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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Vegetable Stuffed Meatloaf

One pot meals are generally casseroles, slowcooker dishes, soups, stews and pot roasts. The nice thing about one pot meals is this method frees up time for the busy cook. While the food is cooking other things can be done without worrying about cooking additional side dishes. One pot meals are an efficient use of energy as well something we all need to consider.

I took out a pound of extra lean ground beef from the freezer to thaw on Sunday evening for Monday's dinner. I wanted to try an enchilada casserole recipe I had found. My husband took a look at the recipe giving it two thumbs down so I decided to make meatloaf instead. Not just regular meatloaf, a nice kicked up version!

how to make vegetable stuffed meatloafMethod

This really is a fun way to make a familiar meal taste like a new one simply because it is just a bit different! The ingredients aren't written in stone making this a frugal, budget stretching meal. I made my meatloaf mixture then poured it onto a sheet of wax paper (1). Then I formed the mixture into a rectangle and starting with spinach (2) topped it with the fillings (3) much the same way you would top a pizza. After rolling the meatloaf I baked it (full instructions follow).

Ingredients

meatloaf:
1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 tbsp prepared mustard
½ c ketchup
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs
Montreal steak seasoning to taste
2 c dried bread crumbs

filling:
½ pk fresh spinach
4 med. potatoes, microwaved
10 - 12 button mushrooms
1 c grated Colby cheese

Wash and poke holes in the potatoes. Place on a piece of paper towel and microwave until just soft. Remove from microwave, cut in half and scoop out the flesh. Set aside. Clean, slice and sauté mushrooms in a little butter. Remove from burner and set aside. Grate the cheese. Wash and pat dry the spinach. Make the meatloaf mixture mixing well (see ingredients below) then poured the mixture onto a sheet of wax paper. Form the meatloaf mixture into a flattened rectangle about ½ - inch thick. Cover with spinach first (2) followed by the other filling ingredients (3). Starting at one narrow end and using the wax paper under the meat, carefully lift up and over to start the roll (4). Continue rolling to the other end using the wax paper to help lift. Once the meatloaf is fully rolled carefully place it in a heavy metal loaf pan. Bake at 180ºC (350ºF) until cooked through. Remove from oven. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

vegetable stuffed meatloafVegetable Stuffed Meatloaf

When the meatloaf was baked I carefully removed it from the oven then let rest on a cutting board for 5 to 10 minutes. Resting allows the juices to set up so the meatloaf slices cleanly without crumbling. Pictured is the vegetable stuffed meatloaf just after cutting. Doesn't it just look gorgeous?

I was quite impressed with the results! The vegetable stuffed meatloaf was extremely easy to prepare. It was very tasty and filling. If you look at the list of ingredients my most expensive ingredient was the extra lean ground beef at $2.35 per pound (price per pound across all bulk meat purchase cuts). Over all the entire meal cost just under $5 including the electricity (32¢) to cook it. The meatloaf would easily serve 4 to 6 ( 83¢ to $1.25 per serving) people making this meatloaf a lovely, budget stretching and frugal meal! Serve a tossed garden salad as a side.

vegetable stuffed meatloaf dinnerDinner

I plated the vegetable stuffed meatloaf rather simply without any further sides. The spinach really lost its lovely green colour during the baking so adding a bit of green would make the meatloaf sparkle. For proper presentation a spring of parsley would have been nice but I also think the meatloaf would look good on a bed of leaf lettuce. As soon as my leaf lettuce is ready for cutting I will make another meatloaf just to see how it plates up. A ladle of beef gravy would also be a nice addition although the meatloaf is moist enough not to need gravy. This meal received two thumbs up from my husband!


5 food lovers commented:

John | English Wilderness said...

It sounds and looks tasty, but I need to ask a really stupid question. :-( What measurement is c short for?

Garden Gnome said...

Hi John. There's such thing as a stupid question. The 'c' is short for cup. I hope you get a chance to try the vegetable stuffed meatloaf. It was quite tasty!

Garden Gnome said...

Hi sayingthings and thanks for visiting. I do like the term flexitarian! You won't regret using free range beef. Just make sure it is hormone free. Unless I know the source of the beef and 95% of the time I do, I would definitely recommend grinding your own just before using. That gives nicer and safer ground beef. Now you have an excuse to play with the meat grinder :)

Cyn said...

This looks yummy! I bet even my grandkids would eat it happily. Have you ever tried canning it?

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Cyn, thanks so much :) I have canned regular meatloaf but not the vegetable stuffed meatloaf. I think the mashed potatoes would make it too dense for proper processing. It should freeze nicely though.