Ah meatloaf. That old familiar standby. I absolutely hated meatloaf growing up. While my mother was a good cook, there were just some things that made me gag. Especially considering my dad was strictly a meat and potatoes sort of man. No extra seasonings needed or wanted.
I once made him ground beef tortillas, my dad quickly polished off two and then said "that's it?" It didn't seem like a real meal to him so he had to get out the bread and make himself some manwiches out of the leftover ground beef. I was a little miffed.
So being the frugal cook that I am I have had to wander into the meatloaf territory. It's quick and easy and once you put it in the oven you can basically forget it for the time allowed. I've had to experiment over the years because it seemed like I always made dry, bland tasting meatloaf which nobody really wanted to eat.
That is until I found out about the oatmeal trick. ( see meatball recipe) Anyways, here's my most recent meatloaf recipe. This turned out really nice and J actually had 3 helpings of it so that says a lot. For this I use mild Italian sausage to give it a little extra flavour. Adds a little spice but not so much that the kids can't handle it. If spice is an absolute no no in your house, you can skip it altogether.
As for my family, they pretty much polished off 3/4 of the pan and here I thought I'd have enough for two meals. Nope, just one meal and one sandwich. YUM.
.500 KG of ground turkey
two sausage links of mild Italian sausage (the big fat kind, if they're small, use double)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder (or fresh garlic clove minced)
1/4 tsp salt
dash of pepper
1/2 cup salsa
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup oatmeal
(You can add whatever else you want, because of picky children I could not add chopped onions, hence the onion powder, or chopped mushrooms but I would have definitely had it not been for the kids)
Pre-heat oven to 350 Degrees. Mix all ingredients, except topping, thoroughly in a bowl. Press into a meatloaf pan. Pour a thin layer or maple syrup or even honey across the top. Then squirt ketchup over the top of that and spread evenly. Just enough to cover the top.
Place in oven and cook for approximately 1 hour. Depending on individual heat of your oven, it may only take 45 minutes. Cook until meat thermometer tells you it's well done. Let cook 5 minutes, slice and serve.
Goes excellently with mashed potatoes and vegetables.
Additions/Substitutions: You can substitute a cup of cooked rice for the oatmeal. If you don't like any sort of spice.
Also for a neat change, I actually used a muffin tray to make individual meatloaves. Just make sure you spray them a quick spritz of cooking spray to make clean up easier. Mine stuck a little, which never seems to happen in the meatloaf pan.
If you've tried out any of my recipes, please let me know how it turned out and whether it was kid approved or not. :)