In hindsight that sounds kinda dirty. Oh well. Sorry mom! Aaaaaanyway…I realized that my blog is heavy on the carb-y side and wanted to put something up here that was a great base for an every day meal. I’m trying to get a lot of protein, and I’ve seen recipes for turkey meatloaf muffins fly around. I think it’s a great idea. Make your meatloaf in a muffin pan and then you have easy to see servings all premade for the week. In my case, it’s also helpful that I can make them a couple ways using one good base recipe. I am a leftover hater. I’ll do it, and sometimes its great, but a lot of times whatever it is sits in my fridge and my brain goes “yuck” every time I look at it, no matter how amazing it was the first time around. I am also so burnt out on “meat-veggie-small carb” meals that if I see another one I’ll run away (I’m not a screamer….more of a hider). Chicken-salad-sweet potato just isn’t doing it for me. Truth be told, I don’t like chicken so much any more because…it’s leftovers to me. It’s every day, all the time, and gosh darn it I need something else. Here’s where I came up with this recipe. AND found out that you can indeed put meat in your Magic Bullet and get a great meatloaf base.
I had over a pound of 99% lean ground turkey, but I wanted to be able to split this and do other things with it. I also had a very lean pork tenderloin that was staring at me going “I’m anooooothher booooring slaaab of meeeeaaat. Beeee afraaaaaid.” Or, you know, whatever other scary things a non-appetizing pork tenderloin would say. I have tons of frozen chicken breast (frozen chicken breast just says “I’m boring.”) too, so that part was simple. I took 1/2 a pound of the tenderloin, and a large defrosted chicken breast and trimmed them very well. I cut them into large chunks and then did the tenderloin as a test. It worked great. Chicken went in…also great. I ended up with 2 lbs, 4 oz of ground meat. Yaaay! Being on a budget, this was a big money saver for me. Ground meat can be so expensive, especially to get it extra lean like I want it. I usually buy the leanest meat I can on special, so this is a great way to stretch your dollar a little further as long as you don’t mind the actual process of meat in a blender.
Here’s the meatloaf base:
2 lbs, 4 oz extra lean ground meat (I’m sure 2 lbs-2.5 lbs would be just fine)
1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
3 egg whites
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp worchestershire sauce (I CANNOT for the life of me say this word. I’ve attempted it and it’s the one word in the English language that makes me giggle every time)
Mix it all up by hand (gross but it is the most effective way) and then divide it in half. Put each half in it’s own bowl with enough room to mix and add more ingredients.
First meatloaf I did: Apple-Fennel with Prunes
1/2 cup chopped granny smith apple
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1 chopped celery stalk
4 minced prunes
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp ground sage
2 tsp dried fennel
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
This one was sweet and had deep fennel-y flavors (refer to the pizza…I ❤ fennel) and just a hint of spice behind the sweetness. I liked it a lot, although I wish I’d put in more apple and a teaspoon or two more worchestershire. All in all, delicious. The prunes added just a hint of something different and blended so well with the other flavors. They also add moisture, which is great in a meal based on very lean meat. You could take this one and serve it with potato (experiment with different kinds…sweet potato, purple potato, heck you can use cauliflower!) pancakes and unsweetened apple sauce and it’d be super delicious.
Meatloaf #2: Spicy Red Bell Pepper-Veggie
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (my cup was a little overflowing, but it was delicious in the end)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped yellow squash
1/4 cup chopped zucchini
1 heaping tsp paprika
1 heaping tsp garlic powder
3 dashes cayenne
Extra salt and pepper to your liking
This one was also awesome. It’s chock-full of veggies and spice (I may add more spice next time, but I’m always cautious with a first attempt…better to underspice than over). You could serve this with salsa to dip it in and it’d be great. Or slice avocado on top.
And here’s how they look (yummm…the final product, not the ground meat…):
For either recipe, preheat the oven to 375. Mix everything up (wash wash wash your hands, before, after, and inbetween mixes) and use 1/2 cup measuring cup to scoop your mix out into muffin tins sprayed with cooking spray. I got 9 of the veggie, 8 of the apple, probably simply because there was more “stuff” in the veggie. I’m going to add an additional 1/4 cup of apple to the apple recipe next time I make it, so that will likely even out. I baked mine for about 40 minutes, but depending on your pans and your oven it may take less. Check on them at around 35 minutes. The tops start to brown and they pull away from the sides of the tin when they’re done. They also go from pink to white.
All in all, this was a great experiment. I’ve now got 15 (I had to eat one of each) muffins to get me through the week and two very different flavors to tackel my leftover snootiness. It’s a perfect base to take and make your own, as many ways as you can think of. I might try a center cut bacon, spinach, tomato one next with minced garlic and tomato sauce on top. Mmmm. The possibilities are really endless and it’s a very good-for-you meal!