Meatloaf is my Friend

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I have never, and I mean never liked meatloaf (just ask my sister)! I’m sure it has something to do with the texture, or that it seems like a lump of meat on my plate.

I still remember my mother forcing me to eat it. And to make matters worse, she once covered a meatloaf with mashed potatoes ((shudder))! So I can honestly say, that for over 20 years, I did not eat meatloaf.

About a year ago I had an unfamiliar craving for meatloaf (no, I was not pregnant!). My curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to try and make a meatloaf I could eat.  It had to be flavorful, make me forget I was eating a “lump of meat” and it had to be gluten and grain free.

I scoured over meat loaf recipes on the internet and was intrigued by mini-meat loaves cooked in a muffin tin. Naturally I did what any other food explorer would do, I made up my own recipe!

In hindsight I’m really lucky this worked out considering how long it had been since I had actually eaten meatloaf! Turns out I did good, as my son and husband (my hubby’s not to fond of meatloaf either) loved them and ate many!

So here’s my recipe.  I’ve included some variations.  This way you won’t feel like you’re eating the same meatloaf if you decide to make it 2 weeks in a row.

Mini-Meat Loaf (gluten and grain free)
2 lbs. ground beef (or meat of choice) (I only buy grass fed)
1/2 cup diced portobello mushrooms
1/2 cup diced onion (either yellow or red, not a sweet onion)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 eggs
3 oz cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
Your favorite BBQ sauce
Oil to spray on your muffin tin (I use olive oil)

Preaheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray your muffin tin with oil.  Place ground beef in a large bowl.  Add mushrooms, onion, salt, pepper, eggs, cheese and a little over 1/4 cup BBQ sauce.  Mix together well, it’s easiest to use your hands for this to ensure even distribution.  Fill muffin tin with meat, it’s ok if it’s a little high as they shrink a little during cooking.  Make a little indentation in the center of each meat loaf muffin.  Pour a little BBQ sauce in the indentation you’ve made.  raw mini meatloaf

Cook for about 15 minutes, these cook fast because they are small.  They do NOT taste good overcooked!  After they are cooked, carefully remove from muffin tin and place on serving plate (picture above).

Variations: 
For an Italian twist:
2 lbs. ground beef (or meat of choice) (I only buy grass fed)
1/2 cup diced portobello mushrooms
1/2 cup diced onion (either yellow or red, not a sweet onion)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp each dried oregano and parsley (if you have fresh I would add that about 1 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp garlic powder
2 eggs
parmesan and/or mozzarella cheese
Your favorite tomato sauce (“gravy”)
Oil to spray on your muffin tin (I use olive oil)

After putting a dollop of tomato sauce on top I would also top it with a little cheese……oh the deliciousness!

For a Greek twist:
2 lbs. ground beef or 1 lb. each of ground beef and lamb, or 2 lbs ground lamb
1/2 cup diced portobello mushrooms
1/2 cup diced onion (either yellow or red, not a sweet onion)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp  dried oregano (if you have fresh I would add that about 1 tbsp.)
2 eggs
feta cheese
Tzatziki sauce (optional)
Oil to spray on your muffin tin (I use olive oil)

Prepare using directions above.

I like to serve these with asparagus, but of course, any veggie will do.  What’s your favorite veggie to eat with meatloaf?  My kids would say peas please! So, what’s for dinner at your house?

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