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Carb Diva Meatloaf (simple, easy, tasty--who could ask for more?)
In a quandery over Meatloaf
I love weekends:
- turn off the computer
- don't answer the cell phone (unless it's one of my children)
- sleep in past 6 a.m.
- Enjoy TWO cups of coffee while doing the daily crossword puzzle in ink
OK, my needs are pretty simple. And then there are special weekends that make that list above seem so trivial. Stepping away from the 9 to 5 grind is always pleasant, but what makes this weekend even more special is that a very dear friend of my daughter is staying overnight with us. And, it's her birthday, so we need to pull out all the stops and make this a special day.
For dinner I've planned her favorite food--macaroni and cheese. But she and my daughter are playing Kinect right now, and probably burning off millions of calories (should I be there too?) Anyhow, I think I should expand the menu to include something filling and hearty, like a meatloaf.
But how do I write about meatloaf? The "carb" in Carb Diva is potatoes, rice, pasta, and everything sweet and yummy! However, today I made a meatloaf that I'm actually happy about--I finally found the right combination of meats, eggs, onions, liquid and bread crumbs.
Ah, that's it. The bread crumbs makes it kinda carb-y, right?
What's so special about meatloaf?
Isn't it just ground meat? Yes, meat of some type is required, but a meatloaf is so much more than hamburger. There must be a "filler"--a carbohydrate of some kind (bread, rice, oatmeal, cracker crumbs) to prevent the loaf from being too dense. Egg or dairy products are used to moisten, and seasonings can be as simple as salt and pepper or as elaborate as you wish.
What is the history of meatloaf?
When speaking of regional/ethnic cuisine, is there any food more "American" than meatloaf? According to the Oxford Companion to Food, meatloaf was first mentioned in print in the United States in 1899. And, as the Luther translation of the Bible coincided with the invention of the Guetenburg printing press, meatloaf was introduced into the American diet with the advent of the mechanical meat grinder by German inventor Karl Drais. From then on, recipes started appearing in cookbooks. Fannie Farmer's 1918 edition of The Boston Cooking School Cookbook included two variations of a ground meat loaf. The meat grinder made this aspect of food preparation so much easier. Cooks previously had to chop meat in large wooden bowls using a curved blade, but now they were buying pre-ground meat directly from butchers.
And this invention was certainly a blessing during the Great Depression. Tough cuts of meat could be tenderized by grinding--and then, with the addition of a bit of bread or grain this cheap food could be stretched to feed a hungry family.
In the 1940s war rationing limited the amount of meat that could be purchased for family meals and meatloaf again became a necessity. A variety of meatloaf recipes appeared on the labels of soups and catsups and on cereal boxes.
Although there are as many forms of meatloaf as there are cooks who prepare it, meatloaf seems uniquely American. However, the combination of chopped meats and fillers spans the globe, and centuries. The cookbook Apicius was printed in the 4th or 5th century A.D. and featured a recipe of chopped meat combined with spices and bread soaked in wine, formed into a patty. In Medieval Europe pieces of meat were minced, mixed with seasonings, fruit, nuts, and then molded into a round and roasted. Meatloaf has been a fundamental piece of family meals for many centuries.
Carb Diva Meatloaf Recipe
- 1 1/4 pound ground turkey
- 1/4 ground turkey sausage, Italian seasoned (Jennie-O)
- 1 medium onion, finely minced (I prep'd mine in the food processor)
- 1 large stalk celery, finely minced
- 1 large carrot, finely minced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup, (you could substitute another flavor if you wish)
- 1 pkg. Stove Top stuffing mix
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease an 11x7-inch baking dish. Sauté the minced onion, celery, and carrot in the olive oil for about 3 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Place in large mixing bowl with ground turkey, turkey sausage and remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
- Shape into a loaf and place in the prepared pan. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing
© 2013 Linda Lum