Friday, November 13, 2009

weeknight meatloaf with veggies

I usually make a lot of cutesy things that involves swirled frosting. Frosting does indeed comprise the bottom of any balanced food pyramid, but one cannot live on frosting alone.

Meatloaf is not something I grew up eating. Actually most things I cook are not. But it really is an easy, delicious weeknight meal that can be spun in creative ways, much like my beloved risotto. This whole thing takes me about 10 minutes to put together and then it's really just a matter of letting it cook in the oven while I whip up a salad. What could be easier?

As an aside: meatloaf is usually made with worcestshire sauce. I thought I had some, but I didn't. Great story, I know. I compensated by using a combination of brown sugar and soy sauce, which I think tasted great. That's the good thing about simple cooking, substitute with abandon! Does not translate in baking though.

Easiest Meatloaf

1 lb lean ground beef
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 tsp basil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon fennel
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add oil to pan, saute onions, garlic, peppers and mushrooms several minutes until tender.
2. In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, veggies, and seasonings. It's really that easy, just mix everything together.
3. Spoon mixture into bread pan. Cover top with ketchup.
4. Bake 35-40 minutes. Slice and serve.

I happen to have a lot of spices, and I happen to love cumin and fennel. Don't be intimidated if you don't have these. To be honest, just put whatever you have into it. Then let me know how it was. It was probably good.

11:53. Just made it. And I already miss Erin. Treat her well, England, you hear me?


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