Wheat Germ in Meatloaf? Oh Yeah!

Out of the oven

I was recently approached to try and review Kretschmer’s Wheat Germ, and was sent a coupon for a free jar of it, plus a coupon to give away to one of my readers (more about that at the end of this post, plus a disclaimer here that I am in no way affiliated with the Kretschmer company or brand.)

Win Kretschmer's wheat germ!

Wheat germ, I pondered. What could I make with wheat germ in addition to adding it to smoothie, sprinkling it on yogurt or putting it in cereal? While these are excellent ways to use this healthy food, I wanted something a bit different. Enter my meatloaf with spinach and oats (and now wheat germ). Oh yeah!

Wheat germ and yogurt

What is wheat germ exactly? According to Mayo Clinic’s website:

Wheat germ is the center of the wheat seed that’s responsible for the development and growth of the new plant sprout. Although only a small part of the wheat seed, the germ is a highly concentrated source of nutrients, including niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc. The germ also contains protein, fiber and some fat. Wheat germ adds a healthy crunch to virtually any recipe, from pancakes to fruit smoothies.

OK, if the Mayo Clinic recommends it, that’s good enough for me. And there’s only 50 calories in a 2 tablespoon serving.

I have to admit that wheat germ has not been a staple food in my house, at least until now. I don’t eat much cereal and I tend to put rice protein and flaxseed in my smoothies. The day I redeemed my coupon for the Kretschmer’s, which I found in the cereal aisle at Harris Teeter, I was making meatloaf for dinner from an old recipe that included spinach and oats. It occurred to me that I could substitute some of the wheat germ for the oats and it wouldn’t affect the consistency of the meatloaf  (it didn’t) and might add a nice, nutty flavor to it (it did). This is a great alternative to some of your more traditional meatloaf recipes.

Ingredients (Makes about 12 servings)

Meatloaf ingredients

  • 1 package (10 oz.) frozen spinach
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (93%)
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 cup sweet onion, chopped small
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 package (0.4 oz.) Ranch dressing dry mix
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (not instant)
  • ½ cup Kretschmer’s wheat germ
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (not pictured – sorry!)
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce (I used Tuttorosso)
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Thaw and drain the frozen spinach well. I use a colander and lots of paper towels to make sure I’m getting out as much moisture as possible.

In a large bowl, mix the ground beef and pork.

ix ground beef and pork

Add the rest of the ingredients except the tomato sauce.

Add other ingredients

Mix together well — the best way to do this is with your super clean hands.

mix all ingredients into a ball

Form the mixture into a loaf and place it into a 9″ x 9” (or larger) baking pan. Spoon a layer of the tomato sauce over the top of the meatloaf (I use about half of the can for this, maybe a little less.)

Add tomato sauce

Bake for 40 minutes, add another layer of tomato sauce and broil for a couple of minutes until the sauce starts turning brown. Let rest for 5 minutes or so before slicing. I serve this with scalloped potatoes, but mashed are just as good. Since it has spinach in it, I don’t worry about a green veggie unless I’m craving a small salad.

dinner is served

The leftovers are perfect for sandwiches (that’s why I use 2 pounds of meat!) Always make enough meatloaf for leftovers. That’s why you make it to begin with :)

meatloaf sandwich

So how did the wheat germ do in this recipe? Quite nicely, I must say. It’s a great and healthy alternative to the traditional bread crumbs you normally use in meatloaves.

Kretschmer’s wheat germ is fresh with a nice nutty taste. I will continue to experiment with it since it is full of great nutrients and protein, and will definitely start adding it to Gabe and Lexi’s oatmeal once the weather gets colder.

coupon

Want a chance to try a jar of Kretschmer wheat germ for free? Just like this post and you will automatically be entered into a drawing for a coupon worth up to $5.99. Drawing will be held one week from today, 12/27/12

Bon appétit!

Eat, drink and be merry!

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