Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Tag Archives: Meatloaf

Serve this dish with your favorite sides. I had leftover potato salad and greens beans so I used them as sides for the meatloaf.

Ingredients

1 cup milk
1 ½ cups plain panko breadcrumbs or 4 slices of bread crumbled
2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chili sauce
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with a rack placed in the center.

In a large bowl, pour milk over breadcrumbs or bread; stir until combined and let soak, about 5 minutes. Add beef, pork, onion, garlic, chili sauce, parsley, Parmesan, eggs, 11/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using your hands, mix until combined; do not overmix or the meatloaf will be dense.


Gently pat into a log and place it in a greased baking dish or large loaf pan.
Bake 60-75 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 160 degrees.
Remove the pan from the oven; let rest 5 minutes and slice each into 3/4-inch-thick slices.


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Chilly weather makes you think comfort food. Meatloaf sure fits that description. I like to make meatloaf interesting by incorporating lots of different ingredients. In this meatloaf I added mushrooms, onions, mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce.

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Cheese Filled Meatloaf

I have a double meatloaf pan that allows for the fat to drip through and, therefore, the meatloaf doesn’t sit in fat while it cooks.

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Ingredients

2 lbs lean ground beef
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup dried breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black cracked pepper
1 teaspoon Italian dried seasoning
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
¼ cup minced onion
2 garlic cloves minced
3/4 cup homemade marinara sauce or store-bought, divided
½ lb small mozzarella balls, also called pearl mozzarella

Directions

In a skillet sauté the onion, mushroom and garlic in the olive oil until fully cooked about 10 minutes. And allow to cool.

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Fold the vegetables into the meat along with the breadcrumbs, egg, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce. Mix well.

Place 1/2 of the meatloaf mixture into a loaf pan, Then scatter the cheese balls over the meat and cover with the remaining meatloaf mixture.

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Spread the remaining marinara sauce over the top of the meatloaf.

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Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 90 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

After the meatloaf has roasted for 30 minutes put the potatoes in the oven to cook alongside the meatloaf.

Ingredients

10-12 fingerling potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper

Directions

Place the oil, garlic and oregano in a small baking dish. Add the potatoes and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Turn the potatoes so they are coated in oil and herbs.

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Bake in a moderate oven for about an hour or cook them in the oven with whatever meat or poultry you are roasting.

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Sautéed Green Beans with Parmesan Cheese

Ingredients

1 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound green beans, stem ends snapped off, beans cut into 2-inch pieces
Salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add the beans, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add water, cover, and cook until beans are bright green and still crisp, about 2 minutes more. Remove cover, increase heat to high and cook until the water evaporates, about 1 minute.

Transfer green beans to a serving bowl, toss with lemon juice and cheese and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.


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Italian Style Meatloaf

This dinner can serve 8. Less and you have plenty of leftovers or the makings for a few sandwiches. I add lots of vegetables to my meatloaf and, of course, lots of Italian flavors. Meatloaf freezes well and I usually cut extra slices off the loaf to freeze individually to use at a later date. Just defrost overnight in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

  • Half a sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups tomato (marinara) sauce, divided
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (I use grass-fed beef)
  • 1 cup Italian flavored dried bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs, beaten slightly
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the beef, eggs, vegetables, bread crumbs, 1 cup of the tomato sauce, seasonings and parsley with your hands until thoroughly mixed.

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Form into a loaf and put into a rectangular baking pan with 2-inch high sides.

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Bake the meatloaf in the oven for 1 hour. Pour the remaining 1 cup of tomato sauce over the meatloaf and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.

Return the dish to the oven just until the cheese melts.

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Oven Roasted Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs small red potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Spread the olive oil out on a baking sheet. Add the diced potatoes, salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary. Toss well and spread the potatoes out into an even layer.

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Bake in the oven at the same temperature and for the same amount of time as the meatloaf.

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Sautéed Zucchini and Fennel

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cubed
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Heat the oil in a small skillet. Add the garlic and fennel and saute until lightly brown.

Add the zucchini, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the zucchini is tender.


Cooking over an open fire is the oldest cooking technique known to man and it’s still one of the most universal. This popular style of cooking, with its smoky flavors and mouth watering aromas, offers endless opportunities to create a world of satisfying and delicious beef dishes.

Basic steps for successfully grilling some special cuts of beef.

