basically meat and ketchup.”

“That’s too fattening.  Why would I waste my caloric intake on a loaf of meat that has no redeeming qualities?”

Let me just say STOP!

I grew up eating meatloaf because let’s face it:

  • It’s fairly inexpensive
  • It doesn’t require a lot of prep
  • It will feed a large group of people
  • Bonus – Kids will usually eat it

What if I told you it can still be ALL of the above AND check all of your boxes to fit the Fat Loss Foodie lifestyle?

I’m not a miracle worker and I won’t ever claim to have all of the answers to making the basics taste amazing but TRUST ME on this one.  You will be making this.  All the time!


My husband and I first started making meatloaf when my mother-in-law gave us her book of Farley Favorites.  This small homemade recipe book included all of his childhood favorites: mac ‘n cheese, chicken beau monde, cheesy broccoli casserole, and among others, meatloaf.  These recipes were the staples in his house growing up and as his wife, I was bound and determined to make sure he was happy with the food I was making for him.

Caveat:  I didn’t used to be a Fat Loss Foodie. 

Admission of guilt: I made him these recipes that used too much butter, cheese, salt, flour, and yes, the horrid ketchup crust on the meatloaf.  I’m not proud of it.  But I did it.  Anything to make my husband happy!


About seven years ago, we chose to adopt a healthier lifestyle when we bought our home and had access to a bigger kitchen.  We had used the excuse for years that we couldn’t prep because we didn’t have the space.  (BTW, this is FALSE.  You can prep anywhere you can fit a cutting board and a few bowls.)  It was now our mission to take our Farley Favorites and crank them up a few notches.

The changes were small to start:

  • Use oatmeal and oat flour instead of white flour and bread crumbs.
  • Substitute eggs for cheese.
  • Add onions AND peppers instead of just onions.

We knew we were on to something and I started pushing a higher veggie content.

What if we add spinach?  What if we use lean turkey?  What if we add bacon?  Bacon makes EVERYTHING taste better!


Farley Favorite #1 was born.

Check out these ingredients:


These should be staples of your FLF lifestyle and are fairly inexpensive.  ALL ingredients shown below cost under $30 and you have food for an entire family for at least TWO meals.

Before you tell me you don’t like meatloaf, try ours on for size.  It’s a quick, easy, and nutritious spin on a true classic.  And if you have picky eaters in your house, they won’t even taste all the veggies!

Now what are you waiting for?!  Go put your apron on and try it out.

I can’t wait to see your results!



Farley’s Favorite Meatloaf


3 lbs ground turkey, preferably 90% lean or more (we use 93% and drain off all remaining fat)

1 ½ c cooked quinoa

1 egg

1 box of mushrooms, chopped (we use baby bellas, remove the stem, and chop in a food processor)

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 large box of spinach (I think 10 oz?)

3 peppers, chopped  – I prefer one of each color to make the meatloaf more vibrant plus the sweet peppers add a better flavor

½ large sweet onion, chopped

4-6 pieces of bacon, chopped

4-8 cloves of garlic, to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat 2 loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray of your choice.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Set aside.


In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until the fat starts to melt, about 5 minutes.  Add the onions, garlic, and peppers.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes.  If you LOVE S&P, feel free to add more at this time.  When the onions are slightly translucent and the peppers have lost their crunch, add the spinach in batches and cook until just wilted.  Pour veggie/bacon mix on a paper towel lined plate or into a mesh strainer.  This allows excess fat and liquid to drain out.

In a large mixing bowl, combine uncooked ground turkey, cooked quinoa, egg, chopped mushrooms, and S&P.  Ladies, this is best done with your hands so roll those sleeves up and get dirty!

Add veggie/bacon mixture to turkey mixture and mix until combined.


Divide evenly into your loaf pans and place on baking sheet.  You will notice one loaf looks different than the other – my husband loves cheese.  To keep from adding too much, sprinkle it only on top.  You will still get the flavor but not the calorie overload of adding it into the loaf.

Cook for 1 hour or until meat thermometer comes out reading 160 degrees.

COOK’S NOTE: I like to drain the excess fat off the loaf around the 40 minute mark.  This shouldn’t affect the texture or the flavor, just the fat content.  If you like to cook veggies with fat, use the excess to cook a side dish of veggies.  It will give them GREAT flavor!


When you make this at home, take a picture of the finished product and share!  I want to see your masterpieces!!!

— Alaina

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