Audrey is a cook who loves creating new flavors by tweaking recipes to include healthier ingredients.
Experimenting With Meatloaf
This is a standard meatloaf recipe that I experimented with. My first attempt was one I got from a high-fiber cookbook, but the result was way too dry.
The second time I made it, I decided to throw out the recipe and make up my own—and add Greek-style yogurt. That was just enough to get the moisture back into the meatloaf, and the result was perfect!
- 1 pound leanest ground beef (substitute ground chicken, ground turkey, ground pork, etc. Ground turkey from the breast, though, will be quite dry so add extra yogurt)
- 1 small onion chopped finely
- 1 egg or substitute 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute
- 1/2 cup of non-fat Greek-style plain yogurt
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup of oat bran
- 2 tablespoons flax seed
- Dash of Worcestershire sauce
- Add more yogurt if the mixture appears dry
- Vegetable or olive oil spray
- 1 medium-sized can of petite diced tomatoes (drained for topping)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 - 9 inch loaf pan with vegetable or olive oil spray.
- Combine all ingredients EXCEPT the petite diced tomatoes or whatever topping you are using.
- Mix well. It should have a cohesive consistency and not be too dry or too wet.
- Turn into prepared pan and smooth out (or do freestyle or cook in other pans as noted).
- Place petite tomato slices on top of the meatloaf, so they cover the top of the meatloaf and cover with foil loosely.
- Cook for 1 hour or until the appropriate temperature is reached (see below).
I take a cake tester and poke tiny holes in the top of the meatloaf after I've placed the tomatoes on so that some of the extra juice runs into the meatloaf, but it is fine without doing that.
Also, you can substitute regular oatmeal or quick-cooking oats for the oat bran.
- The idea sometimes is to do things quickly and do them simply.
- When I do a meatloaf, it is with the idea that I'm making dinner, but that I'm usually also making more for the rest of the week and/or sandwiches.
- I use the temperature and time in the oven to also cook a baked potato - even if we only eat half, we still have another left over.
- Or cook a squash such as an acorn or butternut in a separate shallow dish covered with foil.
- By combining all three things in the same baking session, I have effectively made an entire dinner, or I have cooked a couple of extra items at the same time.
- Serve the meatloaf with roasted potatoes and a salad or a vegetable and a baked potato.
- Some people like to cook a meatloaf in a square or round pan - or a pie plate. You can also mound the meatloaf on a cookie sheet and cook it that way as a loaf or free form.
- Cook as mini loaves. If you do, cut the cooking time in half.
- Add diced vegetables for another tasty variation (example: carrots and celery).
- Internal temperature should be 160 for beef and pork.
- Internal temperature should be 175 for chicken and turkey.
- Always let meatloaf stand for 15 - 20 minutes before cutting for dinner.
Other Meatloaf Culinary Variations
- Use steel-cut oats (1/2 to 1 cup) for a very dense meatloaf. This type of oatmeal absorbs a lot of liquid, so the loaf should be fairly moist when it hits the pan.
- Add various herbs such as oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, and tarragon.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 tablespoons vinegar for a BBQ-flavored meatloaf.
- Substitute mushrooms for topping or use cream of mushroom soup for topping or a mixture of both fresh and mushroom soup thick "gravy."
- Add different shredded cheeses in small quantities.
- Add chopped drained tomatoes to the recipe and add more on top.
- Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the top and sprinkled with a little bit of balsamic vinegar.
- Add some chopped spinach to the meatloaf mixture and bake.
Summing It Up
Because a recipe is high in fiber doesn't mean it has to be unpalatable. This is a great way to introduce added fiber to your diet and not even notice it!
Adding vegetables to the mix is also an excellent way to add extra fiber to this recipe or just plain oatmeal.
I added the flax seed because I figured since it was meatloaf, we would never even know it was there!
© 2010 Audrey Kirchner