Flank Steak

This lean, flavorful cut of beef can be tough and stringy if not cooked correctly. It is often marinated and should be cooked medium-rare. Slice flank steak into thin pieces across the grain to serve. Sometimes, London Broil, a thick cut from the top round or sirloin, is also called flank steak.

To grill flank steak:

Prepare grill for direct cooking.

Sprinkle both sides of the flank steak with salt and black pepper.

Place the steak on the grill.

Grill steak, covered, over medium-hot heat 10 minutes for medium-rare or until desired doneness is reached, turning halfway through the grilling time.

Use tongs to turn the steak. Piercing with a fork will release the juices.

Use tongs to transfer steak to a carving board. Thinly slice beef across grain, holding knife at 45-degree angle to cutting board.

Skirt Steaks

This long, thin cut has always been a Latin American favorite and is the traditional cut for fajitas. Like flank steak, it is lean and full of flavor. Skirt steak should be grilled over high heat to medium-rare and cut across the grain into thin slices.

To grill skirt steaks:

Flatten skirt steaks to tenderize and insure even cooking.

Place steaks between pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with the flat side of meat mallet to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut each steak in half. Marinate steaks, if desired.

Prepare barbecue grill for direct cooking.

Brush steaks with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place steaks on preheated oiled grill.

Grill steaks,  uncovered, 6 inches from heat 3 minutes for medium-rare or until desired doneness is reached, turning once.

Hamburgers and Cheeseburgers

Made with 1 pound ground chuck, ground round or ground sirloin.

To grill hamburgers and cheeseburgers:

Prepare grill for direct cooking

Form seasoned ground beef into thick patties, about 4 inches in diameter.

Keep your burgers relatively thin so they cook evenly and quickly.

Place burgers on preheated oiled grill.

Grill burgers, covered, over medium high heat 8 to 10 minutes for medium or until desired doneness is reached, turning halfway through cooking time.

If you’re making cheeseburgers, place 1 slice of cheese on each burger to melt during last minute of grilling. If desired, place rolls, cut sides down, on grid to toast lightly during last 1 to 2 minutes of grilling.

Meat Loaf

Made with 2 lbs ground chuck, ground round or ground sirloin.

To grill meat loaf:

Prepare barbecue grill for direct cooking.

Shape meat loaf mixture into an oval loaf 1-1/2 inches thick, about 9 inches long and 5 inches wide.

Shape the meat loaf on a cutting board or cookie sheet so you can carry it out to the grill.

Place loaf on preheated oiled grill.

Grill meat loaf, covered, over medium-hot heat 10 minutes.

Carefully turn meat loaf over using 2 large spatulas.

Brush meatloaf with BBQ sauce, if desired, and continue to grill, covered, 10 to 12 minutes for medium-well or until desired doneness is reached. Using an instant-read thermometer, insert it into center of the thickest part of the meat loaf and it should register 160 degrees F for medium-well. Let meat loaf stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Steak Kabobs

 Boneless top sirloin or beef tenderloin are the best cuts for kabobs.

To grill steak kabobs:

Cut steak into 1-1/4-inch pieces. Marinate, if desired, reserving some of the marinade to use as a basting sauce.

Prepare grill for direct cooking.

Drain beef, if marinated. Alternately thread beef pieces and choice of vegetables onto skewers. Use reserved marinade to baste kabobs.

Thread beef cubes on skewers with vegetables that will cook in approximately the same amount of time.

Place kabobs on preheatedoiled grill.

Grill kabobs, covered, over medium-hot heat 5 minutes. Brush with reserved marinade, if using; turn and brush again. Discard remaining marinade.

Continue to grill kabobs, covered, 5 to 7 minutes for medium or until desired doneness is reached.

Boneless Beef Roast

Some boneless beef roasts are naturally tender. Others, such as brisket, tri-tip and chuck need extra steps (marinating or sealing in foil) to make them tender. Long, slow smoking is often recommended for brisket.

To grill boneless beef roast:

Prepare barbecue grill for indirect grilling with a rectangular metal or foil drip pan placed under the grates on the indirect side of the grill.

Insert meat thermometer into the center of thickest part of roast.

Place roast, top side down, on grill directly over drip pan.

Grill roast, covered, over medium heat 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until thermometer registers 150 degrees F. for medium-rare or until desired doneness is reached.

Two tools that help make grilling a whole roast practically foolproof are a foil drip pan and a heatproof meat thermometer.

Transfer roast to a carving board; tent with foil. Let stand 10 minutes before carving.

