The meatloaf: A variety of stories accompany this dish, and I am sure we all have heard them. Be it a horror story of a school cafeteria “surprise” or Luby’s with the grandparents growing up, let’s face it- the meatloaf just doesn’t have a positive connotation for many of us. But, I believe the meatloaf to be an unfairly stereotyped meal across the kitchen tables of America. This injustice has to come to an end! Poor meatloaf has been forced to drag around the terrible experiences of children who never had the joy of tasting an actually delicious meatloaf for far too long. In fact, good meatloaf is no mystery meat surprise. Rather, it is an artfully crafted combination of meat, veggies, and married flavors that melt in your mouth. Give meat loaf a chance, moms, before it’s too late! (Before the art of crafting loaves of meat is lost forever…)
Okay, so the drama could be a little over board, but I am serious when I say that meatloaf is great. I grew up eating meatloaf at least once a week. Juicy and baked to perfection, paired with mashed potatoes and corn. Meatloaf is perfect for hiding what you really want your kids to eat, too. The options are endless. If you want an italian inspired loaf, go italiano topped with one of the previous recipes I posted for hidden veggie sauce. If you want a mexican loaf, go for it. My family was a meat and potatoes family. Thus, I present to you a traditional bacon infused meatloaf. Then, for lunch the next day, wrap up some loaf baked inside a croissant. It’s the perfect way to eat those left overs, and make those kids’ bellies happy!
Bacon Meatloaf: Because What Kid Doesn’t Love Bacon?
-1 lb. of ground beef, chicken, turkey, or pork. (You can even mix for a combination loaf.)
I chose a ½ lb of chicken and ½ lb of pork. (85-90% lean is best for a juicier loaf.)
-1 slice of bread torn up OR ¼ c. of prepackaged bread crumbs
-1/2 c. BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s is my brand of preference.)
-1/2 c. milk (2% is best for this recipe.)
-4 slices of thick honey smoked bacon
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Garlic salt to taste
-Sauteed onion (if your kids allow)
-1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
-1/4 cup of pre-shredded carrots
First, preheat the oven at 350. Then, slice bacon into small chunks. Place defrosted, raw meat in a large bowl- mixing in the seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic), BBQ sauce, milk, egg, Worcestershire, bacon, carrots, and bread crumbs. If you choose to have sauteed onion- which is a necessity for me- place 1 tbsp of oil in your pan, and brown your sliced onion chunks until soft. These mix in like the rest of the ingredients. Place your meat mixture into a loaf pan (sprayed with non-stick). Brush the top with more BBQ sauce for extra flavor. Bake for an hour (or until 170 degrees). Look for a juicy top, and the sauce on top should be browned.
You have to eat potatoes with this meal whether it is mashed, baked, or whipped sweet potato. Creamed mashed potatoes with ¼ cup of low fat cream cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic are to die for. The cream cheese is a simple addition that makes a huge difference, creating fluffy potatoes everyone asks about. Now, we go to lunch!
-Reduced fat croissants (Pillsbury makes some)
-Pillsbury seamless croissant sheet dough (this is easier to fill)
-Left over meatloaf
Simple enough, yeah? When you go to the grocery store for the meatloaf recipe, be sure to grab croissants from the refrigerated section. The following morning, unwrap the rolls, lay a slice of cheddar cheese down, whip out your left over meat loaf, cut up into small chunks, and roll up inside the croissant. Bake accordingly (Only 10-12 minutes). How easy is that to do while the kids are getting ready?
Wrap in foil, and send your kids with a cheddar cheese meatloaf roll to school. Bag some low fat sweet potato chips, and we have victory! Sweet redemption has come. Now, get to saving the kitchen tables of the world one meatloaf at a time, moms.