Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf

For our wedding, we did things a little less traditional. One thing I was adamant about was asking for guest to provide a recipe in lieu of signing a guest book. My thought process was to put together a cookbook/photo album. The idea being we would look at our photos more often. Plus, we would think of all our amazing friends and family being at our wedding when we prepared their recipes.

c21ff084-03cf-4e12-89d3-ec296f8c478cThe first step was creating a recipe card. In a former life, I used to spend a fair amount of my day creating items in software like InDesign. When I couldn’t find what I wanted or wasn’t willing to pay the price on Etsy, I created items myself for the wedding. This is a copy of the recipe card I created. We mailed them with the wedding invitation so people could be prepared. I figured none of my friends and family have a web-based recipe blog like I do actually pull up their favorite recipes when they arrived at the wedding.

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Photography by Joseph Sands Images

After the wedding was over and we had the disk of our photos, I spent several days putting this cookbook together. This included everything from picking just the right font to counting the number of family members on each of our sides in the photos to make sure it was a fair representation. The end result was a cookbook that we printed for our parents and siblings as a Christmas gift. A few years back, I had done a family recipe cookbook for my mom and sister. They loved it and use it often.

The first recipe we prepared from our cookbook came from Jeremiah’s Uncle Johnny and Aunt Angie. I think the first people I met in Jeremiah’s family may have been Johnny and Angie. As you know, we are breakfast/brunch people. We used to go early on Saturday mornings to Corner Café before I headed out to work. Johnny and Angie would join her family for breakfast at the restaurant. They’d usually be arriving as we were leaving. Such a sweet couple. Unfortunately, we are no longer close to that Corner Café so we don’t run into them at breakfast time anymore.

Johnny and Angie shared their meatloaf recipe. It’s very tasty. That said, I would make a recommendation that you mix it right before you cook it. We get home so late from work that we decided to prep it the night before. When pulled it out of the fridge to cook it the next day, the pan was a little watery from the diced tomatoes. We hope you enjoy this more complex meatloaf recipe – and Jeremiah’s artist side with the pepper rings.

Meatloaf by Jon and Angie Slater
17a48f63-44df-484b-b762-ecf7fdaf6d13
1 lb. ground beef
½ c. chopped yellow onion
½ c. chopped green pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 c. canned diced tomatoes with juice
½ c. quick oats
1 ¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper

Topping
1/3 c. ketchup
2 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. yellow mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all meatloaf ingredients except topping. Shape into a loaf in baking dish. Mix all topping ingredients in a small bowl and spread over loaf. Bake for 1 hour.

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Doritos Crusted Chicken Fingers

I like to buy Doritos occasionally when they are on sale to bake new recipes. This one is a great alternative to fried chicken. Quick, delicious, and healthier.

Doritos chicken stripsDoritos Crusted Chicken Fingers from Pinterest
4 chicken breast, cut into slices
1 bag of Doritos
2 c. buttermilk
2 c. flour
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
4 eggs

Place chicken in a gallon sized baggie and add buttermilk. Refrigerate for two hours. Food process Doritos. Place crushed Doritos in a shallow dish. In another dish, whisk eggs. In a third dish, pour flour and cayenne pepper. Line up dishes in this order: chicken, flour, eggs, and Doritos. Take chicken through each dish coating both sides. Place on a foil lined baking sheet. Cook at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through.

Note:

  • I halved the recipe. I used probably about 1/4 to 1/3 of the bag of Doritos. It was just perfect for five chicken tenderloins.
  • I didn’t have time to coat the chicken after work so I put it in the bag of buttermilk to soak while I was at work. Great time saver.
  • I cooked for 20 minutes.
  • Cut calories by using egg substitute. Not sure how it would cook with Baked Doritos but I bet it would work too.

Fried Rice Tuesday

One of the things I love most about working at my hotel is Fried Rice Tuesdays. Once a month, the kitchen will cook up the fried rice they serve our restaurant Nikko for associates to eat. If you haven’t been to Nikko Japanese Steakhouse, you have to go. Not only is the experience entertaining but the fried rice is phenomenal. It’s the best fried rice I have ever eaten. No excuse, buy a Groupon or call the hotel today to book your reservations.

Since I am off work today, I thought I would give a recipe I pinned on my “Skinny Mini” Pinterest board a try. One of the reasons I liked it because it doesn’t taste really salty. Plus, this recipe rings in at 10 Weight Watchers points instead of 34 Weight Watchers points you would have to count for eating out at a traditional Chinese restaurant. The recipe is also pretty quick and easy to make.

Skinny Chicken Fried Rice by Rachel Schultz (via the Skinny Mom Blog pin on Pinterest)
Skinny Chicken Fried Rice4 c. prepared rice
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast grilled
2 c. frozen carrots and peas
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
3 T. sesame oil
1/4 c. lite soy sauce

While rice is cooking and chicken is grilling, start sautéing veggies in oil. When onion appears cooked, add to scrambled eggs to the pan. Once eggs are cooked, add chicken, rice, and soy sauce to the pan. Cook for a few minutes and serve. This recipe makes six servings.