Tri-Tip Roast on the Grill 

The tri-tip roast holds its own as one of the most tasty and also under-appreciated cuts of beef. The term “tri-tip” is derived from the fact that the tri-tip roast is triangular-shaped and it is the tip of the sirloin. Up until the 1950′s, this very lean cut of beef was typically made into ground beef. If not sliced thin and against the grain, it can be quite chewy, so it was just easier to grind it into burgers. Our friends out in California are credited with changing all of that when the tri-tip itself became a local specialty in Santa Maria. It was so popular that the tri-tip roast is still occasionally labeled the “Santa Maria Steak”.  Since there are only 2 tri-tips on each steer, it actually is a little harder to come by in some supermarkets or areas of the country these days. Another sign that the tri-tip has come a long way since its ground meat days.

Use a simple rub and cook slowly over an indirect heat source for best results.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tri-tip roast
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Combine the rub ingredients together thoroughly and then rub a generous amount over all of the surfaces of the tri-tip.

Leave the rubbed-down roast on the counter at room temperature for about 45 minutes before cooking.

Light your grill and prepare for indirect grilling. This means lighting one side of the grill on high, while leaving the other side unlit. If you are using a charcoal grill, pile the coals to one side of the grill.

Once the grill is hot and ready, place the tri-tip roast on the hot side and sear for a few minutes on each side.

After you have seared all sides of the roast and have the color you like on the outside, move the tri-tip over to the cool side of the grill and then close the lid.

Each tri-tip roast and grill is different, so you really need to use a meat thermometer to make sure the roast is cooked to perfection. To most, that means medium-rare, or around 140 degrees. Remove the roast at 140 degrees, which will allow the temperature to rise about 5 degrees while it rests.

Remove it from the grill and let it rest on a platter for 10 minutes.

Slice the roast thin and against the grain for maximum tenderness.

Rotisserie Roast Beef

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 5 lb rump roast
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Gravy directions below

Directions:

Combine the seasoning ingredients and rub all over the rump roast.

Thread the roast beef onto the rotisserie, right down the middle and make sure you secure it with the forks so that the spit is locked into the rump roast.

Configure your grill’s rotisserie per the owner’s manual.

Make sure you place a pan under the roast to catch drippings,

Turn on the rotisserie motor.

After about an hour, check the internal temperature of your roast with a meat thermometer. As a reference point, a 4.5 pound rump roast takes about an hour and a half on a rotisserie.

Roast the rotisserie beef until the desired doneness (medium-rare is 140 degrees.) Remember that the roast will continue to cook for a little while once removed from the heat, so take it off about 5 degrees shy of your desired temperature.

Remove the rotisserie roast beef from the grill, place on a platter and cover with aluminum foil to rest for about 15 minutes.

While the roast is resting, make a rue using 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of flour. Stir in the roast beef drippings and 1 cup of beef broth Stir until thickened.

Carefully remove the rotisserie spit from the roast and slice thinly, against the grain, for maximum tenderness.

Beef Kabobs with Peppers and Onions

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound top sirloin or beef tenderloin
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 2/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

If you are using bamboo skewers, start by submerging them in water using a dish or a paper towel to hold them underwater. Let them soak for 30 minutes. Use double skewers as it makes it easier to turn without having the ingredients spin on the skewer. You can use two bamboo skewers or double prong skewers.

Marinade

In a stainless or glass bowl large enough to hold the meat, add the wine, salt, sugar, paprika, black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Mix the marinade. Optionally, you can marinate the veggies in Italian dressing. Cut the steak into 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch cubes. Add the cubes to the marinade bowl. Let it rest for 2 hours in the refrigerator Then remove it from the refrigerator and let it come back to room temperature and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Skewer Kabobs

Cut the onion in half and then cut each half into quarters. Cut the peppers open and clean out the seeds. Cut them into 1 inch squares (or close to square as you can).

Alternate meat between onions and peppers, as they add great flavor to the meat while cooking. After assembling the kabobs, brush some oil on the skewered meat and veggies at this point, to keep them from sticking.

Prepare the grill

If using gas, heat the grill on high for 10 minutes prior to cooking. If cooking on coals, it is best to use natural hardwood charcoal. Add enough coals to cook over a high heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

Grilling

Place the kabobs on the hot grill directly over the flame or coals. Keep the lid open. Grill for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating 90 degrees every 4 minutes, until the meat is cooked to desired level of doneness. Remove the kabobs from the grill and let them rest for 3 or 4 minutes before serving.

