Tag Archives: ground meat

Argentine family dinner party: Beef & Vegetable Empanadas and Marinated Flank Steak with Dipping Sauces

Argentine family dinner party: Beef & Vegetable Empanadas and Marinated Flank Steak with Dipping Sauces at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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How to make homemade Italian sausage

How to make homemade Italian sausage at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Gluten Free Potato Chip and Carrot Meatloaf

Gluten Free Potato Chip and Carrot Meatloaf at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Unless we’re having a party, I usually don’t buy chips. However, there are certain people in my household who feel that watching sports on television isn’t fun without a bag of salt and vinegar salt potato chips. (Ahem.) So, when faced with a chips request, I try to find a brand that’s as healthy as possible. That’s why I buy Kettle Brand Potato Chips since they’re as wholesome as you can get for a snack food.

The folks at Kettle Brand Potato Chips cook real, unpeeled potatoes in small batches for a superior taste and a signature crunch. In addition, they use only the finest all-natural, non-GMO ingredients – no trans fats, no MSG, no artificial colors or flavors, and no list of ingredients you can’t pronounce. In fact, they’re the first potato chip to be verified by the Non-GMO Project.

Gluten Free Potato Chip and Carrot Meatloaf at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Taste wise, their chips are delicious and hard to put down! Our favorites of the 24 flavors they make are Sea Salt & Vinegar, Sea Salt, and Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper Crinkle Cut Chips. Kettle Chips also makes four types of organic potato chips: Organic Country Style Barbeque, Organic Sea Salt, Organic Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper, and Organic Sweet Chili Garlic.

All Kettle Brand Potato Chips (including Kettle Brand Bakes, Reduced Fat, Organic, and Krinkle Cut Potato Chips) are gluten free and processed in a gluten free environment. They’re also considered to be safe for people with peanut allergies, since they’re processed in an environment free of peanuts and other nuts. The chips are processed on equipment shared with ingredients that contain very small amounts of dairy. Even though they thoroughly clean the lines after each flavor run, there's a slight potential of cross contamination. (See Kettle Brand’s FAQ page for more info.)

Kettle Brand Potato Chips inspired meatloaf

At my house, meatloaf is a popular but challenging dish. For years, I had to make it egg-free due to my daughter’s allergies. She’s grown out of her egg allergies, but now we have to deal with me being gluten free.

Inspired by Kettle Brand, I thought I’d use crushed potato chips instead of bread crumbs in my meatloaf recipe. I also used crushed potato chips on the top of the meatloaf for added visual appeal. To health up the meatloaf, I used shredded carrots and egg whites, and kept it dairy free by using rice milk. (Feel free to use regular milk if you don’t have a food sensitivity to dairy.) I used Kettle Brand’s Sea Salt Potato Chips, but you can experiment with your favorite flavor. I bet Kettle Brand’s Backyard Barbeque, Jalapeño Jack, or Cheddar Beer flavors would be wonderful in this meatloaf recipe, too!

Gluten Free Potato Chip and Carrot Meatloaf at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Since I used one of my favorite Memphis style barbecue sauces, I’ll serve that on the side instead of ketchup. In addition, I’ll be serving this with fresh green beans from the farmer’s market and some Easy Mashed Parsnips and Chives. And don’t forget, leftover slices of cold meatloaf make wonderful sandwiches!

If you double the recipe, you can freeze one loaf for later. Let the meatloaf cool in the pan. Then lift it out and cover completely with foil to freeze.

Gluten Free Potato Chip and Carrot Meatloaf at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Gluten Free Potato Chip and Carrot Meatloaf

Instead of the aluminum foil, you may want to use a two-piece meatloaf pan that has a perforated, elevated insert so fat can drain away as meatloaf cooks. Several companies like Rachel Ray and Wilton make them.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed Kettle Brand Sea Salt Potato Chips – divided
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup rice milk
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine all ingredients (except for cooking spray and 1/2 cup of the crushed potato chips) in a bowl. Mix until all ingredients are well combined. You can use your hands or a potato masher.
  3. Line a 9x5” meatloaf pan with foil. Spray inside with cooking spray.
  4. Place meatloaf ingredients in the pan. Pat down evenly.
  5. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of crush potato chips evenly on top of loaf.
  6. Place meatloaf pan on top of a baking sheet and place into oven.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Gently remove the meatloaf by lifting up on the aluminum foil. Peel foil off of meatloaf, cut into slices and serve.
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 50 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Servings: Makes 6-8 servings
  • Serving size: 1-2 slices

What is your favorite flavor of Kettle Brand Potato Chips?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kettle Brand. The opinions and text are all mine.

