1. Food

Sneaky-Veggie Meatloaf

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A generous helping of minced carrots and mushrooms add bulk to this meatloaf so you’re not eating as much meat, and you’re able to benefit from the nutrients and fiber of the vegetables. Best of all, picky eaters who claim to hate vegetables won’t even realize they’re there! I like to buy really good-quality organic or grass-fed beef; it’s worth the small upcharge. Because of the added ingredients, this recipe makes two loaves, each of which could feed 3 to 4 people. It freezes well so you can save one loaf for another meal. Just defrost it overnight in the refrigerator and heat it for 30 minutes or until heated through in a 350˚F oven.

Special Cooking Equipment Needed: Food processor, large skillet, small and large mixing bowls, wooden spoon or spatula, baking sheet, pastry or basting brush, instant read thermometer

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings (2 loaves)

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon ketchup, divided
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray. In a food processor, pulse the carrots until they’re in small chunks. Add the mushrooms and process until everything is finely chopped, but before the mushrooms turn into a paste. Set aside. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 plus 1 tablespoon ketchup and 1 tablespoon brown sugar, set aside.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, mushrooms and salt and sauté an additional 5 minutes, until softened and the mushrooms have given off liquid. Continue cooking until most of the liquid has cooked off, a total of about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a large mixing bowl and let cool, stirring occasionally to speed the process. When the mixture is no longer hot (warm is fine), stir in the egg, the remaining 1/4 cup ketchup, mustard and Worcestershire sauce.

  3. Add the meat and the panko breadcrumbs, and stir with a spoon or clean hands until completely combined. Shape the meatloaf mixture into a two long loaves on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with the ketchup-sugar mixture. Place in oven, cook for 45 minutes to an hour, until the internal temperature reaches 160˚F. Slice and serve immediately, or let cool in the refrigerator, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and freeze.

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