Yogurt and Rosemary Marinated Grilled Beef

Serves 8

Marinade:

  • 1 6-ounce container fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds sirloin or round steak

Directions:

In a bowl, mix yogurt, buttermilk, garlic, rosemary, mint, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Place steak into a large zip-close plastic bag. Pour marinade into bag and make sure it covers all the surfaces. Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator 24 to 48 hours, turning the bag over from time to time.

Heat grill to high. Take the beef out of the refrigerator and remove from the marinade. Scrape the marinade off the roast and discard. Let the steak rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then grill over high heat about 5 minutes each side. Lower heat and continue cooking, turning from time to time, until beef reaches desired degree of doneness. Let beef rest about 10 minutes, covered with foil. Slice across the grain and serve.

Barbecued Meat Loaf

Serves: 8 to 10

MEAT LOAF

  • 1¼ pounds ground beef (80% lean)
  • 1¼ pounds ground beef (93% lean)
  • 2 cups Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

SAUCE

1/2 cup bottled or homemade barbecue sauce or make one of my recipes from the post: https://jovinacooksitalian.com/2013/05/14/a-bbq-sauce-for-every-occasion/

1/4 cup ketchup

Directions:

In a large bowl using your hands, gently combine the meat loaf ingredients.

Divide the meat loaf mixture in half and form into two loaves, each about 4 inches wide and 6 to 7 inches long. Place the loaves on a sheet pan.

Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium-low heat (about 350°F).

In a small bowl mix the sauce ingredients. Set aside half of the sauce to serve with the meat loaf. Top each meat loaf with 3 tablespoons of the remaining sauce and coat thoroughly.

Brush the cooking grates clean and oil them.

Using a metal spatula, gently pick up each loaf from the sheet pan and place directly on the cooking grate.

Grill the meat loaves over indirect medium-low heat, with the lid closed, until a thermometer inserted horizontally through the top of each loaf registers 155°F, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove the loaves from the grill and let rest 10 to 15 minutes. Once removed from the grill, the loaves will continue to cook, allowing them to reach the recommended 165°F for ground beef.

Cut the loaves into thick slices and serve with the reserved sauce.

 


Fontina is considered to be one of the world’s best cheeses. Its nutty, creamy flavor is appreciated everywhere.

Fontina Italian cheese is a table cheese as well as an excellent cheese for cooking. It is favored the world over for both its versatility and its taste. It also appeals to a wide variety of people because of its smooth and nutty taste. Fontina cheese is perfect in a wide range of recipes because it melts more evenly and smoothly than many other cheeses.

Mountain peacefullness - photo courtesy of Val d'Aosta Tourist Board

Val d’Aosta – Situated in the northwestern tip of the country, Valle d’Aosta is Italy’s smallest region. Its borders with France are marked by the highest mountains in Europe: Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa, the Matterhorn and Gran Paradiso, making it a favourite destination for winter sports lovers.

In Italy, fontina cheese has been made in the Val d’Aosta area since the 12th century. In 1957, a consortium of dairy producers and cheesemakers joined together to protect the cheese, and they created a stamp for Fontina cheese and the cheese is stamped with this mark if it meets the standards that have been in place since 1957. Traditionally, Italian fontina cheese has a slightly flowery, summery flavor, thanks to the diet of the cows which are used to produce it. The cheese is also aged longer than other varieties, and it can get quite hard. Italian fontina also has a dark brown rind, which gets darker the longer that the cheese is aged.

To preserve the fresh natural taste of the whole, raw milk from which Fontina is produced, the cheese making process is done within two hours of milking. Once it is made, it is shaped into various forms and braids. The Fontina is then aged under proper humidity and temperature conditions to give the finished product the unique taste that this cheese is known for in the culinary world.

Aosta Valley Fontina

The intervention by man is daily: it needs constant care to make Fontina. The forms are turned over every day, alternating one day for salting and one for brushing. The scrubbing serves to take away from the crust the layer of mould due to the natural fermentation and to make the crust humid. The approximate period for maturing is 3 months.

In terms of color, fontina cheese ranges from ivory to golden yellow. It is produced in rounds and its texture is smooth and firm. All fontinas must be made from cow’s milk. As a general rule, the milk is usually raw, and the best fontina cheese is made from milk which is as fresh as possible. The interior of the cheese is classically riddled with very small holes. The milkfat content is usually around 45%, so the cheese tends to be very rich and creamy, with a nutty flavor that gets stronger with aging. Since the cheese  melts very well,  it is included in fondue and similar dishes.