Thanksgiving leftovers: Sweet Potato Cottage Pie

Sweet Potato Cottage PieDid you take advantage of the holiday sale on sweet potatoes and buy too many for the Thanksgiving feast? Or are you like me and always have sweet potatoes around to whip up a quick side dish of mashed sweet potatoes or roasted vegetables? Either way, if you have leftover sweet potatoes, try this recipe for Sweet Potato Cottage Pie from North Carolina Sweet Potatoes. It’s a healthy take on Shepard’s Pie. You could also used ground venison or turkey to make this recipe even healthier!

You can find more sweet potato recipes at their website or you can connect with them on Twitter @Sweet_Taters, Facebook or Pinterest.

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie

Recipe courtesy of North Carolina Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 large)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic (1 large clove)
  • 1 pound ground beef, 90% lean
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or herbes de Provence, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Oil a 6 to 8 cup shallow baking dish.
  3. Pierce sweet potato skins; microwave until tender, about 4 to 6 minutes; cool.
  4. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute.
  6. Add beef; cook and stir until it just begins to brown.
  7. Stir in tomato sauce, Worcestershire, 1 teaspoon of the thyme and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and pepper; bring to a boil.
  8. Transfer to baking dish; spread evenly. Scoop sweet potato from skins into medium bowl; add butter, milk, remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  9. With electric beater, beat until smooth; spread over meat in baking dish.
  10. Bake until bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Picture courtesy of South Carolina Sweet Potatoes and used with permission.

Mini Lamb Burgers with Blue Cheese

Mini Lamb Burgers with Blue Cheese at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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The best meatloaf recipe EVER

SONY DSC I learned the secret to making meatloaf that doesn’t fall apart. You have to use a milk product in your recipe

Want the details? Just check out my latest post at the Attune Foods blog - Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Meatloaf Gluten Free Recipe.

Labor Day grilling: how to smoke a meatloaf

 Smoked Meatloaf Hash

What do you do when you cook up a meatloaf that’s delicious, but falls apart when you slice it? Make meatloaf hash! Just chop up the meatloaf with a spoon and add some healthy mix-ins like rice or vegetables or just a bit of ketchup, like I did above.

That’s what I’m making until I’ve perfected my Smoked Meatloaf recipe. It’s almost there but needs a little more work. I want a meatloaf that slices up perfectly when it’s hot out of the oven – or in my case the smoker. I’ve made it twice – and it’s good enough to share – but maybe you can give me some help on perfecting it by commenting your suggestions below.

How to smoke a meatloaf

Well, you find a big pipe and…

Seriously though, I first heard about smoked meatloaf when my husband came home raving about the taste after sampling it at a local restaurant. I did a search and found My Smoked Meat Loaf Recipe from Smoking-Meat.com. (If you own a smoker, you must sign up for Jeff’s Smoking Meat enewsletter.) I liked his recipe but wanted to combine it with my recipe for Boulder Firefighters Meatloaf.

Also, I wasn’t crazy about how Jeff set up his uncooked loaves. The first time I made smoked meatloaf, I didn’t use a loaf pan. I ended up with a flat, squishy meatloaf that was delicious – thus the Smoked Meatloaf Hash.

The next time I made it, I knew I would have to smoke it in a loaf pan. But how?

Preparing your loaf pans

There’s two problems using a loaf pan:

  1. The meatloaf won’t get exposed to the smoke.
  2. It will cook in it's juices and stay mushy.

After discussing it with Paul, he came up with an idea of taking a metal loaf pan and drilling holes in it. He drilled two holes on the ends, three on the sides, and seven on the bottom. Then he sanded off the burs.

You could also do this with a disposable aluminum loaf pan. However, since metal loaf pans were only $6 at WalMart, he went out a bought a couple just to make smoked meatloaf in. (He obviously wants me to make this all the time.) You can pick up few loaf pans for a  buck or two at thrift stores or garage sales, too.

Smoking your meatloaf

Now that the pans will drain, I needed something to catch the juices. I decided the easiest method would be to place the meatloaf pans on the bottom rack of the smoker so it would drain directly into the water dish at the bottom. Easy!

This worked pretty well until we realized that as the ground meat cooked, it would expand and block the holes. About half way into the cooking process, I had to tip to the pans and empty out some of the juices from the top and sides. Maybe we need more drill more holes in the pans. Or maybe just emptying the juices a few times will do the trick.

