Any type of Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf is possibly one of my favorite childhood foods. Although traditionally made with beef and/or veal, I have come to love my loaf as ground chicken meat in my adult life.
There are various ways to use meatloaf for healthy eating. I sneak in veggies, mushrooms, and more every time I make this. The picky eaters are usually so happy with the flavor and texture that they will not notice the other things added.
However you choose to meatloaf, let me know; I am always up for a new version.
P.S. I will also use homemade mushroom gravy in this. Stay tuned.
2 LBs. Ground Meat ( if you are eating, you can use 1lb. or feed an army as many as you would like. Adjust the below accordingly!)
1 Medium Onion chopped up fine
2 Medium Carrots chopped up fine
1 Pepper (Any kind that does not have a lot of heat. I like Plablano, and my mom uses sweet red.) Chopped up fine (NO SEEDS if you are using pepper with heat)
1/4 C. stock or water
Coconut Flour, bread crumbs, almond flour, wheat flour (Optional)
Salt & Pepper
Fresh Tomato Sauce ( from my previous recipe or whatever you have on hand.)
Start by pre-heating your oven. For example, I like to brown my meatloaf, so I start by turning the oven on to hi broiler. This also effectively pre-heats the stove to cook at 350 later on.
Start by heating your sauce and leave it on a burner somewhere, staying just below boiling.
Depending on how much meat you make, take a glass baking dish deep enough to cover your loaf in the sauce without boiling it over the edge. Then I like to use olive oil to coat the inside of the dish to prevent any burning, sticking, or mess-making.
You will need a large bowl to mix everything in. I start by putting the meat, the eggs, and salt & pepper in the bowl and mixing it evenly. Then set aside.
In a frying pan, use more olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan and toss in your chopped onions, carrot, and pepper. Use the stock (or water) to get the veggies to a soft consistency, not browned. Cool slightly, then add to the larger bowl of mixed-up meat.
With the meat and veggies mixed up together, this is where there is an option to use gluten. Sometimes ground chicken or turkey is watery, and the coconut flour is something I use to firm up the mix. As I will eventually finish the meatloaf in a sauce, I like it to be firm. My mother uses nothing but Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, but I’m not so into the glutens. The option is up to you and is not always needed. It is a Chef’s Choice. :)
Take the meat mixture and place a ball into the greased glass dish. I then mold it into a loaf shape in the glass dish. Cover lightly with olive oil, and slide into the oven to brown under the broiler.
The next important part. When the meatloaf is nice brown on top, pull it out and leave it on the stovetop for 10 minutes. After that, we will add the sauce to the meatloaf and finish cooking; if you use any cold liquid in a hot glass dish, it will explode; hence why we leave the sauce under boiling on the stove somewhere. (Yes, I once did this and lost the whole dinner).
Turn the oven to 350 degrees F.
Slowly add the sauce to the meatloaf, cover it in aluminum foil, and slide it back into the oven.
In about 30 minutes, or when you can see that the sauce is boiling, pull out the meatloaf and check with a thermometer to ensure the entire loaf is at 150 degrees F for beef or different for your choice of meat.
Remove the foil and cut the meatloaf into slices (I like thick slices myself). I do this right away as I enjoy finishing the meat juice and sauce together. In about 10 minutes from cutting, I serve over mashed potatoes, rice, or spaghetti squash.