My mom called this morning to ask me about the Fourmile Canyon Fire in Boulder, Colorado. Even though I live 30 miles away from the heart of the fire, it has affected us a bit.
My children’s school is in Boulder County, so they’ve been kept indoors due to the poor air quality for the past couple of days. Also, my friend works for Boulder County’s Office of Emergency Management, so I’ve been taking care of her kids after school while she works a 12+ hour shift. (Yay, two more kids to yell at about getting their homework done. Sigh.)
Last night, in honor of all the people working on the fire, I created this eggless meatloaf recipe. It was such a hit with all four kids that they asked for thirds. Needless to say, there were no leftovers.
Boulder Firefighters Meatloaf
- 2 slices whole wheat bread from Rudi’s Organic Bakery in Boulder, Colorado
- 2 pounds ground venison
- 1 small onion, choppped
- 1 cup medium hot, chipotle salsa
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoon barbeque sauce
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Soak the bread in warm water in a small bowl.
- Place the ground venison meat in a large bowl.
- Drain bread and add to beef along with green onion, onion, salsa, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic. Mix by hand until well blended.
- Form into a loaf and place in a greased cookie sheet or hotel pan.
- Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven.
- Blot excess fat off the pan with paper towels.
- Glaze the meatloaf with barbeque sauce.
- Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Meatloaf is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
- Calories 354
- Calories from Fat 125
- Total Fat 13.9g
- Saturated Fat 6.2g
- Trans Fat 0.1g
- Cholesterol 148mg
- Sodium 521mg
- Total Carbohydrates 12.5g
- Dietary Fiber 2.1g
- Sugars 4.8g
- Protein 43.0g
- Iron 33%
This Mama’s tips
- You can also use ground buffalo, turkey or lean ground beef.
- If you don’t like the smoky taste of chipotle, use any kind of medium hot salsa.
- If you use loaf pans, you can split the recipe to fill two pans about 3/4 of the way. Freeze the second loaf or use it for sandwiches the next day.
- Sneak in some grated zucchini for added fiber and greens.
Nutrition Grade B+ from CalorieCount
Weight Watchers POINTS = 8
How you can help Boulder Fourmile Canyon Fire disaster relief
- The Red Cross cannot accept small individual donations of items such as clothing. Instead, they ask that you make a monetary donation to the Red Cross’s Mile High Chapter for Disaster Relief.
- If you’re in Colorado, you can call 211 to identify an appropriate location to take items you’d like to donate.
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds and is considered a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal. Nutritionally, quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids and is a good source of protein. It's also a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest, too.
This all makes it a terrific food to add to your every day cooking, which is why I bought the nearly 4 pound bag of Bob's Red Mill Organic Grain Quinoa at Costco. I figured I’d come across a quinoa recipe I would want to make like this one in the Denver Post for Quinoa Turkey Meatloaf.
The recipe comes from Nirmala's Edible Diary: A Hungry Traveler's Cookbook with Recipes from 14 Countries and has more of a Mexican flare since it featured jalapenos and ground cumin. Instead, wanting to use the jar of Mezzetta Sun Ripened Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil, I decided to remake it with an Italian flare.
Quinoa Meatloaf with Sundried Tomatoes (gluten free)
For the quinoa
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup water
For the meatloaf
- 2 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 8-ounce jar of Mezzetta Sun Ripened Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil (Tomatoes drained and chopped into small pieces. Rinse to remove extra oil.)
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 pound ground venison (Feel free to use any kind of ground lean meat like beef or turkey.)
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 clove of garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup of egg white substitute
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
To cook quinoa:
- Place dried quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve. Rinse and drain well.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the drained quinoa and water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until all of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
To make meatloaf:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Grease a glass loaf pan with a cooking spray.
- In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano and basil and cook 1 minute more. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Transfer to the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for 1 hour, turn oven off, and let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes more.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.
Nutrition information from Calorie Count, amount per serving
Total Fat 13.9g
Saturated Fat 4.1g
Total Carbohydrates 33.1g
Dietary Fiber 4.5g
Vitamin A 10% RDA
Vitamin C 14% RDA
Calcium 6% RDA
Iron 30% RDA
Nutrition Grade A
Weight Watchers POINTS = 8 (reduce portion size to lower POINTS)
Disclosure: Mezzetta provided me with a jar of Sun Ripened Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil to sample.
Blame the excellent compost we’ve been making with our NatureMIll indoor electric composter, but we’ve had a bumper crop of zucchini this year. So what to do with it all?
Sure there’s zucchini bread, which everyone and their grandma makes. Yes, it’s delicious and you can probably make healthy version of it. However, after winning two chocolate cakes in my children’s school’s fall festival cakewalk, we don’t need any more sweets in the house. (The culinary and health damage we do to ourselves in the name of school fundraising. Geez.)
Doing a weekly meal menu plan for the FoodieView blog I came across a recipe from Zucchini-Enhanced Turkey Meatloaf from Green Diva Mom. Having a freezer full of lean ground venison, I thought I’d try to come up with my own version using a lot more zucchini and instant oatmeal. (Not only is using oatmeal instead of bread crumbs healthier because it increases the fiber, but it’s gluten free, too.)
After a few tries, I think I got it right. My first two versions were delicious, but too mushy straight out of the oven. This one is a little firmer because I used paper towels to absorb the extra moisture from the shredded zucchini and carrots, cut back on the amount of tomato sauce, and increased the oven temperature.
This Mama’s Zucchini-Carrot Meatloaf (gluten free)
- 1 1/2 pound lean ground meat (I used ground venison)
- 1 egg plus 3 egg whites
- 1 1/2 cup oatmeal (instant or quick cooking oatmeal will blend in more like bread crumbs; steel cut or old fashioned oatmeal will give the meatloaf more texture)
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 1 1/2 cup shredded carrot
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 teaspoons seasonings of your choice (I used a mixture of dried onion bits, dried minced garlic and seasoning salt)
- A couple of dashes of hot pepper sauce
- Shred zucchini and carrots. Place on dish towels or paper towels on a tray or in a colander. Let sit for an hour so the towels can absorb the extra moisture.
- Turn on oven to 375.
- Grease meatloaf pan with a cooking spray.
- Place all ingredients into bowl and mix with hands.
- Press into loaf pan.
- Bake at 375 F 60 to 75 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 180 in the center of the loaf.
- Take out of oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Weight Watchers POINTS (guesstimated) = 5
This recipe is very close to Weight Watchers’ Spicy Meatloaf, which contains less oats, eggs and veggies and comes in at 4 POINTS.
Tips: For seasoning, use salt, pepper and herbs to taste. About 3 teaspoons total of your favorite Italian seasoning salt should be fine. If you’re adventurous, try Mexican spices and herbs like cumin and cilantro and use salsa instead of tomato or spaghetti sauce.
Like Green Diva Mom’s version, cold slices of the leftovers are great for sandwiches or in wraps. You can also use the mix for meatballs.
Allergic to eggs or just looking for foods that don't contain them?
Don't care if your meatloaf contains eggs or not? Try these sites:
- Allrecipes.com lists oodles of meatloaf recipes for you to try.
- CDKitchen has eight pages of meatloaf recipes.
- The Andover Meatloaf Pages features nothing but meatloaf recipes.
- Elise at Simply Recipes offers up her own version.
So what do you prefer, freshly made meatloaf with mash potatoes on the side? Or the leftovers the next day in a cold meatloaf sandwich with lots of ketchup?