Meatloaf That’s More Veggie Than Meat
My husband LOVES meatloaf and it is an easy dish to make especially when it is his birthday. Heck, I’ll even throw in some mashed potatoes and gravy to celebrate. If that is all he asks, then I’m off of a big hook…I hate to shop and he is really hard to shop for. That is to say, I don’t know what the latest is in Ham radio equipment, linears, and antennae, plus that stuff is really expensive. So meatloaf it is. (whew!)
With the following ingredients I start chopping and dicing and preheating the oven to 350°:
- 1 small Yukon Gold potato in tiny cubes
- 1 rib of celery thinly sliced
- 1 good size carrot in tiny cubes
- 1/4 of a leek thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup
- 1 onion finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, pulverized to paste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup each of rolled oats and bread crumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon steak sauce (A1)
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- salt and pepper to taste
- a mixture of 1 can tomato paste and a splash of tomato juice
Once the vegetables are chopped and diced, I put them in a skillet with the olive oil and let them cook until the onions are clear and everything is beginning to soften. I remove this from the stove, put the mixture in a pie plate to cool about 15 minutes, then add the oats and bread crumbs and all the rest of the ingredients except the tomato paste mixture. Then comes the fun part…squishing it all together with your bare hands. This must be done until everything sticks together and can be transferred to a loaf pan. I smooth out the top with a spoon taking care to squeeze it into the corners and make it as level as possible.
I bake the meatloaf about an hour, then take it out, spread on the tomato paste mixture, and bake it another 15 minutes. When done, this must rest for a good 15 minutes before slicing. With a plastic bag over my hand, I am able to transfer the loaf from the pan to a platter without messing up the topping but I have to do this quickly, carefully, and right over the platter. Having this flexible non-stick silicone loaf pan really helps.
The mashed potatoes are quickly made with precooked potatoes, milk, butter and salt in a saucepan and mashed with a potato masher. I used a packet of brown gravy mix to make the gravy. I know it’s cheating a little but not too badly. I think using 5 raw vegetables in the meatloaf balances out the whole food equation. I’d rather make my own but there are no pan drippings available.
None the less, the meal is quite enjoyable. Each time I look up at Jeff, he is looking back at me with starry eyes. I think he’s liking the meal a bit. Earlier in the day Julia (enjoying her second snow day in a row) and I baked a chocolate cake for him. After dinner we sing him a happy birthday and enjoy yet another slice of the good life.