Mar 11, 2012

The Cleaner Plate Club - Meatloaf Florentine

My 5 year old likes to remind me that he is a "carnivore."  He loves meatloaf and I love how easy it is to sneak a few vegetables in.  This recipe contains lots of spinach and fresh herbs, but he didn't seem to mind at all.  I found this recipe a bit odd, in that it makes 2 meatloafs (16 servings).  The cookbook also suggests meatballs Florentine as a variation.  I made one meatloaf and 24 meatballs for later in the week.  This was an excellent time saver, but my family preferred the meatloaf.  I served this with the apple cider braised Brussels sprouts, which was a great accompaniment.

I have found the BEST way to make meatloaf is to take it out of the oven about 15 minutes before it is finished, cover it in mashed potatoes (or a "potato blanket"), and put it back in the oven to finish up.  Adding some chopped parsley adds some color.  My kids love it! 

2 T evoo
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 lbs ground meat (beef, turkey, buffalo, pork, lamb, or a combination)
1/2 c roasted tomatoes (there is a recipe in the cookbook) or 6 ozs sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
1 1/2 c chopped fresh herbs (primarily basil, pus some rosemary, thyme and sage)
2 eggs, beaten
1 c bread crumbs
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c ketchup
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 350

Heat the evoo in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Saute the onion and garlic until soft and light golden, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl, add all the remaining ingredients, and mix together to combine thoroughly. 

Divide the meatloaf mixture in half.  Place in two loaf pans sprayed with non-stick spray.  Bake uncovered for 60 minutes, until cooked through and a meat thermometer inserted into the center reads 180.

(Makes 2 meatloafs, 8 servings each)

For meatballs:

Shape meat mixture into meatballs.  Bake the meatballs on a baking sheet for 10-15 minutes, until cooked through.  (Freezes well).


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