Growing up, meatloaf was a regular part of our dinner rotation. It was comfort food that only got better when the leftovers reappeared in a meatloaf sandwich. I have reinvented “Mom’s meatloaf”, lightening up on the amount of beef used and replacing it with ground chicken, and a garlic-bean paste. If you don’t eat beef, replace the beef with ground turkey or more ground chicken. If you don’t like garlic, use more onion or add shallots for more flavor. This recipe is quite forgiving so you can improvise based on your preferences and what you have in the fridge and pantry – chopped bell peppers, tomatoes, bread crumbs, etc. Or you can keep it just the way it is – simple and tasty!
Yesterday, I had made the bean paste that required for the meatloaf. You don’t have to make it ahead of time, but I had a minute and “crossing things off my list” always makes me feel good.
I believe things happen for a reason, and I was pleasantly surprised when my son commented on how good things smelled in the kitchen. On a whim, I warmed up some of the garlic-bean paste and spread it on some teriyaki rice crackers for his afterschool snack. He LOVED it and asked for more! A healthy and delicious snack! (Keep that idea in your bag of tricks!)
Dinner prep was easy tonight. I pre-heated the oven to 350 and quickly put the beef, chicken, and garlic-bean paste together and formed a loaf. (My son had some more of the garlic-bean paste on crackers today just before I put it in the meatloaf mixture…) I put it in a lightly sprayed loaf pan, topped it with tomato paste, and popped it in the oven. I cut a tomato and portioned it across the plates. My broccoli was already cooked from the night before so I just had to warm it up just before I took the meat loaf out of the oven.
As the meatloaf cooked, I drove a quick carpool and worked with my daughter on a project she is doing for school. The aroma filled the house and everyone was asking when dinner would be ready. My daughter was only too happy to set the table and we sat down to eat!
Two thumbs up! My daughter, the ever-critical judge, gave the meatloaf a 10! My son gave it a 9, and my husband a 10. I thought it was delicious and began dreaming of the meatloaf sandwiches that were in my future!
1 15 oz. can or other shelf stable container of White Beans
½ of a 15 oz. can or other shelf stable container of Black Beans
5 Cloves Garlic, minced or pressed – include the garlic membranes if pressing
1 lb. Ground Chicken*
1 lb. Ground Beef*
1 small onion, diced – or purchase pre-chopped onion
5 oz. of tomato paste (buy smallest can and use it all)
Olive or canola oil spray
1 Bunch Broccoli**
1 t Salt
1 T Basil
1 T Oregano
1 T Minced Onion
*You can substitute turkey or pork for chicken and beef – be sure to modify your shopping list accordingly.
**If you made all the broccoli yesterday, you have saved yourself some time. Just warm it up for today!
Ahead of Time:
Mash white and black beans with 5 cloves of minced or pressed garlic (throw in garlic membranes if pressing). Store in fridge until ready to use.
Side Bar: Snack opportunity! Warm a small portion of bean and garlic mixture and spread on rice cracker or other cracker. My son loves this as a snack on teriyaki rice crackers!
Pre-heat oven to 350
- Lightly spray loaf pan with olive or canola oil.
- Mix bean-garlic mixture, ground chicken, ground beef and diced onion in a bowl.
- Form mixture into a meatloaf shape and put in loaf pan.
- Top with tomato paste.
- Pop in oven for 1 – 1.25 hours, until meatloaf starts to pull away from pan. (Like in baking)
- Wash and slice tomato, portioning across 4 plates.
- Wash broccoli and cut into small florets.*
- Sprinkle with 1 t Salt, 1 T Basil, 1 T Oregano, 1 T Minced Onion.
- Catch up on the mail, help kids with homework, drive a carpool, call your mother – you can relax for a while!
10. Place broccoli in oven for about the last 5 minutes of the meatloaf’s bake time, stirring broccoli around just before you take the meatloaf out.
11. When meatloaf starts to pull from the sides of the pan, remove from oven – let rest for 5-10 minutes.
12. Remove broccoli from oven after about 10 minutes, when broccoli stems can be easily pierced with a fork.
- 13. Portion meatloaf and broccoli and serve!
14. This is not the way your mother made meatloaf, but it is really delicious!
- Put the meatloaf together ahead of time, place in loaf pan and store in fridge until ready to use. All that is left to do is pop it in the oven. Because it will be cold, you might consider putting the meatloaf in the oven earlier – during preheating.
- Wash and cut the broccoli up to two days before.
*If you made the broccoli in yesterday’s meal, skip broccoli preparation steps. You just have to warm it up!