This is what I made for dinner last night. My mother always made an excellent meat loaf when I was growing up. I stuck to her recipe faithfully until I became vegetarian in my 20s. Let me just say right now that most vegetarian alternatives to meat loaf are to be avoided at all costs unless that’s all you have in the vaccuum-sealed bags in your bomb shelter and the alarm has sounded. Seriously. However, I did make a few interesting discoveries during that decade of my life that carried over to my kitchen life when I climbed back on the meat wagon. One such thing is using oats in meat loaf rather than bread crumbs. Of course, using oats when the other ingredients are tofu and sunflower seeds and…well…NO MEAT…doesn’t make for a very tasty dinner. But, just swapping the bread crumbs for some oats works really well!And, I’m led to believe it may help reduce cholesterol if used for 30 consecutive days!
Truth be told, I had not done this for several years. My meat loaf was still widely appreciated, so I stuck with Mom’s recipe most of the time. But, yesterday afternoon I was hanging out with Rhett & Link on UStream during their live broadcast and I mentioned my dinner plans. Link noticed my comment in the chat window and said, “Meat loaf? Don’t use bread crumbs…use oats.” And, I figured, hey…why not use oats?
So, here’s my recipe, which is mostly Mom’s, slightly modified over the years, and most notably modified by the use of Quaker 1-Minute Oats,
though, you can use long-cooking if that’s what’s in your pantry. (Images are clickable for full-sized view.)
2 lbs fresh meat loaf mix
(I use 2 parts ground chuck to 1 part ground pork)
2 eggs (beaten)
1-1.5 cups coarsely chopped onion
(I used Vidalia here)
1/2 cup worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
(nothing labelled “catsup” has ever been in my pantry…who knows what that stuff is?)
2 cups dry rolled oats, very briefly processed (like, 2 pulses)
1/4 cup dried parsley (or 1/2 cup chopped, fresh, flat-leaf)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. I start with the meat, add the wet ingredients, then the dry on top, though I have no idea why. Wash your hands well, remove rings and watches, then get in there with both hands and SQUISH, SQUISH, SQUISH until everything is uniformly blended. Really, it’s the only way. Then, pick up the whole meaty mess and slap it between your hands a few times to remove any air pockets that might make crevices in the loaf during baking. Form it into a loaf and place on a prepared pan.
Here, you can see I’ve used my broiler ban with the bottom portion lined with foil for easy cleanup later and the top portion prepared with cooking spray. I made a double recipe here, so there are 2 loaves shown. I like to shape the loaves with squared ends and a flattened top because then all the slices come out about the same height and width except for the very ends. I have found I get more bang for the buck that way. I never use loaf pans. I find the loaf is difficult to extract and all the fat is trapped on the bottom.
Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 50-60 minutes until nicely browned. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
I served mine with mashed potatoes last night. We ate very late, so there was no veggie, but I usually serve this with broccoli first steamed, then tossed in some olive oil with a little garlic and oregano. I eat my meat loaf with ketchup which offends my husband nearly to the point of distraction. If I haven’t remembered to heat up some jarred beef gravy, he will use A-1 Steak Sauce on his.
Please comment! Let me know if you like meat loaf, if you have a cool meat loaf recipe, or of you think you might try this one!
Your Daily Bread
Acts 10:9 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. 10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance 11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 13 And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” 15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.”