Friday, May 4, 2012

Meatloaf for Two

Dave's lunch, leftover meatloaf.
The last few years all my kids were home they were big eaters.  All my kids are tall (I don't know where that came from, I'm so short) and teenagers are just never full. One night Joe, our oldest, got up from the dinner table after having thirds, went to the fridge and opened it, looking for something to eat.  I asked him, "Joe, there is more to eat at the table. Aren't you full?" 
He answered, "No, Toni, sometimes I just not as hungry as other times." 
So for dinner I always cooked for quantity and stretching a dollar.  One of the few meals everyone could agree on was meatloaf so we had it a couple times a month.  It was wonderful when we had moose because it was practically a free meal.

Notice how sunny it is?  We have over 17 hours of sunlight now!  Makes for a bad picture though.
After the last of the kids moved out, it took me a little while to get used to cooking for only two.  One Sunday I spent the afternoon in the kitchen, as usual.  Dinner time rolled around and I set the table with two plates and set out the 10 lbs. of mashed potatoes (yes 10, my boys would eat them all), 6 lb. meatloaf, 3 cans of green beans (my husband's favorite) and two loaves of homemade bread.  Dave and I sat down to dinner, I looked at all the food and our two little plates and burst into tears.  I really don't like that empty nest thing.  So I had to do some things differently, like learn how many potatoes to boil for mashed potatoes for two and how to deal with a whole meatloaf, even if you don't use 6 lbs. of meat.  One of the very smart teachers at my school (thank you Laura) suggested making meatloaf muffins and I did that but it is hard to make meatloaf sandwiches with muffins shaped meatloaf.  I bought this 4 mini loaf pan and use it for meatloaf now.  It works great.  One mini meatloaf is good for dinner and Dave's lunch the next day.  Then I can freeze individual mini meatloaves for another dinner or sandwiches.  The trick is to cut it the long way and the slices are perfect for sandwich bread and look the right size on the plate for dinner.
My handy-dandy 4 loaf stone for meatloaf.
olive oil for sauteing 
1 onion, chopped small
1 pkg. sliced mushrooms, chopped
2 small/med. zucchini, grated on smallest holes in grater
2 carrots, grated on smallest holes in grater
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb. ground meat, (moose)
1/2 lb. ground Italian sausage (moose)
1 egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. steak sauce, and more for top (optional)

Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Add chopped onion and mushrooms into skillet with olive oil and saute until softened, add graded zucchini and carrots cook about 3-5 minutes more.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute.  Take off heat and let cool.  Add vegetable mixture to ground meat, sausage, egg, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce and steak sauce.  Mix well.  Shape into loaf pan or mini loaf pans or muffin pans. Bake large loaf for about 45-50 minutes, smaller pans 25-30 minutes and muffin pans 20-25 minutes.  With 5 minutes of cooking time left, top with additional steak sauce and return to oven to finish.  Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

By adding the cooked veggies you add a lot of flavor and some moistness, important for lean moose.  It also allows you to use very lean burger and not have a dry loaf.

Add what ever veggies you have/like.  Sometime I add frozen chopped spinach or diced bell pepper.

Mini meatloaves for the freezer.

May   4, 2012     Daylight  17 hours,  28 minutes,  40 seconds     Current Temp.  49 ºF

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