By Jenna Weber

Enjoy my twists on some classic dishes this week, such as a flavorful turkey meatloaf and quick-and-easy homemade tomato soup. Kids will never guess the secret ingredient in the meatloaf: lentils! They give it a wonderful texture and add a nutritional punch as well. Tomato soup fills lunchtime thermoses for meals on the go. And sneak in some greens with a surprisingly delicious kale salad that will convert any and every veggie hater!

Grocery list:
1 lb. lean ground turkey
Black or green lentils
1 large carrot
2 large onions
1 head garlic
1 lb. mushrooms
Worcestershire sauce
1 bag panko bread crumbs
Olive oil
Pure maple syrup
Balsamic vinegar
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
Baking soda
1 loaf quality artisan bread
Sharp cheddar cheese
1 large bunch lacinato kale (often called dinosaur kale)
1 shallot
Feta cheese, crumbled
Chopped walnuts


Kicked-Up Turkey Meatloaf
A comforting favorite that uses fiber-packed lentils as the secret ingredient!

Serves 6

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 cup cooked black or green lentils
1 large carrot, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten

2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400º.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and sauté for about 6 minutes, until soft and translucent. Mix in the carrot and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add chopped mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms have turned soft and all the veggies are nice and juicy.

Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add lentils, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup, and mix well.

In a small bowl, combine milk and panko bread crumbs. Let sit for 3 minutes so the bread crumbs can absorb a little of the milk. Add to veggie mixture.

Add ground turkey and beaten egg and mix well. It's easiest here to use your hands. Transfer to a greased loaf pan and press down to smooth top.

Combine ingredients for the glaze and pour over top of meatloaf. Spread with a spoon to cover the surface. Bake for 55 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170º.


Grilled Cheese and Creamy Tomato Soup
A quick homemade version of the classic! One taste of this and you'll never go back to canned soup again.

Serves 4

For the soup:
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 of a yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups canned diced tomatoes (or chopped fresh tomatoes in the summer)
2 cups whole milk
3/4 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

For the sandwiches:
8 slices quality artisan bread
2 tablespoons butter
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese

To make soup:
Heat butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, until soft. Sprinkle flour over the onions and toss well to combine. Cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring often.

Mix baking soda, salt, and sugar with diced tomatoes and set aside.

Add milk to Dutch oven and whisk together, then mix in tomato mixture and bring to a simmer, cooking for about 4 minutes (the soup will thicken up a little bit while cooking). Carefully pour the soup into a blender and process for 10 seconds, until everything is smooth. Return soup to pot and keep on low heat while you make the sandwiches.

To make sandwiches:
Heat butter in a cast-iron skillet set on medium heat. Once the butter has melted and is sizzling, add four slices of bread and top with cheese. Place the other four slices on top and set a heavy pan over the sandwiches to press down while they cook. Flip after 2 minutes and press again with heavy pan.

Serve sandwiches dunked in soup and enjoy!


Kale Salad With Walnuts and Feta
Quick, easy, and oh, so healthy!

Serves 4

1 large bunch lacinato kale (often called dinosaur kale), stems discarded and torn into bite-size pieces
1 shallot, minced
1/8 teaspoon sea salt (just a sprinkle)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, combine kale, salt, shallot, and olive oil. Toss well. Add feta and walnuts. Serve immediately. It can keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.