So tonight was a night of experimentation in the kitchen. I was having a bash at the quinoa mac n cheese I mentioned yesterday and the second was another attempt at meatloaf.
I’ve made meatloaf many times before and my family have never been impressed, so I decided to try a version of my own. Before I post the recipe for the meatloaf, I really got to tell you about the mac n cheese quinoa.
I had reservations about this dish, firstly, I’ve never had quinoa before and I wasn’t entirely sure I’d actually like it, secondly as I’ve never had it, obviously I’ve never cooked with it, so I was a little nervous incase I ended up with some gloopy porridge concoction. I shouldn’t have worried though, it was really simple to follow the original recipe, but I admit I did halve it just to be on the safe side. The only tweak of my own to this recipe were as follows – I used a mix of quinoa and bulgur wheat as this was what I was able to purchase in a local store. Otherwise I would have had to source the quinoa from a specialist store. (Hey I live in Northern Ireland, we’re not exactly exotic or anything here!) I also added some mozzerella pearls to the top as I felt this would give a nice chewy texture to the final dish and boy was I right!
This recipe is totally a keeper, it’s light, it’s healthy (well reasonably, if you use reduced fat cheese I suppose) I will be making this again. Only thing to do now is see how it freezes for bulk cooking purposes.
So next, the meatloaf, I didn’t set out with a particular recipe in mind . I will admit to having gotten a a few ideas from watching Diners, Drive ins and Dives though
and I just kinda went with the flow. It totally worked!!! Even the picky small child who previously went ick at meat loaf, wolfed this down! It’s also a great way to sneak veggies into your kids if you wanna be real sneaky
Here’s the recipe…….
500g lean mince
2 small or 1 large carrot
2 small or 1 large courgette
1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant oats or quick cook oats)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon mixed herbs
2 cloves garlic
For the marinade:
4 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
A little south west sauce (only if you have it to hand, if not omit)
Combine these in a separate bowl, mix well to ensure no lumps in the ketchup.
Pre heat your oven to 1750 celcius, 350 o farenheit
Using a food processor chop all the veggies in batches, do this so you don’t have a sludgy soupy mess.
If you don’t have a food processor, just grate the veggies.
In a large bowl, combine meat, veggies, oats egg, salt, pepper and herbs.
Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap
Pack the loaf pan with the meat mix, pressing down well to ensure no air pockets and that the meat all sticks together. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil. Place this over the loaf pan and invert. This allows you to have a really neat shaped meatloaf with minimum fuss and mess!
Remove plastic wrap and paint half the marinade mix over your meat loaf.
Place in pre heated oven for 1 hour.
After 30 mins paint meat loaf with remainder of marinade and return to oven for a further 3o mins.
When meatloaf is cooked, remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes. This will make the meatloaf easier to slice and allow the sauce to cool to a less blistering naplam heat!
Serve with sides and sauces of your choice.
I had hoped to have loads of this left to freeze for future bento lunches, but small one decided it was too good and ate a huge slice! This would also be perfect to make in small individual loaf shapes for bento purposes.I think I will try that next time
Feel free to tweak the herbs, spices and seasoning to suit your own individual taste