Rethinking meatloaf

Last night’s dinner was pure comfort:

When I was a kid, I absolutely hated meatloaf. Come to think of it- I think I hated all meat (except chicken). God bless my mom, but looking back- she clearly did not know how to cook meat properly- everything was WELL done.. I remember steak and porkchops being tough and bland. I know that my mother has improved her cooking since I was a child, and now even buys grass-fed beef directly from the source instead of that horrible stuff they sell at the grocery store. I hated everything about ground beef when I was growing up- the smell, the texture, the taste… it was enough to make me nauseous. In fact, I don’t think that I ever really started liking hamburgers until a few years ago, when I started eating grass-fed beef. Everything about it tastes completely different to me than what I had growing up, and I buy it directly from a farm in Frederick that uses humane practices and raises their cows on pasture with no hormones or other foreign additives.

Greg and I went to Hedgeapple on Saturday and bought a few different cuts of beef, including a 5 lb. pack of ground beef. The beef is 90% lean (well, technically it’s like 89.5%) but has so much flavor that one would think it had a much higher fat content. I decided that I wanted to make a meatloaf for dinner on Sunday night- something nice and comforting.

A few years ago, I developed this recipe for meatloaf using ground bison instead of ground beef. I’ve made this for company several times, and everyone always raves about how moist and flavorful it is. I had never made it with anything other than bison until last night, but figured it would taste almost identical because the grass-fed beef has the same melt-in-your-mouth texture.

I’m happy to say, it was just as delicious. Look at this cute little loaf! (The ketchup glaze on the top really pushes the flavor over the edge!)

I used 1 lb. of ground beef (to make six portions) so that Greg and I would have leftovers for lunch today (because meatloaf is one of those foods that tastes even better the second day). Greg easily ate two pieces of meatloaf, but one was enough for me:

It was even better served on a bed of baked kale (yummmmmmmm) and a jewel sweet potato.

“Better for you” Meatloaf

1 lb. grass-fed ground beef

1/2 c. ground portobella mushrooms

1/3 c. shredded carrots

1/4 c. chopped onion

2 T Fresh Rosemary

2 cloves garlic, finely diced or minced

1/3 c. cooking oats or oat bran

1 egg (beaten)

1 tsp onion powder

Salt + Pepper (to taste- I used about 1/2 tsp of each)

2 tbsp organic tomato paste

2 tbsp organic ketchup (or more, if you want!)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients together (except ketchup) in by hand  in a large bowl. (I put the onion, carrot, mushrooms, garlic and rosemary into a food processor and chopped them up together.) Transfer and evenly distribute the mixture into a small loaf pan. Bake for 35 minutes (uncovered) on the bottom rack and remove from oven. Spread the ketchup overtop of the loaf and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until internal temp. is 160 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest for 2 minutes before slicing.

I can’t wait to have my leftover piece for lunch today- I bet all of that flavor is nicely absorbed and it will taste even more delicious! (Oh- and I calculated it to be around 5 pts.

For dessert, I had one of these:

When they say “mini” cone, they mean it! What a cute little guy!

Not bad for 70 calories (and 2 WW points), but for my money (er… points), I’d rather have a spoonful of nut butter or a piece of dark chocolate.

What is your favorite comfort food? How do you “healthify” classic recipes?

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10 Comments on “Rethinking meatloaf”

  1. I haven’t had meatloaf since I was a kid, my mom made it often. My favorite comfort food that she made are enchiladas, oh they are so good.

    Those ice cream cones look like they could be eaten in one bite. I’d rather have frozen yogurt or chocolate too.

    I actually just bought a bison pot roast at Costco, it was $27! But it was delicious and I have been wanting to try bison for ever.

    • Lauren says:

      I’m planning on making enchiladas on Thursday! I have only made them once, and it was years ago. I bought a big bag of Masa a while ago to make tortillas at home, and am giving it another go this time.
      And the cones were just a little more than one bite- probably three. Gone way too soon!

  2. Jenny says:

    Just yesterday I created healthy lasagna using tofu “ricotta” and quinoa pasta. It tastes just like lasagna and is sooo easy to make. I’m going to post the recipe tonight!

  3. janetha says:

    I loooove meatloaf! But Marshall doesn’t, so I rarely make it. I think I need to make it soon, though, and he can get takeout 😉 I saw those little cones on someone’s blog and was so sad that I don’t have a TJs! They are so cute!

    • Lauren says:

      If I could mail you some of the cones, I would! But seriously- they’re not that great. I’d much rather just have a scoop of ice cream!
      Maybe if you made Marshall THIS meatloaf, he’d like it……? Just tell him it’s something else. Make up a name. Or call it “meat cake.” 😉

  4. I love meatloaf. Adding mushrooms sounds absolutely delicious. I feel you on the bad meat cooking growing up. I would smother my porkchops in apple sauce and any read meat in applesauce just to add some moisture.

  5. I’m not a meatloaf fan. I’m actually not a huge meat fan at all!! But I’ve made a lentil loaf that is similar to meatloaf…

    I’m all about finding the foods that give me the most bang for my caloric buck!! Check out Artic Zero icecream. It’s only 3pts+ for the entire pint.


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