Fact #1: My family was a big believer in long car trips. We were continually driving back and forth from Michigan and New Jersey, in addition to driving just about anywhere in the state of Michigan. (You can drive over 600 miles in a straight shot just by driving from the Ohio border to the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula…I know this from experience.)
Fact #2: My parents were big believers in not using air conditioning while driving and instead preferred to keep the windows down.
Those two facts were crucial to the following story.
We were stuck on I-80 across Pennsylvania in horrible traffic sometime in July. And by stuck, I mean that we were parked for hours on what should have been a highway next to a large semi.
My younger brother at the time was unable to say the sound “tr” and instead said “f”, so a word like “trail” would become “fail.”
You can probably see where I am going with this.
My brother was seated on my mother’s lap, and she was trying to amuse him by pointing out things around us. He then looked at the semi, and yelled, “Look mom, a trucker! A trucker!”
Except he didn’t say trucker because he said an “f” sound instead of “tr.”
Unfortunately for my parents, the semi truck driver parked next to us also had his windows down, and thus was able to hear loud and clear what he thought my little brother was calling him.
That was the most awkward few hours in traffic ever. However, for once, we did use the air conditioning.
Trucker Friendly Vegetable Turkey Meatloaf
- 1 large bell pepper, diced into small pieces
- 1 large onion, diced into small pieces
- 1 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained very well
- 1/4 c parmesan cheese, grated
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 beaten eggs
- 3/4 c skim milk
- 2/3 c dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 package 93/7 ground turkey (normally 19-20 oz)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set up racks so the top rack is in the middle of the oven and the bottom rack is at the lowest setting.
- Mix together everything except the ground turkey in a large bowl.
- Add ground turkey and mix well (you’ll probably have to use your hands).
- Dump mixture into a large loaf pan (you might need to pack it in so it fits). I think glass is best but use whatever you have! Since some juices might spill over the side, make a tray of aluminum foil and place on the bottom rack.
- Bake for 1 1/2 hours (place on the top rack directly over your foil tray) until top is golden brown and internal temperature is 160 degrees. Blot off any fat with paper towels.
- Serve with your desired meatloaf toppings (I prefer ketchup) and mashed potatoes!