Friday, October 3, 2008


In my opinion, meatloaf is a grossly underestimated food. Growing up, my insanely picky brother* and I loved meatloaf! If friends were over and heard that was what we were having for dinner, they'd crinkle their noses. When it was on the school lunch menu, everybody would groan.

I didn't get it! My mom's meatloaf was so good. We'd have a thick slice at dinner and meatloaf sandwiches afterwards as leftovers.

Then, one day I tried everybody else's meatloaf. The typical ketchup baked on top and sometimes gravy served on top meatloaf. Gross. I got it now.

So why was my mom's so good?! Because, I guess, technically it isn't meatloaf! Have you ever heard anybody say they don't like meatballs? Me either- and my mom makes a big ole meatball in loaf form.

I used a pound of ground sirloin and added the usual meatball things- an egg, breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic and tons of Italian spices. I also added some worcestershire (yes, I did just look up how to spell that) sauce because I love the flavor it adds. Nothing has measurements, I can't explain it. You just know how much of each to put in. The only difference between my meatball and meatloaf recipes are to omit the worcestershire and add about double the amount of breadcrumbs for meatballs than I do with meatloaf.

With Johnny's whey allergy, I had to tweak a bit. Instead of traditional breadcrumbs, I've been using Kellogg's corn flake crumbs. I did just find panko breadcrumbs do not contain whey and bought a bag. I will be trying them in the future when the corn flake crumbs run out. No sense in opening two things at once.

He also has a problem with parmesan cheese, so I've been putting in a small handful of mozzarella that melts and gets ooey-gooey. Slim-Shoppin's Jennifer just posted about nutritional yeast in her blog and I am going to try this!! It is vegan, so wouldn't contain whey, and dairy-free eaters use it over pasta, popcorn and other snacks because it has a "cheesy" flavor. I'm hoping this has the potential to become my parmesan substitute!

Mix all the contents together, plop into the pan and form into a loaf. I usually use the extra space around the dish to put some potatoes and carrots, but today I did something a little different, leaving Mr. Meatloaf to bake solo for once.

I have potatoes and carrots on hand, but I also had celery and a half of an onion I wanted to use up. I thought I'd do a much bigger vegetable dish and use any leftovers in the near future. You can always find something to throw mixed veggies in - eggs, stir fry, etc. I just cut everything up into one or two bite chunk sizes and threw it in a casserole dish with a splash of olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic and onion powder. Mix it up a bit and you're ready to go!

I put foil on both and am baking in a 350° oven for about an hour. REALLY easy clean-up. I throw my cutting board and casserole dishes in the dishwasher so it was just: a knife!

Now, for some more entertaining parts of the dinner-making process:

While I was shaking all the spices into the meatloaf bowl Corky, the dog, decided to bark at me. My dog rarely barks, and if he does it's at something outside, but there he was- barking at me over and over. I couldn't take it, so I had to hook him outside for the duration of dinner prep. This is him really confused and wanting to come back in.

Then, I get back to work and feel somebody staring at me. It was the cat, Poe. Seems like both pets want to be uncooperative today. This is him perched on our dining room table. We rarely eat there, but I'd still prefer it not become a pet bed!!

And for your amusement, Johnny got these this summer. He's not nearly as comfortable in the kitchen as I am. He follows every recipe to the T, including setting the microwave timer to cook Ramen noodles and actually getting out a teaspoon to measure vanilla extract (just dump it in!). These were right up his alley and now he can make sure everything is accurate.

*more on him later.


Nowheymama said...

I love good meatloaf.

Anonymous said...

I tried to "hide" veggies into my hubbies meatloaf a while ago. I thought if I chopped them really fine he wouldn't notice - until after the second slice, he said "are those carrots??!!" Apparently they didn't cook all the way through and were crunchy!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Christina,
Your Grandmother & I (your Mother) have decided you need your own show on tv!
Love, us!