Nutritional Facts: 385 calories, 11 g. fat, 53 carbs, 3 g. fiber, 17 g. protein, and 1 g. sugar.

Notes:

  • I used Minute Rice. You could probably make it a little healthier by using a whole grain rice.
  • I hate peas. I just bought frozen carrots and cooked one cup of them. I could only find julienne style carrots so I had to cut them up with my spatula.
  • I though sesame oil was too expensive so I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I think it worked just fine. I used only 2 T. though.
  • I love to use Ready to Use Chopped Garlic. It comes in a jar and can be found by the fresh fruit and veggies in your grocery store.
  • I used one frozen chicken breast – probably about 1/4 lb. I thought the recipe still tasted fine with less chicken.
  • I used 3 T. (1/8 c. and 1/16 c.) of lite soy sauce. Soy sauce is loaded with sodium. Even using the lite version you are dumping 530 mg of sodium per tablespoon into your recipe. Cutting out just one tablespoon is hardly noticeable to the pallet but much better for your body.
  • I used regular eggs but you could use egg substitute to make this a little healthier.

A New Kind of Meatloaf

When I was a kid, my mother made meatloaf a lot. My mother especially liked adding this season packet to it. I hated when she did that. As a kid, I liked the plain old ground beef, oatmeal, egg, and ketchup. As an adult, I want something with more flavor. But probably not as much onions as my grandmother puts in her meatloaf recipe.

My sister wasn’t a huge fan of meatloaf. But as an adult, I remember her saying that she had found a mini-meatloaf or meatball recipe she liked. It looks like I must have printed this mini-meatloaf recipe off from a Betty Crocker email. I liked the smooth consistency of using Bisquick instead of oatmeal. I also thought the sausage wasn’t over powering. BBQ sauce was the perfect mix of sweetness. Hope it spices up a classic from your childhood.

30-Minute Mini Meat Loaves30-Minute Mini Meat Loaves
1 lb. of hamburger
1/2 lb. of ground pork
1/2 c. Bisquick
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 egg
1/2 c. ketchup
2 T. brown sugar

Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar and ketchup. Reserve 1/4 c. for topping. Add to bowl remaining ingredients and mix well. Spray a 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray. Place meat into pan and make a 12 x 4 rectangle. Split down the center with a spatula, crosswise split into six equal sections. Separate into 12 mini-loaves and make sure they aren’t touching. Brush with remaining ketchup mixture. Bake 18-20 minutes. Makes six (two piece) servings.

Nutritional Information (per serving): 300 calories (140 calories from fat), 16 g. fat (6 g. saturated fat, 1 g. trans fat), 105 mg. cholesterol, 440 mg. sodium, 17 g. carbs, 0 g. fiber, 11 g. sugars, 22 g. protein.

Herb-Roasted Pork Chops

One of the best cooks I ever dated was D. His parents owned a restaurant and he taught me a lot about seasoning. Pork chops were his favorite food. He used to put flour, seasoning salt, garlic, and black pepper in a plastic store bag and coat the pork chops. The other day, I decided to do something a little different with my pork chops and ran across this diabetic friendly recipe. I hope you enjoy this refreshing pork recipe. It reminded me a little of my Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin recipe – minus the bacon. I think it would taste great with a scampi pasta side dish.

Lemon Herb Pork ChopHerb-Roasted Pork Chop by Mr. Food
3 T.  lemon juice
3 scallions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 pork chops

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. Mix tops in another bowl, placing meat inside, and coating both sides. Place in baking dish and cook for 20 minutes. Serves four.

Nutritional Facts Per Serving: 177 calories (64 calories from fat), 7 g. fat (3 g. saturated fat), 71 mg. cholesterol, 58 mg. sodium, 2 g. carbs, 0 g. fiber, 1 g. sugar, and 25 g. protein.

Notes:

  • I used a boneless pork loin chop.
  • I used chopped garlic in a jar.

Creamy Spaghetti Sauce

I think recipe came from an issue of Kraft Foods. It incorporates cream cheese into the sauce. It’s a nice quick dinner recipe.

Spaghetti a la PhillySpaghetti a la Philly
1/2 lb. spaghetti, uncooked

1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
1 jar (24 oz.) spaghetti sauce
4 oz. cream cheese
2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti according to package. Meanwhile, brown hamburger. Add sauce and cream cheese. Cook on low for 3-5 minutes until sauce is heated. Add drained spaghetti to sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve. Makes four servings.

Notes:

  • I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese. Fat free would probably work OK as well in this recipe.
  • I made my sauce using a can of tomatoes and Wildtree seasoning. I still added the meat and cream cheese. It was a little healthier but took longer to taste the favors. I might add some fresh basil, spinich, or zucchini the next time I make it.