Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sweet & Savory Paleo Meatloaf

I'm never one to get all excited about meatloaf, probably because my mom's family recipe was never my favorite. Plus, a big loaf of meat isn't exactly pretty, and I'm all about appetizing food.

My kids seem to like meatloaf well enough though, and it's an easy comfort food that's perfect for a rainy evening like we're having here in CT. I adapted this one from Juli at PaleOMG, and it's probably the best grain-free meatloaf I've made to date.

I did make a few additions. I had some zucchini and mushrooms left over from the stuffed squash I made on Thursday. I chopped both up very fine (as my kids aren't huge fans of either), and tossed them into the skillet toward the end of when I was cooking the bacon. I also added the sweet potato as well.

Juli's original recipe calls for stirring in the grated sweet potato without cooking it at all first, but I liked both softening up and flavoring the vegetables with the bacon grease and onion. I did notice my loaf was a little hard to keep together when serving, though, which might be because of the added veggies.

This yielded two large-sized loaf pans for me; I froze one since we're going out of town this weekend, so it will be nice to have an entire meal on hand for a busy night down the road.

Sweet & Savory Paleo Meatloaf
adapted from PaleOMG

2.5 lbs. ground beef
1 medium sweet potato, shredded
1/4 cup minced zucchini
1/4 cup minced crimini mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb. nitrite-free bacon
1 cup almond meal
2 eggs
1/2 cup total raisins, currants or juice-sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 tbs. cinnamon
 1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Chop 1/2 of the bacon into bite size pieces and cook in a large skillet over medium heat. When the bacon is beginning to release grease, add the onion and raisins to the pan. Once the onion is softening and raisins are plumping, add sweet potato, zucchini and mushrooms. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Cook for a couple of minutes more, then remove from heat. Add bacon mixture to a large bowl along with ground meat, almond meal, eggs and seasoning.

Use your hands to really work the mixture together. Once well-mixed, spread out into 2 greased loaf pans. Cut remaining bacon to lay across the top of the loaves.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until thoroughly cooked and bacon is crisp.