Meatloaf with Secret Veggies

I’m so excited to share my very first dish here on HealthHearthHome.com! This recipe is such a hit, that I get requests to make it at least once a week. Sometimes I think that in order to be special,  a meal has to be fancy. Meatloaf turns that notion on its head. This dish is down to earth, budget friendly and can satisfy a crowd.

Ingredients:

2 lbs grass fed ground beef or grass fed ground lamb

1 organic egg – lightly beaten

1/2 medium organic onion

3 medium organic carrots

3 stalks organic celery

1 slice sourdough rye bread

1 tsp pink Himalayan salt

1/2 tsp  fresh ground pepper

1/2 tsp organic thyme

1/2 tsp organic ground cumin

2 Tbs organic parsley chopped fine

1 C. Paleo Ketchup 

Yield:  4-6 servings

Before we get started, I want to share a few notes on ingredients. I chose a classic trio of carrot celery and onion for the secret veggies, because they are inexpensive and almost always available in the organic section of most grocers.  I call these the Transition Trio. Click to read about how to start the transition to organic with these affordable nutritious veggies.

A great thing about meatloaf is that most any veg will work well in this dish. Try adding bell peppers or Anaheim chilies, if you like it spicy. Grated summer squash, or cooked spaghetti squash have worked well. I love this dish with mushrooms and eggplant too!

This is the perfect opportunity to use up leftover veggies,  or that last bit of something in the back of the crisper. If you are using a vegetable that releases a lot of water when cooked, like broccoli or squash, steam or bake it first so your meatloaf comes out firm and dry.

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees and gather up all your ingredients. If you don’t have stale bread on hand, put a slice in the oven now. By the time the secret veggies are prepped, the bread will be crispy and ready to run through the blender.

If you are thinking ahead a bit, have a slice of bread ready to set in the oven when you turn it off the night before. That way when you go to cook dinner tonight, your bread will be dry as a bone and ready when you are.

Wash all veggies thoroughly, unless you are working with pre-cooked veg like spaghetti squash or broccoli.

Shred the carrots on a grater, using the largest holes. This is a great job for kids. My nephews love to help in the kitchen and it’s never too early to get kids involved in healthy eating habits.  If they are too young for the grater, have them help wash up!

Slice the celery lengthwise before chopping for a finer dice.

Dice the onion as fine as possible. If you leave the root end on, you can use the grater for the onions in this recipe as well. I had half an onion lurking in the fridge all trimmed up and naked, but like I said, use what you’ve got!

Chop up the parsley and run your stale bread through the blender or crush it up with your hands straight into the mixing bowl.

Add your salt, pepper and spices. Mix thoroughly.  

 

Add the ground meat and the egg. You can make a cavity in the meat to beat the egg with a fork, or use a separate dish, like I did here.

It’s time to get your hands dirty!

Dig in and smoosh the meat and egg all around until all the ingredients are mixed evenly. Form the meat into a loaf and place it in a baking dish, slightly larger than the loaf. You don’t want the meat to get stuck to the edges of the pan.

If you are feeding a crowd, 2 lbs of meat and all that veg will make the perfect main dish. I’m cooking for two and as much as we love meatloaf,  having it for leftovers eventually gets old.

 

I took a 1/3 of the mixture and formed it into balls for Spaghetti Squash Alfredo and Meatballs the following night.

Bake your loaf at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Pour on the ketchup to glaze and bake for another 30 min.

Always be sure that your meat is cooked through by using a thermometer. The center of your loaf should read 165 degrees F or higher when finished.

I served my Meatloaf with Roasted Golden Beets, a chopped kale salad and Creamy Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes. YUM!