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Monday, July 13, 2009

Variation on a theme of Meatloaf

Meatloaf is something I make pretty much once a month. But I never make it the same way twice. It changes with the seasons or my whims or by what's on sale at the market. My grandmother's recipe called for a blend of ground pork and ground beef. I usually use a blend of ground turkey and ground chicken. I sometimes still use beef if it is on sale; my next experiment will be using ground cooked lentils which I have heard works well in some ground meat recipes.

Meatloaf Variation 1: Just like Mom used to make
Mix ground meats together (about 1.5 pounds total) add chopped onion, garlic, and celery. (These veggies, especially in concert have proven anti-cancer properties). I then add montreal steak seasoning and worcestershire sauce, some seasoned bread crumbs, and 2 beaten eggs. Place in a well greased loaf pan (or one lined in foil) and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Variation 2: Use this super-straightforward type of meatloaf as a base and use any or all of these ways to trick it out. Include different veggies, such as carrots (well diced), chopped tomatoes, shredded zucchini, or anything else you have on hand. This is a great food to "hide" extra nutrition in as the ground beef is super kid friendly and the tiny bits will not be noticed. You can use oatmeal instead of bread crumbs. I have even used smashed blueberries in meatloaf with none the wiser. Some ground cold pressed flax seed will just disappear in here as well.

Meatloaf Variation 3: Make either type of meatloaf (or your own mystical blend) and pack meatloaf into individual well greased cupcake/muffin pans. These cook quicker than a whole loaf, maybe 40 minutes? Turn them out onto a plate when baked. Everybody gets their own individual meatloaf. My daughter once requested a cupcake for dinner, frosted with macaroni and cheese and topped with a propellor. I made these meatloaf cupcakes, "frosted" with super cheesy sticky mac and cheese and sliced bacon into thin strips to create the propellors. What can I say? She had gotten a GREAT report card and I did say she could have anything she wanted for dinner.


  1. lentils are actually a great meat substitute! You can make kick-ass veggie burgers with 'em.

  2. I really want to try that! I like veggie burgers a lot, but have yet to find a good at home recipe for them. Do you have one you could share with me? Or a source for recipes you could point me towards? Thanks!