Meatloaf Two Ways

My boyfriend and I are on a new financial mission…we’ve decided to kick our debt to the curb and start saving and investing for our future. What does this have to do with food, you ask? Well, we have a limited grocery budget ($80 per week to be exact) so we must pick and choose our meals wisely. This meatloaf dish was a great way to stretch our grocery budget because it yielded roughly five meals . We bought the meat on sale at Whole Foods Market  (keep an eye out because they frequently have specials and they’re meat is incredible.)

Pasta with Meatloaf

1 lb ground beef (grass fed)

½ lb ground lamb

1 ½ cups gluten free breadcrumbs (I used Glutino brand.)

1 egg

½ cup milk (or your favorite alternative)

1 large green pepper, diced

1 medium-size onions, diced

4 oz button mushrooms, sliced thick

(1) 14 ½ oz can chopped tomatoes

(1) 32 oz jar prepared tomato sauce

Chicken stock, as needed

Butter (or your favorite alternative)

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

1 package pasta (I used gluten free spaghetti)

Put ground meat in a large bowl and mix with hands, gently pulling apart to incorporate the two varieties. Make a hole in the center of the mixture and add ½ cup breadcrumbs. Beat the egg and add it on top, then pour in milk. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and mix everything together with your hands. Set aside.

Sauté peppers, onions and sliced mushrooms in a medium sized pot, adding just enough chicken stock to keep from burning. Cook until tender, about five minutes. Add about a third of this to the meatloaf mixture and set the rest aside.

Pour remaining 1 cup breadcrumbs on a plate. Form three small loaves* out of the meatloaf mixture and roll each in the breadcrumbs to coat. Melt about a teaspoon of butter in a large, deep pan and brown meatloaves over medium-high heat for about ten minutes. Flip each loaf with a long spatula to brown the other side, covering with lid both times.

While loaves are browning, add diced tomatoes and ½ of the spaghetti sauce to the pot with the sautéed mushrooms, peppers and onions. Stir and let simmer for a few minutes, then add the mixture to the pan with the meatloaves. Cover pan, turn heat down to low, and let loaves cook through, about 45 minutes to an hour.
10 minutes before meatloaf is done, cook pasta according to directions on box. Drain and add the rest of the spaghetti sauce to the noodles to keep them from sticking. Serve with a slice of meatloaf on top. Enjoy!

* Think of the size and shape of a chocolate croissant

 Meatloaf Sandwich_Cropped

 

Meatloaf Sandwich

 

2 slices of your favorite bread

1 slice prepared meatloaf (from above)

Cheese of your choice to taste (optional, or use an alternative cheese)

Fresh tomato, sliced

Avocado (optional*)

*My boyfriend swears by the avocado. I suppose I can’t rag on it because I didn’t try the combination myself, but I can’t help but think that it’s a bit odd. Nevertheless, he loved it, so try if you’d like!

Build sandwich to your liking and toast on a skillet with butter (or your favorite alternative.) Serve hot.

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A Healthy Lunch on the Go

This hearty salad is a summer go-to for me. It is so satisfying yet simple and makes a great lunch. As you can see, I pack mine in Tupperware and bring it with me to work. The round yellow vegetable in the background is a lemon cucumber that was picked from our garden. They are very mellow in flavor with a crisp exterior. They are tough to pick because of the thorns, but quite delicious. This is a great alternative to tuna salad (and makes a tasty sandwich too!)

 Salmon Salad_cropped

 

Salmon Salad

1 small can wild caught Alaskan salmon

Mayonnaise, to taste

1 carrot, chopped or grated

1 celery rib, finely chopped

Dried dill, to taste

½ Apple, diced (optional add in)

Pinch sea salt

 

Fresh, organic spinach

Cucumber (my favorites are lemon or Persian)

Tomatoes of your choice

 

White wine vinegar

Olive oil

 

Open can of salmon but do not discard lid. Press the lid  against meat and turn upside down over a sink to release all water. Place salmon into a small bowl and add first six ingredients. Stir to combine and set aside. Rinse and chop tomatoes and cucumbers.

Lay spinach on a plate and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Drizzle with olive oil and white wine vinegar then top with salmon salad, cucumbers and fresh tomatoes. Enjoy!

Springtime in Southern California

Jacarandas

I love springtime in southern California! The jacaranda trees bloom creating an almost fairy tale-like wonderland…the landscape becomes saturated with color and our garden starts to burst with delectable flavors. It’s the end of May and as of right now we have fresh artichokes, blackberries, gooseberries, kale and yellow wax beans waiting to be turned into a culinary work of art. The best thing about fresh produce from one’s own garden is that you don’t have to do much to it. The flavors are already so rich that you just add a dash of salt, maybe some balsamic vinegar and you’re good to go! The recipe below is one such example. I had leftover meat from a rotisserie chicken and when I walked out into the garden for inspiration, I noticed that we had a good handful of ripe blackberries. Those two ingredients made a great starting point for a satisfying summer salad. Use the recipe below as a guide but try mixing it up by adding a second or third type of berry, incorporating nuts (pecans?) or adding a small spoonful of Dijon mustard to the vinegar to give it a kick. The possibilities are endless!

Blackberry Salad

Blackberry Chicken Salad with Balsamic Drizzle

Fresh blackberries

Rotisserie chicken

Fresh greens (I used a spring mix)

Good balsamic vinegar

Flaky sea salt

(you can add pepper to taste if you like)

That’s it! Super simple. Super yummy!

A Decadent Gluten Free Sandwich

Final_sm

This sandwich is a delightful treat. The white truffle honey truly sets this lunch apart, bringing it to a whole other level.

2 slices sandwich bread

herb goat’s cheese

toasted walnuts, chopped

white truffle honey

1 crisp apple sliced very thinly (I used a Fuji)

optional: sliced meat (I used chicken but prosciutto would also be delicious)

Baby spring lettuce (alternatively you could use micro greens. Just be sure to use a mild mixture.)

Spread goat’s cheese on both slices of bread. Set one aside while you build the sandwich on the other slice. Start with the walnuts, pressing them into the goat’s cheese. Drizzle with truffle honey. Add meat if desired and apples. Top with baby lettuce and other slice of bread. Enjoy!