For the Love of Meatloaf
This is one of my favorite recipes. Its easy to make, original and everyone loves it! I believe "presentation" has an important roll when serving a meal. This recipe provides a pleasing design for presentation. I'll leave that for you to discover when you bake it yourself.
This meatloaf is also good way to get your kids to eat spinach, which is one of the dark, leafy green's that provides an excellent source of antioxidants.
I, myself, never cared for meatloaf as a child. To be absolutely honest about it, I hated meatloaf. When I came up with this recipe it changed my whole meatloaf experience around, now I LOVE it and I hope you do too!
First you'll want to assemble your ingredients:
- 2 lbs Hamburger (try not to exceed 23% fat content or it just gets real greasy)
- 1 16oz can of spinach or freshly snipped spinach (rinsed and stems removed)
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbls seasoning salt
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350o F. Spray a cooking vessel on the bottom with non-stick spray. I use a 13 x 9 x 2 casserole dish when I bake this recipe, but if you prefer you can use a "meatloaf pan" that is specifically made for meatloaf.
Open the can of spinach and set it aside to drain off excess fluid.
Lay out a 13 x 9 inch piece of plastic wrap. You'll use this for the meatloaf after mixing the next ingredients.
In a large bowl mix together hamburger, bread crumbs, eggs and seasoning salt. I clean my hands thoroughly and knead the ingredients together by hand. If you would rather, you can use two knives to "cut" the ingredients together or use a bread kneader to mix the ingredients. Either way you choose, make sure the ingredients are mixed together but don't "over mix" otherwise the hamburger becomes gooey and looses its texture.
Now place the mixed hamburger onto the plastic wrap and carefully spread it out, jelly roll style, until it nearly covers the saran wrap. (see pic)
Sprinkle your drained spinach (or fresh snipped spinach) across the surface of the "hamburger jelly roll". (see pic)
Now grasp the plastic wrap on the end and lift it over and across to create a rolling affect (see picture). Pull the plastic wrap the full length of the meatloaf until you reach the end and the plastic wrap comes free from under the meatloaf. Carefully lift the meatloaf and set it inside your casserole dish or meatloaf pan, seam side down. (see pic)
Bake at 350 o for 1 hour. (set your timer to ring after 45 minutes so you may complete the last step)
Mix together 1/2 cup ketchup and 1/2 cup brown sugar. The last 15 minutes open the oven and pour the ketchup and brown sugar sauce over the length of the meatloaf. Back another 10 to 15 minutes.
Dinner is Ready!
Slice the meatloaf just as you would a jelly roll. The spiraling of the spinach creates a pleasing design for presentation of the meal, but I'm going to leave that for you to discover when you bake it yourself........very rewarding. ENJOY!