Chicken and vegetable meatloaf is one of my favourite everyday dishes. It is easy to make, different vegetables can be used, it is very forgiving, good for the whole family, tastes good warm or cold, is nutritionally balanced and high in lean protein. Even before my coeliac diagnosis, I never used bread, bread crumbs or any other floury fillers for my meatloaf. I initially used fresh grated zucchini as bread substitute, but later, inspired by generous use of cabbage in Chinese dumplings and spring rolls, switched first to Chinese cabbage, but later to white cabbage. I have found that using white cabbage, thinly shredded and sautéed with leeks and onions, gives amazing juiciness and gentle sweetness to the meatloaf, and also keeps the taste fresh and unaltered for many days. In general, chicken dishes often change their fresh taste completely with storage, unless extra salt or intense and sugary tomato sauces are used to mask that. I like to keep the taste fresh with healthy ingredients, using selective vegetables and spices.
This recipe with step by step images shows making of regular, basic version of chicken and vegetable meatloaf using skinless breast mince. However, I use chicken thigh mince more often for this meatloaf. In that case it has higher fat content, but still low enough to use as a regular dish on high protein eating plans.
- 700g chicken mince (breast or thigh skinless)
- 1 egg (missing on the photo of ingredients)
- 1 leek
- 1 onion
- 1/4 of small cabbage
- red peppers, chili, garlic and flat parsley paste I make myself
- pinch of fennel seeds
- 1 table spoon of ground cumin
- 2 table spoons of sesame seeds
- 2 table spoons of cold pressed olive oil
- salt and ground black pepper for seasoning
- add egg, ground cumin, pepper, salt and chili and garlic paste to chicken mince
- thinly shred cabbage, I prefer to use mandoline slicer
- chop onion and leek (not too fine)
- heat 1 table spoon of olive oil, add fennel seeds
- add leeks and onion, sauté leeks for 3-5 min on medium heat, add salt
- add shredded cabbage to the pan, stir vegetables
- sauté on low heat with lid until soft and just translucent
- cool the vegetables
- add vegetables to chicken mince mixture and mix well
- use deep tray for the oven, use 1 table spoon of olive oil to brush aluminium foil, shape mince mixture as a log, cover the top with sesame seeds
- cover meatloaf and bake in preheated to 190 C fan forced oven or 200 C conventional for the first 30 min. After 30 min open the foil and reduce the temperature to 160C fan forced or 170C conventional. Bake until golden brown (another 50-60min)
- when the foil is open there will be a lot of juices and by the end of the baking period the foil would be nearly dry
- let the loaf rest for 10-15 min if it intended to be eaten warm, or alternatively let it cool completely, place in air tight glass or plastic container and refrigerate
Chicken and vegetable meatloaf can be served hot, warm or cold with vegetables, salads, rice, potato dishes depending on the season.
It can be kept in the fridge for up to a week. It is perfect as a take away lunch with vegetable or pasta salad, it does not need reheating.
You can use 2 onions instead of 1 leek and one onion. To make the dish contain more carbohydrates, grated fresh carrots and zucchini could be added. To increase protein content sautéed mushrooms can be added to the mixture and 4-5 whole hard-boiled eggs put into the middle of the log. However, I do not advice to exclude cabbage from the recipe. It gives the final product its unique taste and no amount of onions and zucchini can substitute that. Instead of red peppers, garlic, chili and parsley paste, just red peppers (one medium red capsicum) can be used. I never put fresh garlic into meatloaf. In the paste, garlic with chili peppers go through fermentation process even in the fridge, and a special taste develops without the sharpness of garlic.
I use the same chicken mince and vegetable mix to make several more dishes:
Chicken and vegetable meatballs
Can be used fresh or frozen to make chicken soup, meatballs with tomato sauce or to make deconstructed lasagne with gluten free pasta sheets.
The opportunities to create your own healthy and tasty dishes from this chicken mince and vegetable mixture are endless.