Our Favorite Meatloaf Recipe

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When it comes to comfort food I’m a huge fan. Lucky for my waistline my hubby doesn’t share my love for comfort food so we don’t really indulge in it too often, however, the one thing I do require that we eat on occasion in order to satisfy my comfort food fix is meatloaf. I love a good meatloaf, partly because I love anything that you can put ketchup on (lol) but also because it’s kind of an all-in-one type meal (since I include lots of veggies in mine). That being said I have tried out a lot of recipes for “the loaf” (as my hubby refers to it, ha) trying to find one that would magically convert J to a meatloaf lover like me. While I am still yet to have him go ga-ga over a plate of meatloaf this recipe below is the one that I’ve had the most success with. I am a huge fan of this recipe because I was successfully able to use beef with a lower fat content and still achieve a nice moist meatloaf! Additionally I include lots of veggies and top it a special glaze (that is also great on chicken!) that yields a yummy caramelized crust. I am also happy to report that this recipe was baby P approved 🙂

Baby P enjoying some meatloaf for lunch! Did I mention it makes great leftovers? :)

Baby P enjoying some meatloaf for lunch! Did I mention it makes great leftovers? 🙂

 

INGREDIENTS

FOR MEATLOAF:

  • 1.5 lbs. lean ground beef (I used 93% lean)
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow or white onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

FOR GLAZE:

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • juice of half of a lemon
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

Step 1: Begin by dicing your veggies, then heat about 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a pan and add onion, garlic, peppers, zucchini, thyme and a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until just soft, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool.

Step 2: In  a bowl combine beef, pork, parsley, eggs, panko, parmesan cheese, ketchup, salt, pepper and cooked veggies. Mix by hand until just combined, don’t over mix.

Step 3: To make glaze combine all ingredients and mix together, set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a sheet pan covered with parchment paper form meatloaf into a log (mine was about 10″ long), baste with some of the glaze and bake for about 1 hour, basting again halfway through cook time. Once meatloaf has finished cooking, allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

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I serve mine with mashed potatoes, yumm!!!

 

Adapted from Food Network

Gnocchi with Sausage & Spinach

Alas, yet another recipe that I didn’t document with pictures, lol. Thankfully this one is pretty easy to explain sans pics, so I will do my best. I came up with this one as a result of having picked up some gnocchi on my last Trader Joe’s trip. The best way to describe this recipe is as a healthy, non-soup version of Olive Garden’s “Zuppa Tuscano”, which is one of my absolute favorites (but I bet I wouldn’t like it as much if I got my hands on it’s nutritional info. lol). While this recipe isn’t totally guilt free (turkey sausage is still sausage, haha), it is significantly healthier than it’s inspiration and is a nice hearty meal when you’re craving some Italian comfort food 🙂

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Package regular potato gnocchi
  • 4 links hot Italian turkey sausage or about 1 lb. ground turkey sausage
  • 10 oz. cut leaf spinach (fresh or frozen, I used frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups Cauliflower “Alfredo” 
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

DIRECTIONS

Step 1: Begin by preparing your Cauliflower Sauce according to the link above. I make big batches and keep it frozen in my freezer (it freezes well!). When finished set to the side.

Step 2: Heat olive oil in pan. Remove sausage from casings and discard casings, add sausage to pan and break into small pieces. Since my sausage didn’t contain any fennel seed I added some to give it a more authentic sausage flavor. 

Step 3: While sausage is browning, prepare spinach and gnocchi (gnocchi will only take a few minutes to cook in boiling water). If you are using frozen spinach prepare it according to package directions (stovetop or microwave). Once the spinach has cooked make sure you squeeze it using either a dish towel or paper towel and strainer to rid it of any excess liquid. If you plan to use fresh spinach simply wait for the sausage to finish browning, then add it to the pan and allow it to wilt, stirring constantly.

Step 4: Add spinach, gnocchi and cauliflower sauce to pan with sausage and stir to combine allowing all ingredients to heat through, then remove from heat. Enjoy!