There are two other cheeses that are similar to fontina in both taste and appearance. These are fontinella and fontal. However, neither are produced in the Aosta valley, so they cannot be called fontina.

Caring for Fontina Cheese

Fontina should be refrigerated. The open cut on the cheese should be protected with tightly fitting plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Kept this way, it should last between four and five months. As it is stored, however, you can expect it to age naturally and become more pungent.

Among its many uses, fontina is a traditional table cheese in Italy. It is served alongside other table cheeses, such as gorgonzola, along with crusty Italian bread, fresh fruit, black olives, and perhaps some crisp raw vegetables.

When selecting fontina cheese in the store, look for an evenly textured piece without discoloration. Older Italian cheese may have a strong aroma, but young cheese should have a relatively neutral flavor. An Italian fontina stamped with the mark of the consortium will have a high quality, although it may cost more than imitations of the cheese made in other parts of Italy and the rest of the world.

Fontina is a wonderful cheese to use in addition to mozzarella on a pizza. It’s smooth texture and tangy flavor make a delicious topping for any gratin, and this creamy cheese also melts nicely into soups, chowders, pasta or sauces.

For a twist on the traditional grilled cheese sandwich, substitute Fontina Cheese for Cheddar or American the next time you make one. A croissant with ham and Granny Smith apple slices can be heated with Fontina Cheese for a unique sandwich idea. Even such simple dishes as baked potatoes or macaroni and cheese can be enhanced by the addition of Fontina.

Breakfast

Chive and Fontina Frittata

 Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs and 1 cup egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup lowfat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons butter or Smart Balance spread
  • 3 ounces shredded Fontina cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In medium bowl, with wire whisk or fork, mix eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Stir in diced tomato and chopped chives.

In nonstick 10-inch skillet with oven-safe handle (or wrap handle with heavy-duty foil), melt butter over medium heat. Pour in egg mixture; sprinkle cheese on top of egg mixture. Cook 3 to 4 minutes until frittata begins to set around the edge.

Place skillet in oven. Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until frittata begins to set and knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Serves 4.

 

Lunch

Pesto and Roasted Eggplant Pizza

 

 Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Cut peeled eggplant into 1/2-inch thick slices; cut each in half crosswise. Brush baking sheet with 2 teaspoons of the oil; arrange eggplant in single layer on top. Brush with 1 tablespoon more of the oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, turning halfway through, for about 30 minutes or until dark and tender. Raise oven temperature to 500ºF.

Spread the pesto over the pizza dough; sprinkle with Fontina cheese. Arrange eggplant over top, then tomatoes or spread pizza sauce over eggplant. Drizzle remaining oil over tomatoes.

Bake in bottom third of the oven until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden and slightly puffed.

 

 

Side Dish

Brown Rice With Cheese

Ingredients:

  • Salt
  • 1  1/2 cups brown rice, rinsed well
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup grated fontina cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper.

 Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it as you would to cook pasta. Add rice and stir. When water returns to a boil, lower heat and cook rice until tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain in a fine colander.

2. Put butter in the same pan and turn heat to medium. When butter melts and just begins to turn brown, add rice and toss together. Stir in Fontina cheese, Parmesan, along with salt and pepper.

Yield: 4 servings.

 

 

 

Dinner

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Greens, Beans, Pancetta, and Garlic Bread Crumbs

For a vegetarian entree, leave out the pancetta.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices fresh Italian bread (about 3 ounces), crusts removed and torn into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons), divided
  • Table salt
  • 3 ounces pancetta or proscuitto, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium onion , diced small (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1  1/2 pounds kale (loosely packed) or swiss chard leaves, thick stems trimmed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces and rinsed, water still clinging to leaves
  • 1  1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans , drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 pound whole wheat spaghetti
  • 4 ounces fontina cheese , coarsely grated (about 1 cup)
  • Ground black pepper

 Directions:

1. Pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add bread crumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is fragrant and bread crumbs are dark golden brown, about 1 minute. Season bread crumbs with salt, transfer to small serving bowl, and set aside. Wipe out pan with paper towels.

2. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in now-empty pan over medium-high heat, add pancetta, and cook until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer with slotted spoon to a paper towel. Do not wipe out pan.

3. Add onion to pan; cook until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add remaining tablespoon garlic and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.

