Down-Home Meatloaf and Acorn Squash

DInner in a Dash

Photography by Maria Siriano

The DASH Diet, developed at the National Institutes of Health, is a low-salt, low-sugar, low-fat diet that is good for everyone—but especially for people with heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, or excessive weight. That’s a lot of us! Remarkably, nearly one-half of the population has one or more of those health issues. For those who luckily do not, the DASH diet is a terrific way to keep your body in optimum health and to ward off problems down the road. The DASH diet is the diet most often recommended by cardiologists.

Until now, there has been no cookbook for tasty and fast DASH meals in the Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker (or “multi-cooker”). In Dinner in a DASH, veteran healthy-cookbook author Nancy S. Hughes delivers 75 recipes that get you from here to a nutritious and delectable dinner in a flash. You’ll get all the minerals and proteins you need without an excess of saturated fats, salt, or sugar.

These are delicious meals that don’t compromise on flavour. From a homey and comforting Marinara Chicken with Parmesan to an adventuresome plate of Shrimp-Stuffed Poblano Peppers, and from an elegant Salmon on Spinach with Tarragon Mustard Sauce to a casual and carefree Flank Steak with Mushrooms, you’ll do your body a world of good while enjoying every minute.

Each of the recipes comes with complete nutritional data, and the book opens with a wealth of tips and tricks for mastering the Instant Pot and other electric pressure cookers. For fast and easy dinners full of flavour and nutrients, this is an indispensable book.

Dinner in a DASH: 75 Fast-to-Table and Full-of-Flavor DASH Diet Recipes from the Instant Pot or Other Electric Pressure Cooker is available at and

Down-Home Turkey Meatloaf and Acorn Squash

No heating the oven, no boiling big pots of water—it’s all done in one pot and the kitchen stays cool.

1 cup (235 ml) water

1/3 cup (80 g) no-salt-added tomato sauce

3 tablespoons (45 g) ketchup

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

12 ounces (340 g) 93% lean ground turkey

1 cup (150 g) chopped green bell pepper

2/3 cup (50 g) quick-cooking oats

1 egg

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon plus

1/8 teaspoon salt, divided

1 1/2 pounds (680 g) acorn squash, quartered and seeded 4 teaspoons light butter with canola oil

4 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar


  1. Place a trivet in the pressure cooker pot and add the water.
  2. Combine the tomato sauce, ketchup, and Worcester-shire in a small bowl.
  3. Combine the turkey, bell pepper, oats, egg, thyme, a ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and 3 tablespoons (45 g) of the tomato sauce mixture in a medium bowl. On a dinner plate,
    shape into a loaf about 4 x 6 x 1½ inches (10 x 15 x 4 cm).
  4. Cut three sheets of aluminum foil to 18 inches (45 cm). Fold each of the foil sheets in half lengthwise and coat the foil strips with cooking spray. Crisscross the strips in a spoke-like fashion to act as a sling. Place the meatloaf in the center of the spokes. Lift the ends of the foil strips to transfer the loaf to the trivet. Fold down the ends of the foil strips so they won’t interfere with closing the lid. Lock the lid in place and close the seal valve. Press the Manual button for 35 minutes.
  5. When the cook time ends, use a quick pressure release.
  6. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid. Remove the meatloaf carefully using the ends of the foil and place the foil and meatloaf on a cutting board. Spoon the remaining tomato sauce mixture evenly over the meatloaf and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.
  7. Meanwhile, place the squash on the trivet, lock the lid in place, and close the seal valve. Press the Cancel button and reset to Manual for 5 minutes.
  8. When the cook time ends, use a 10-minute natural release.
  9. Top each squash quarter with 1 teaspoon of light butter and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar and sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Serve alongside the meatloaf.

Serves 4; ¼ meatloaf (170 grams) and 1 squash wedge (149 grams) per serving

Recipe reprinted with permission from Quarto Publishing Group.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.