With the start of the New Year, I’ve been thinking a lot about the direction of my blog and how to best present all of the interests, recipes, happenings, goings on and musings that encompass my life and may be of interest, benefit or encouragement to those of you who are so kind to stop by now and again.
Where to start? How about … meatloaf. It is always good to start with the basics.
Actually, I am really starting with a new category “Favorite Family Dinners”. I love to try new dishes and am always looking for new recipes but for regular weekday cooking, where I need to get a healthy and yummy meal on the table for dinner quickly and easily, I have a several go-to favorites.
And yes, meatloaf or “meat stuff” as my 8-year-old used to call it is definitely a favorite around here. “Mommy, can you make that meat stuff? I really like that stuff.” Anytime I hear something like that from one of my kids, a mental note is made and a sticky note is triumphantly placed in the cookbook.
Meatloaf. I know, it can be scary, bringing up images of bad cafeteria fare dry and smothered in cold brown gravy. There was a time when my husband swore he hated meatloaf (this is the same mid-western boy who hates casseroles) but this meatloaf is so yummy, even he has been won over. Here’s the really good news; it is a healthier version of traditional meatloaf. The recipe comes from Ellie Krieger’s cookbook “The Food You Crave”;
but of course, I have made some modifications according to personal taste so I will give you the link to the original recipe and then share with you what I do.
First, I don’t usually make it with turkey. I use lean ground beef because we like the flavor better but ground turkey is a great option.
Ellie calls for the addition of red bell peppers and chopped onion. I omit the peppers and saute the onion until it has a little bit of color and is softened up. Then I throw in a minced garlic clove, which is not in the original recipe, and saute for another minute or so. Let the onions cool before putting them in the meat mixture.
I love Worcestershire Sauce so I add an extra splash (or teaspoon) beyond what the recipe calls for. I mix with my hands, being careful just to incorporate and not over-mix which can make the meatloaf tough.
I shape it into my favorite meatloaf dish and then
top it with the tomato sauce and thinly sliced onion – but only on one side as I have little people who still think onions are gross. Please don’t tell them about the onions concealed within the meatloaf.
Bake for about an hour and voila …
Here is why I love this meatstuff, I mean loaf …
It is moist, tender and flavorful despite being lower in calories (only 205 per serving if you use turkey and lean beef doesn’t add a lot). The oatmeal is the perfect binder (whole grain and good for you) and pretty much disappears into the finished product but helps make it very moist. I love the tomato sauce on top rather than ketchup as it is a little more subtle and has great flavor.
I serve the meatloaf with either mashed potatoes (or smashed – skins on) or baked potatoes and my favorite frozen green beans from Archer Farms. The only other thing I can recommend is to sit down at the table with your family and enjoy it together!
Give it a try. And, as always, be sure to let me know what you think. Even better, try it your way and tell me what you did to change it up a bit. I’d love to hear from you.
Future Favorite Family Dinners to watch for … Chili Stacks, Flank Steak, Pesto Grilled Chicken and Roasted Loin of Pork.