Friday, April 13, 2012

Veggie-Loaded Meatloaf

Here is what we had for dinner last night.  Veggie-Loaded Meatloaf. It was a cool spring day and felt perfect for it. Plus, Mr. Hart had also come home the day before saying we should have a casserole or lasagna or something like that for dinner, but that takes planning. So this is what I planned for the next day.
Meatloaf makes me think of childhood dinners. I never liked meatloaf then. My memories of it consist of not quite done white rice mixed with maybe done meat and lots of ketchup on top. Because of those memories, I hadn't even considered making meatloaf in my adult life until this last year.  A lovely cook friend of mine had our family over for dinner and served us meatloaf.  At first thought I really couldn't believe she would serve that to guests! Turns out, after I explained to the girls what it was, it was really good! Thanks for the inspiration to find a meatloaf that our family loves and I am not embarrassed to serve.
 I usually skip the bread crumbs, which makes it a little crumbly, but also gluten free. It is also great because you can substitute veggies you have on hand and not stick to the exact recipe, which I never stick to.

Veggie-Loaded Meatloaf

1 and 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 egg
3 carrots, peeled and shredded
3 stalks celery with leaves, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small red or green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 Roma tomato, chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley
1 cup soft bread crumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Mix together the meat and egg. Add vegetables and mix well. Stir in bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and seasonings. Mix well

Pack mixture into a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 and1/4 hours. Cool slightly before slicing. Makes six to eight servings.