Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Lighter old fashioned meatloaf

Springtime Summertime seems to be in full swing around these parts, and I'm totally on board!  The will-it-or-won't-it weather of spring is not my jam, so I'm loving these super sunny and nearly-hot days of the past week plus.

This weekend, Matt planted cherry tomato seedlings and transferred the flourishing basil to bigger pots.  I'm so, so, soooooooooooo excited to devour the fruits of his labor.  Homemade pesto!  Fresh salsa!  Basil cookies!  And, my oh my, caprese salads.  I could legitimately eat the classic combination of tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella every day for the entire summer.  I love it!

Alas, it isn't yet technically summer for another month, and those little seedlings aren't ready to feed us.  But my appetite has switched over to summer mode, and I'm craving fresher dinners.  Like meatloaf!

Yes, meatloaf.  Bet you didn't think that meatloaf could be fresh and light, huh?

While I won't deny loving the stick-to-your-ribs quality of a good hearty meatloaf, it can feel a bit heavy sometimes and, understandably, doesn't get much love in the warmer months.  But, I'm not here to ramble about the meatloaf you don't want to enjoy, so let's get to the one you're going to love!

This classic meatloaf utilizes extra lean ground beef and gets so much flavor from fresh peppers and onions, tomatoes, and heart-healthy oats.  The simple sweet and tangy (and made from only 3 ingredients!) sauce on top keeps the lean meat moist and tender.  I'm keeping this sauce in mind the next time I make chicken tenders.  Finger-lickin' good!

Just like the meatloaf.  Somehow the addition of mashed potatoes and no-frills peas and green beans made it a very man-friendly meal.  I opted for peas and green beans and a spinach salad as sides with my meatloaf.  A light summer meal that's satisfying for both sexes?  That's most definitely a miracle in our household!

One year ago: Barbeque chicken pizza
Two years ago: Homemade strawberry sauce topping
Three years ago: Strawberry coffee cake muffins

Old-Fashioned Meatloaf
(adapted from Paula Deen's recipe)
-serves 4-5

A few notes: This would make a great freezer meal.  Simply omit sauce and bake covered with foil for indicated time.  Cool completely in pan, slice and freeze.  To serve, reheat in microwave and top with freshly made ketchup/dijon/brown sugar sauce.

1 pound extra lean (95/5) ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 egg
8 ounces (1 cup) diced tomatoes with juice
1/4 cup oats
1/3 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a large bowl, combine beef, salt, pepper, onion, pepper, egg, tomatoes, and oats until well mixed.  Press into a 8-by-4-inch loaf pan and smooth top.  In a small bowl, stir together ketchup, sugar, and mustard.  Spread ketchup mixture on top of meatloaf mixture, covering completely.  Cook for 60 minutes.  Remove and cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Slice, serve, and enjoy!

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