Let’s get this out there. I never grew up eating meatloaf. My mom never made it. My first encounter occurred when I was 7 at the school potluck.
“Mrs. So and So, what is that?” I asked
“Meatloaf dear, surely you’ve had it.” she replied.
“Never heard of it” I said.
“Never heard of it! Well what does your mother make for dinner?” she asked.
“Top Ramen” I replied.
She raised her eyebrow and shot my mother a disapproving look. The look on my mother’s face said it all. She was going to kill me. I had just thrown her culinary skills under the bus. My mother was a wonderful cook and likely could have run circles in the kitchen around the parents at this potluck. Mom didn’t make meatloaf because she was too busy making chicken cordon blue or halibut with a coffee brown butter sauce. But, I liked top ramen and mom had a tendency to give into my whims.
After high school I become a vegetarian and the next 15 years were certainly meatloaf free. Then on my second pregnancy with my son, my vegetarianism went out the window and in came a whole new world of recipes that I had never tried, including meatloaf. I love meatloaf and I love it’s versatility. Beef or turkey? I’ve done both. Maybe meatloaf’s most amazing trait it its ability to hide vegetables within, allowing me to serve them to my children without the usual “Mom, that is DISGUSTING” commentary from my 4 year old. Here is my sneaky recipe….
2lbs ground beef or turkey or both
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 bunches winter greens (about 6 oz), washed, chopped and stems removed
1 small bunch carrots, washed and peeled (see note)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbl Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. On a cookie sheet (one with raised sides) cut a piece of parchment paper to fit. In a nonstick pan, cook winter green leaves with a little olive oil until soft.
Note- The carrots from the CSA are far smaller than anything you will find in the store. They are also thinner. 1 bunch here is equivalent to 1/4 of a bag of carrots you would find in a supermarket. In a microwavable dish, place peeled carrots and 1/2 cup water and cook until tender (approx 5-7 min). Mash or finely chop carrots when cooled.
In a large bowl- beat 1 egg with 1/2 cup grated parmesan, and 2 lbs ground meat. Add cooked carrots and winter greens. Mix well with hands. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Shape meat on parchment paper and cookie sheet into a low rectangle.
Bake for 30 minutes or until juices run clear.
Serve with ketchup.
Serves 2 happy kids and 2 parents with leftovers