turkey & cranberry meatloaf

February 2, 2016

How do you measure your health? By how you look? By your weight? By how your clothes fit? By how often you get sick? Personally, I measure my health mostly by how healthy I feel and because I’m a bit of a sceptic and need to back important things up with science / real facts, I also believe that your blood work is a key and accurate indicator. A local nerdy hero of mine – Chemical Pathologist Ken Sikaris says “Show me your blood and I’ll tell you your future”, and I regularly undergo a series of blood tests to keep track of things and gauge what I might need to raise/lower to keep as balanced as possible. Currently I’m working to increase my Vitamin D and iodine through supplements, foods and getting a little more sunshine time.

After a suggestion given to me by a naturopath, I’ve recently been reading about eating for your blood type. The theory goes that the key to working out what we (as individuals) should eat for optimal health and longevity is our genetic heritage, and that people with one blood type have a different set of characteristics, are susceptible to different health issues and diseases, and are better off eating different foods and exercising in a completely different manner to those who share a different blood type. It also infers that you handle stress differently based on your blood type. (Sounds all a bit ‘horoscope-y’ doesn’t it?)

While I’m yet to find enough real evidence to give this ‘blood type diet’ credibility, and I don’t believe there are any ‘one-size-fits-all’ type approaches to health, I do find it a fascinating notion. Along with approximately 38 percent of all Aussies, my blood type is A+. (Source: Australian Red Cross Blood Bank.) According to this Blood Type theory, Type A people are better on a vegetarian diet (hang on a minute…), as they have difficulty digesting and metabolising animal protein and fat. (Hmmm.) While I love meat, recently I’ve found myself eating less meat and have been feeling lighter and more energised as a result, so perhaps, for me at least, there might be some truth in this theory…

I think it’s so important to not despair in what we can’t/don’t have, but celebrating what we can/do have. Being an ever-curious creature, I decided to delve deeper into the specifics of this A Blood Type diet, and learnt that if this theory turns out to be a reliable guide as to the best foods to eat for your blood type, fortunately there is a whopping long Type A food list containing a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, seafood, fats, dairy, grains and spices.

In the meat department, it is recommended that Blood Type A people should stick to chicken and turkey. Chicken is something I eat a moderate amount of, but turkey is something I never cook or order, and usually something that I only eat at Christmas. Since reading about this, I’ve noticed turkey more and more. At the butcher, in recipes and on menus, so I bought half a kilo of turkey mince, sat it on the bench, and stared blankly at it for a while. 

***

Some time in the last ten years the humble meatloaf seems to have gone out of fashion. Let’s face it, it’s really just a bloody big baked version of an Aussie household classic – rissoles. Since turkey is traditionally carved, I thought a nice big turkey meatloaf might be a fun thing to try. And it turned out to be a great success. Jury’s still out for me on the ‘Blood Type Diet’, however I’ve now taken turkey off my ‘something I never cook’ list.

Here’s the recipe…

ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp fat for frying (olive oil/coconut oil/butter/ghee)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 500g turkey mince
  • 1/2 cup bread-crumbs / rice-crumbs for gluten free
  • 1 egg (pref. free range & organic)
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, roughly chopped

method

  1. Preheat oven to 200C and prepare a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Cover the cranberries in a small bowl with boiling water and leave to plump for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  3. Heat fat to medium heat in fry pan then fry off onions for a couple of minutes until translucent; then add garlic and allspice and cook for another minute until garlic is soft. Take off the heat to start to cool.
  4. In a mixing bowl, add turkey mince, crumbs, egg, Worcestershire sauce, drained cranberries and cooked onion and garlic mix, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine well.
  5. Moisten your hands, and shape the mixture into a loaf shape (AKA a massive rissole), place it on the baking tray and sprinkle rosemary over the top.
  6. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the top is brown.
  7. Carve and serve hot, or keep it in the fridge to carve through the week.

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