Healthy Meatloaf, Texas-Style + The 10 in 10 Challenge

Meatloaf, green beans, and mashed potatoes on a plate[Jump right to the recipe: Texas-Style Buffalo Meatloaf]

It’s January. It’s a new year in a new decade (depending on how you choose to count such things), and a chance to start anew. While it doesn’t have to say January 1 on the calendar to make a commitment to make a change in my life, for some reason I’m always just a little more motivated at the first of the year. I think it’s because my schedules and habits are off-kilter enough thanks to the holidays that I feel like it’s easier to impact them than just about any other time of year. Of course as the weeks go by and same ol’, same ol’ routines sneak up, I find it hard to stay focused on change and make it real. This year, I want to keep those routines at bay and help my changes stick.

There are two health-related changes I want to focus on in 2010:

  • Loose those last 10 pounds. With 40 down over the last couple of years, the last 10 should be easy but they are turning out to be harder than I thought. And of course keeping all of the weight off is just as important, if not more so, than losing the weight initially.
  • Make exercise a regular part of my life. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the biggest fan of exercise, so I tend to have limited success a few months out of the year. I’d like to get to the point that exercise is just as much a part of my life as blogging, cooking, working, or any of the other things I do to take care of myself. I’ve run both 5k and 10k races in the past, and I’d like to get back to that this year. There’s nothing like the thrill of  a race to make the training easier.

A Little Help from My Online Friends

Research has shown that it’s easier to make life changes when you have support of those also trying to change. To that end, I’m going to participate in the virtual 10 in 10 challenge. A group of 200 or so of us are going to take the initial steps together towards our important life goals in these 10 weeks. We’ll blog about our experiences, tweet about them, and in general support one another along the way. I’m going to use my blog as a tool in these ten weeks in a few different ways. I plan to:

  • Focus most (but not all) of my cooking and entertaining efforts in these 10 weeks on healthy and lighter recipes. I follow Weight Watchers so I will be calculating and posting points for all of my lighter recipes. The first of these recipes, Texas-Style Bison Meatloaf, is in this post.
  • Put together lists of recipes from the lighter side that I’ve tried myself. The main criterion for these recipes of course is that they must taste great, because I don’t believe in sacrificing good food to any diet.
  • Add and regularly update a page on my blog with quick links to my lighter recipes with Weight Watchers points calculated for them.
  • Share tips, tricks, and other useful information from the 10 in 10 group because I know it will be a valuable resource for anyone trying to make even a small change in their lives.

What changes are you going to make in 2010? How are you going to make them stick? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Recipe: Texas-Style Buffalo Meatloaf

Adapted from Healthy Turkey Meatloaf from In The Bag

This lightened meatloaf uses one of my favorite healthy eating foods: bison. Bison is lower in fat than beef, higher in protein, and more sustainable all around. It’s not at all gamy and can substitute for beef in just about any application. I call this a Texas-Style meatloaf because it uses BBQ sauce in place of the traditional ketchup you often find in meatloaf recipes, and it gets a bit of a peppery kick from steak seasoning. Enjoy it with a side of Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes (just 2 points) and a steamed vegetable for a hearty 7 point (350 calories or so) dinner the whole family will enjoy.


  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time:60 minutes
  • Weight Watchers ™ Points: 5*


For the meatloaf:

  • 1/3 c. whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/3 c. skim milk
  • 1 lb. ground bison
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. steak seasoning (such as McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning)
  • 2 Tbsp. bottled BBQ sauce

For the glaze:

  • ¼ c. bottled BBQ sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the breadcrumbs, milk, and egg in a large bowl. Stir until the breadcrumbs are moist.
  3. Add the bison, onion, salt, steak seasoning, and BBQ sauce to the bowl. Mix well with your hands, being careful not to over-mix.
  4. Spray a meatloaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and pat the bison mixture into it.
  5. Bake the meatloaf at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
  6. While the meatloaf cooks, combine the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  7. After the meatloaf has been in the oven for 40 minutes, spoon about ¾ of the glaze over the meatloaf and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
  8. Let the meatloaf rest in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn it carefully out onto a serving platter and brush the top (which was previously the bottom) with the remaining glaze.

Recipe for Success

  • Experiment with different steak seasonings and BBQ sauces to make this recipe your own. I recently used a beef seasoning I picked up in Napa and a local organic BBQ sauce for a fun combination.
  • If your family doesn’t like onions, you can easily substitute diced carrots or celery. Simply sauté them in a non-stick pan sprayed with PAM over medium-high heat until they are soft. You can also increase the vegetables in this meatloaf without increase the total points if you add sautéed carrots and celery to the onions that are in the recipe.
  • You can make this recipe in the microwave as well. Combine and mix the ingredients, then pat them into a round microwave safe dish. Cover the dish with wax paper or two layers of wet paper towel. Cook on High for 8 minutes, rotating dish ¼ turn every 4 minutes. While the meatloaf is cooking, combine glaze ingredients and after 8 minutes of cooking time, spoon over the meatloaf. Continue cooking, uncovered, for another 8 to 9 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

*Points Details

  • Different types of buffalo have different points values. I buy very lean ground bison that is consistent with the 1 pt. for 1 oz. point calculation in the Recipe Builder, or 10.5 pts. For 1 lb. Some ground bison will be closer to 1.5 pts for 1 oz, or 26 points for 1 pound, which increases the per-serving points on this recipe to 7. To be on the safe side, you may want to split the difference and assume 6 points per serving if you don’t want to recalculate the points yourself based on your specific ingredients.
  • You can substitute 93% lean ground turkey for the bison in this recipe. The per-serving points go up to 6.
  • I calculated the points for this recipe using values for Kraft Classic Recipe BBQ sauce, which is 1 point per 2 Tbsp. Different BBQ sauces have different sugar content, so you may need to re-calculate the points to fit your specific BBQ sauce if it has more than 50 calories per 2 Tbsp.
  • White bread crumbs, panko, and seasoned bread crumbs have more calories than whole wheat bread crumbs. If you substitute one of these for whole wheat, be sure to recalculate the total points.

Ground Bison on Foodista Learn more about ground bison


  1. Do you suppose I could substitute elk for bison?

    • Natanya Anderson /

      I think you could. I did some quick research and it turns out the elk is even more lean than bison and has about the same caloric count. This URL was very helpful:

      I’ve only had elk once or twice so I’m not sure how gamy it is relative to bison, but if you like it I think it would be very tasty in a meatloaf.