4. Add half of the greens to pan; using tongs, toss occasionally, until starting to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add remaining greens, broth, and 3/4 teaspoon salt; cover (pan will be very full); increase heat to high and bring to strong simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, tossing occasionally, until greens are tender, about 15 minutes (mixture will be somewhat soupy). Stir in beans and pancetta.

5. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven over high heat. Add spaghetti and 1 tablespoon salt; cook until pasta is just barely al dente. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add greens to pasta, set over medium-high heat, and toss to combine. Cook until pasta absorbs most of the liquid, about 2 minutes. Add fontina; adjust seasonings. Top with garlic bread crumbs.

 

Turkey Meatloaf with Fontina and Mushrooms

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 small leeks, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced, washed, and dried thoroughly
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup shredded fontina cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1 slice day-old bread, processed into large crumbs
  • 1 large egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1  1/2 pounds ground turkey (93 percent lean)

 Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Working in batches, cook mushrooms, stirring once or twice, until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes per batch. Season with salt and pepper; transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Return skillet to medium and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add leeks and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add to bowl with mushrooms and let cool.

Add fontina, bread, egg, and sage to bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Mix in turkey, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. On a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, use your hands to form turkey mixture into a 10-inch loaf. Bake until cooked through, about 45 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

 


The history of the American staple – meatloaf – offers more than a trip down culinary lane. It provides a glimpse into how advances in technology have shaped the way we eat and prepare food today. Your grandmother’s hand-cranked grinder, the kind that attached to the edge of a table, was key to meatloaf becoming an everyday dish. Cooks relied on it, particularly in the early half of the 20th century, until butcher shops installed refrigeration units that were able to safely store more perishable chopped meat.

Early meatloaf recipes called for veal, which was less expensive than beef at the time. The meat in one widely published version was first cooked then chopped, blended with other ingredients, molded, then cooked again into a loaf. Recipe history indicates that meatloaf as we know it today – blended with bread or cracker crumbs, egg and seasonings, then baked in a rectangular pan – gradually became popular between 1900 and the 1920s.

Among the most popular early recipes were several created by the Quaker Oats Company using their product as a binder in place of breadcrumbs. Binder is an essential meatloaf ingredient because it creates an even, smooth texture. In addition to whole-wheat breadcrumbs, oats or even cooked rice, it can include a generous amount of finely shredded or chopped cooked vegetables like spinach, carrots or onion. Nutritionally smart, the vegetables help keep a meatloaf moist.

How Meatloaf is Made Round the World

Austria

The Austrian meatloaf version is called Faschierter Braten. Most of the time it is wrapped in ham before baking it. Often it is served with mashed potatoes (when warm) or with a sauce (when cold).

Denmark

Danish meatloaf is called forloren hare, mock hare or farsbrød (ground-meat bread) and is usually made from a mixture of ground pork and beef with strips of bacon or cubed bacon on top. It is served with boiled or mashed potatoes and brown sauce sweetened with red currant jelly.

Finland

Finnish meatloaf is called lihamureke. It is completely based on the basic meatball recipe. The only spices used are salt and pepper. It is not customary to stuff lihamureke with anything. The usual side dish is mashed potatoes, and lihamureke is usually served with brown sauce.

Germany

In Germany, meatloaf is referred to as Hackbraten, Faschierter Braten or Falscher Hase ‘mock hare’. In some regions it often has boiled eggs inside.

Greece

In Greece, meatloaf is referred to as rolo (Ρολό) and it is usually filled with hard boiled eggs, although several other variations exist.

Hungary

Stefania meatloaf or Stefania slices are a type of Hungarian long meatloaf baked in a loaf pan, with 3 hard boiled eggs in the middle, making decorative white and yellow rings in the middle of the slices.

Italy

In Italy, meatloaf is called polpettone and can be filled with eggs or ham and cheese.

Jewish cuisine

In Jewish cuisine, meatloaf is called Klops (Hebrew: קלופס‎) and can be served cold or hot. It is sometimes filled with whole boiled eggs. The source of the word might be German, Klops, meaning meatball.

Macedonia

Rolat is a similar dish to the Arab and South-Asian, kofta. Ground beef is rolled and cooked until brown. It can be cooked with vegetables and various sauces.

Philippines

The meatloaf dish called Embotidot is made of well seasoned ground pork, minced carrots, sausages, and whole boiled eggs. The meat is molded into a roll with the sausages and hard boiled eggs set in the middle. It is then wrapped in aluminum foil (historically, banana leaves) and steamed for an hour. The cooked Embotido may be stored inthe freezer. It is usually served fried and sliced for breakfast.