The other issue was cooking time. If I put all the meat (2 pounds) into one loaf pan, it would take three to four hours to cook. Since I didn’t have time, I opted to divide the recipe in half to cut back the cooking time to about 90 minutes. Smoking food is all about planning, so next time I’ll make sure I have enough time to cook just a two pound meatloaf in one pan. I’ve a feeling a bigger loaf will be more solid and sliceable.

smoked meatloaf hash

Smoked Meatloaf Hash

Smoked Meat Loaf

Nutritional information based on using ground venison.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground venison, lean beef or turkey ((The leaner the beef, themore likely the meatloaf will fall apart. But the lower the calories and fat grams!)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pieces whole wheat or gluten free bread
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup ketchup or barbeque sauce

Directions

  1. Set smoker for 250 degrees.
  2. Soak the bread in warm water in a small bowl – enough to moisten the bread but not too much so it turns into mush
  3. Place the ground meat in a large bowl.
  4. Add softened bread, onion, carrots, garlic, egg, egg whites, and ketchup. Mix with your hands until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Put meat mixture into a specially prepared loaf pan (see above).
  6. Place loaf pan on lower rack, just above the water pan.
  7. Add mesquite wood chips and smoke for 3 to 4 hours until the center registered 160 degrees.
  8. If necessary, pour off extra juice that gathers on top of the loaf pan every hour.
  9. You can finish the top with ketchup or barbeque sauce about 30 minutes before the meatloaf is finished smoking. Some people like to use bacon instead.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 3 - 4 Hours
Total Time: 3:15 - 4 Hours 15 Minutes
Servings: 8 slices
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 190
  • Calories from Fat: 18
  • Total Fat: 2.0g
  • Saturated fat: 0.1g
  • Unsaturated fat: 1.9g
  • Sodium: 393mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 12.7g
  • Sugar: 8.2g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 28.2g
  • Cholesterol: 23mg

Healthy whole wheat spaghetti with meat sauce

Everyone has a recipe they make in a pinch out of what's in the cupboard. Mine is spaghetti and meat sauce, since we always have ground venison in the freezer and healthy, whole wheat pasta and canned tomato sauce on hand.

It took awhile to get the family used to whole wheat noodles. (Our two favorite brands are Barilla and Pasta Garofalo.) But now I rarely hear a complaint, especially when I make venison meat sauce from scratch. As my 10-year-old son, Nathan likes to say, "Mom, my compliments to the chef!"

Healthy meat sauce

whole wheat spaghetti with meat sauceThis recipe is loosely based on the homemade sauce my husband made for me on our first date.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 to 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds ground lean meat such as venison, buffalo or turkey
  • 3-15 ounce jars of canned tomato sauce, such as Muir Glen Organic's No Salt Added Tomato Sauce, 15 oz.
  • 3 cans of Muir Glen Organic's Diced Tomatoes No Salt Added, 14.5 oz
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of a hearty, red wine (Cabernet, Shiraz or Merlot)
  • 2 teaspoons of dried basil
  • 3 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium to medium high heat.
  2. Add minced garlic and cook for a minute.
  3. Add ground meat and cook until meat has browned. Break up any large pieces with a spoon as it cooks.
  4. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, wine, basil, and oregano. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer while you cook the pasta and set the table.

Variations:

This Mama's tips

  • The sauce tastes better the longer you simmer it. It also tastes better the next day.

Food Blog of the Week – Make My Sushi

GreenrollDid you know that 13 pieces of California Roll sushi have only 9.5 Weight Watchers Flex Plan Points? So not only is sushi low in points, fat, calories, and healthy for you but it’s delicious as well. That’s why I love it, and most folks agree.

In the October 4, 2006 Newsday story, Sushi swims into unlikely waters, by Joan Remick, sushi was hailed as a comfort food by Manhattan-based restaurant consultant Clark Wolfe, who after 9/11 noticed that while:

…some Americans turned to comfort foods such as macaroni and cheese and meat loaf, others were seeking culinary solace elsewhere.

"After 9/11, sushi really did enter the vernacular as a comforting food," Wolf said. "A lot of people who wanted something clean and pure perceived sushi as something nutritious that was fun to eat and that was happening all over the country."

In his book The Nasty Bits, Anthony Bourdain mentioned that sushi is the favorite food of many chefs. He also has an interesting take on what he calls the sushi barrier. He believes once Americans accepted that sushi was normal culinary fare, it opened the door to all sorts of different and marvelous food.

TamagoSo with no further ado, I present this week’s Food Blog of the Week, Make My Sushi by Osowakki. O.K. it isn’t exactly a blog. It’s more like a website. Never mind, it’s got some really cool sushi guides using Flash animation, like this one for an inside out roll as well as recipes and tips.

Stop by Make My Sushi and tell Osowakki that This Mama Cooks! sent you.

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