Romania

In Romanian cuisine, there is a meatloaf dish called drob, similar to other minced meat dishes in the region like the Bulgarian Rulo Stefani or the Hungarian Stefánia meatloaf, the major difference being that it is always made with lamb organs (or a mixture of lamb organs and pork or veal) and the hard boiled eggs in the centre of the drob are optional.

Bulgaria

Rulo Stefani (Bulgarian: Руло Стефани).The Bulgarian rulo Stefani meatloaf is similar to the Hungarian Stefánia meatloaf, with hard-boiled eggs in the middle.

Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, meatloaf is referred to as sekaná ‘chopped’. It is optional to put hard boiled eggs, gherkins, or wienerwurst inside.

Greater Middle East

Kafta or kofta is a similar dish which the mixture can be made into hamburgers and kebabs. It usually has parsley in it.

United States

In 2007, meatloaf was voted the seventh-favorite dish in the United States according to Good Housekeeping.

During the Great Depression, cooking meatloaf was a way to stretch the food budget for families, using an inexpensive type of meat and other ingredients, such as leftovers, spices and cereal grains to stretch the meat.

Meatloaf is typically eaten with some kind of sauce or relish. Many recipes call for pasta sauce or tomato sauce to be poured over the loaf to form a crust during baking. The tomato-based sauce may be replaced with simple brown gravy or onion gravy, but the meatloaf is prepared in a similar manner. Barbecue sauce, tomato ketchup, or a mixture of both tomato ketchup and mustard may also be used. American meatloaf may be garnished with ketchup. Another variety of meatloaf is prepared by frosting it with mashed potatoes, drizzling it with a small amount of butter, and browning in the oven.

Meatloaf is normally served warm as part of the main course, but can also be found sliced as a cold cut. Meatloaf can also be considered a typical comfort food and is served in many diners and restaurants today.

Vietnam

The Vietnamese meatloaf version is called “giò”. It’s boiled rather than baked or smoke.

Some Nontraditional Recipes

A popular recipe for meatloaf that utilizes a package of dried onion soup mix has been around for many years. I used this ingredient for a long time in my meatloaves until I became aware of  how much salt was in each serving – 610 mg. While this mix adds great flavor to meatloaf, it also contains many ingredients you do not want to eat if you are cooking healthy. I suggest you read the nutrition label on this package the next time you go shopping.

So I created my own dried onion soup mix, minus all the salt and preservatives, that I keep in the pantry for just such uses. Here is my recipe, in case you would like to make it. A recipe follows that shows how to include this ingredient.

Homemade Dried Onion Soup Mix

You can double and triple this recipe.

  • 8 teaspoons dried onion flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

 Mix all the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid.

Healthy Turkey Meatloaf

Ingredients:

In mixing bowl combine:

  • 1/3 cup egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup ( 6 oz. can) tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 3/4 cups oats
  • 5 tablespoons of the substitute soup mix
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Steak Grilling Blend                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Directions:

Mix in 2 lbs. ground lean turkey breast. Form into a loaf and place in the middle of a roasting pan.

Mix together the remaining tomato paste, 1 tsp. horseradish, 1 tsp. water and 1/2 tsp agave. Spread over the top of the loaf.

I put a selection of cubed vegetables around the loaf, such as butternut squash, sweet potato or fingerling potatoes, onion and carrots.

Bake in a 375 preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Dinner all in one pan! A 1 inch slice has about 250 calories. If I don’t roast it with vegetables, I sometimes add 1 cup of either shredded zucchini or carrot to the meatloaf mix.

The Best Meat Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 generous tablespoons instant low sodium beef broth powderBuffalo Meatloaf with Spinach and Roasted Baby Potatoes
  • 2 or 3 dashes of hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 lbs. grass fed ground beef or bison

Directions:

Combine eggs, bread crumbs, celery, onion, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, broth powder and seasonings in bowl and mix well.

Add ground beef and mix well. Shape into loaf. Place into 9 X 13 inch baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour.

Crock Pot Meatloaf

8 servings

Cook Time: 8 hours

 Total Time: 8 hours, 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup horseradish
  • 3 tablespoons chili sauce
  • 2 eggs                                                                                                                             
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 cup soft fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 2-1/2 lbs. ground turkey

Directions:

In medium pan, cook onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. Place in large bowl with all ingredients except turkey and mix well.

Add turkey and mix gently just until combined.

Tear off 2- 30″ pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil and fold to make two 2″x 30″ strips. Lay strips in bottom of crockpot in an X pattern, letting the edges hang over the crockpot. Form turkey mixture into a loaf that will fit into the crockpot. Place on top of the foil strips.

Cover crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours, until meat thermometer registers 170 degrees. Drain off fat as needed during cooking time using a turkey baster. Use foil strips to lift meatloaf out of crockpot when it reaches 160 degrees F on a meat thermometer. Cover and let stand 20 minutes before slicing. 

Vegetarian Lentil Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups firm-cooked lentils
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon chopped basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped oregano
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup ketchup                                                                                                                        

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. In a large sauté pan over medium high heat add the oil; when hot, add the onion and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the bell pepper and celery; cook, covered, for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large bowl combine the sautéed vegetables with the walnuts, lentils, rice, cranberries, breadcrumbs, basil, thyme, oregano, eggs, flour and milk. Season with salt and pepper, mix well and then spoon into the loaf pan. Brush ketchup on the top of the loaf.

Bake until firm, about 45 minutes.

Italian Meatloaf Roll with Spinach Filling

Servings: 10

Roll

  • 1 1/2 lbs. extra lean ground beef or ground turkey breast
  • 3/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/5 teaspoon pepper

Topping

  • 1 cup Marinara sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon mozzarella cheese

Filling                                                                                                                                                                            

  • 1 package frozen 10 oz spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

Heat oven at 375 degrees F.

In a bowl combine beef, crumbs. egg, salt and pepper.

Flatten into a 1/2 inch rectangle shape.

For filling.

In a bowl combine, mozzarella cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, garlic powder and spinach.

Cut a piece of foil or wax paper into a 12×8 inch rectangle.

On foil, pat mixture to12x8-inch rectangle. Spread with filling leaving a 1 inch border. Starting at short end, roll up tightly, using foil to start roll and tucking in filling; seal ends. Place seam side down in ungreased 12×8-inch (2 quart) glass baking dish.

Cook for 1 hour. Spread marinara sauce and cheese over top. Bake 15 minutes longer or until thermometer inserted in meat loaf reads 160°F. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Tuscan Meatloaf with Mushroom Sauce

4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 lb lean ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • One 2-in square of Italian bread, crust removed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped prosciutto
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 lightly beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup unflavored bread crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine                                                                                                                               

Directions:

1. Soak the mushrooms in two cups of lukewarm water for half an hour or more.

2. In a bowl, break up the pork with a fork. In a small bowl, combine the milk and bread, and mash until creamy. Add the milk and bread to the meat, along with the onion, salt, pepper, prosciutto, cheese, and garlic. Mix thoroughly by hand. Mix in the lightly beaten egg. Shape meat into a firm, round ball; then roll this into a loaf about two and a half inches thick. Tap with your palm to drive out any air bubbles. Roll the loaf in the bread crumbs until evenly coated.

3. Drain the mushrooms (reserving the soaking water) and rinse them several times in clean, cold water. Chop the mushrooms roughly and set aside. Strain the soaking water through a fine sieve lined with paper towels. Whisk in the tomato paste and set aside.

4. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or heavy casserole pan just big enough for the meat. Brown the meat on all sides in the pan over medium heat. Drain off the fat. Add the wine. Increase heat to medium high. Boil wine briskly until reduced one half, turning meat carefully once or twice. Turn heat to medium low and add chopped mushrooms. Add the tomato paste mushroom water to the meat and mushrooms. Cover and cook at a simmer for 30 minutes, turning the meat once or twice.

5. Carefully remove meat to a cutting board. Allow it to cool slightly and settle. Cut into slanted slices about 3/8 of an inch thick. If the sauce seems thin, concentrate it by boiling rapidly for a few minutes. Pour a little sauce on a warm serving platter, arrange the meat slices, then cover the remainder of the sauce.

“The Ultimate Meatloaf cookbook offers recipes from around the globe, from the All-American Meatloaf to Hawaiian Style to the more exotic Greek, Mexican, Indian and Asian twists. While traditional recipes suit the ever-popular protein diet, this cookbook provides vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, low-salt, and low carb alternatives. Bestselling cookbook author John Chatham provides the authoritative guide on the All American favorites that feature 100 meatloaf recipes from a breakfast to hearty, healthy meals for every appetite and diet plan.”



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