Tag Archives: meatloaf

Meals from Raiding the Freezer

28 Jan
"And what meal shall I select from the freezer today?"

“And what meal shall I select from the freezer today?”

I’ve been on a self-imposed cooking haitus this week. I decided to scour the freezer for all the leftovers we had stockpiled in there from our snowbound two months, and discovered I had NO LESS than 8 meals in the freezer I decided we should heat up and eat before they were freezer burnt and long forgotten.

I made a list on our fridge white board we usually use for our shopping list, and have been gradually eating them and wiping them off. I can’t help but make meals for 4 to 6 or 8 people (some kind of hangup from growing up in a family of 8), and with my daughter gone most of the time, we simply can’t eat the same meal more than two nights in a row (or sometimes every other night). Many of these just needed a side salad, bread, or veggies/potatoes.

I have compiled for you my freezer list meals, along with links to the recipes for them. (Or similar recipes or part of one, and some are adaptations of prior recipes I’ve posted.) I’ll get back to more recipes and cooking soon! Enjoy!

Lasagna Soup

This freezes really well! Just as good, if not better later with loads more fresh-grated Parmesan cheese.

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

Beef Stroganoff

A classic with a healthy twist. No canned soups! The version in our freezer was a wonderful meal made with shredded cooked beef that my husband made instead of ground beef, but similar concept.

Homemade Ground Beef Stroganoff

Homemade Ground Beef Stroganoff

Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Another Italian-based soup recipe that freezes well and gets the same raves as the day you made it!

Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Cabbage and Chicken Soup

I made this same type of soup, but used shredded chicken instead of ground beef. Try it, you’ll like it!

Mexican-Style Beef and Cabbage Soup

Mexican-Style Beef and Cabbage Soup

Turkey and Turkey Gravy

Traditional roasted turkey leftover from New Year’s dinner, with gravy made from the turkey carcass stock. Here I give you the recipe for the stock.

Turkey Carcass Stock

Turkey Carcass Stock

White Chicken Chili

One of our favorite winter comfort foods. I know it’s many of my friend’s favorite too! I used white beans instead of black beans for the leftovers in the freezer but I’ve posted both versions before, but this one has the printable PDF.

Creamy Chicken Chili and Beans

Creamy Chicken Chili and Beans

Sous Vide Meatloaf with Bacon

I made this with a several pieces of ground up uncooked bacon in it and cooked via the sous vide method. Wow, talk about a flavor bomb! I am linking up to Conor Bofin’s recipe, as his inspired me to make my mom’s meatloaf with bacon and sous vide method. I did not write my own post about it.

Mom's Meatloaf

Mom’s Meatloaf

Spicy Chicken Florentine

Well I know I just posted this, but it IS in the freezer and we need to finish it. Just two small lunch-sized servings left. 🙂

Spicy Chicken Florentine

Spicy Chicken Florentine

Turning 50 and Baking Wontons

1 Dec
Baked Turkey and Stuffing Wontons with Cranberries and Gravy

Baked Turkey and Stuffing Wontons with Cranberries and Gravy

Well, the day finally arrived and I survived. I’m now officially the Big Five-O. The actual day was Tuesday, but after planning and hosting our Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Potluck at work, and then being whisked off to what I thought was a simple beverage after work with a dear friend before going out to my birthday dinner with my family that turned out to be a surprise birthday party planned by my husband, the week has just flown by and now here I am finally getting a chance to write something for my blog.

I wish I had something fantastic and new to post for you to cook. But quite frankly, our meals this past week have consisted of pretty standard fare. My husband grilled steaks one night (in the freezing cold) and baked potatoes while I cooked up some garlicky white beans. I made Mom’s Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli another night. One night we reheated some Spinach Lasagna from the freezer and made salads. Last night we went out to dinner for the second time in one month, which is unheard of in this household!

Baked Turkey and Stuffing Wontons

Baked Turkey and Stuffing Wontons

Oh, and the Baking Wontons bit in my title. Well, I did bake some Turkey and Stuffing Wontons for the potluck, which looked so pretty aside the gravy and cranberry dipping sauces, but quite frankly, they were nothing to write home about. I’m pretty sure they would have been a hit by adding some cream cheese to the filling, maybe even some yummy Laughing Cow Garlic Cheese that I actually had in the fridge, but hindsight is always 20/20. But I did take some pictures of them for you, and we can all pretend they were scrumptious together. One of my birthday presents was a shiny new muffin pan, to replace my rusted 20-year-0ld pan that had finally worn out so much even cupcake liners started sticking to it. I plan on cooking some of those neat hashed brown and egg muffins in them this weekend that seem to be all the rage on Pinterest these days.  You can look forward to that post soon! We are heading into the busy Christmas Holidays, and I hope you all find time to rest and relax in between all the hubbub and take time to truly enjoy your family and/or furkids. Cheers!

Spinach Ricotta Meatloaf Roll with Hasselback Potatoes

5 Nov
Spinach Ricotta Meatloaf Roll with Hasselback Potatoes

Spinach Ricotta Meatloaf Roll with Hasselback Potatoes

As I was preparing this, my husband asked what I was making and when I told him, he called his buddy up and told him he was going to forgo watching Monday Night Football with him because “my wife is cooking this incredibly great-looking meal!” Now how nice is that? Of course, that did make me a little nervous as I pretty much made this up and winged it. You see, I made spinach lasagna the other night (recipe here) and I had the remainder of the ricotta cheese tub left over. That stuff is expensive, and the prior time I made lasagna it went bad in the fridge so I wanted to come up with something that used ricotta. But I also didn’t want it to be an Italian dish since we just had the lasagna.  I searched for spinach ricotta inspired meals, and found an old recipe that stuffed it into meatloaf but called for BBQ sauce both in it and on top. For some reason that grossed me out but it did give me the inspiration to stuff my mom’s meatloaf instead. I also wanted this dish to be as little on the spicy side, so added Cajun seasoning to the meatloaf, and added crushed red pepper to the spinach. Lastly, I took the opportunity to make Hasselback potatoes for the first time since I had a bunch of room leftover on the baking sheet. The verdict? Another keeper recipe to put into rotation, yeah!!!

Spinach Ricotta Meatloaf Roll

1 meatloaf recipe, uncooked (I used this one: Mom’s Meatloaf)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 9-ounce bag fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup low-fat Ricotta cheese
1 cup non-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup ketchup
Black pepper

Meatloaf Before Rolling

Meatloaf Before Rolling

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread and form the uncooked meatloaf into about a 9 x 13 rectangle on a piece of wax paper or foil on a large baking sheet. I had to use foil because when I went to us the wax paper, there was only a three-inch piece left of it. DOH! Set aside and in a bowl mix the three cheeses. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the meatloaf and set aside again. In a large heated skillet,add the olive oil, onion, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the chopped spinach in batches until it starts to wilt and you have room for more. Once all the spinach is in the pan, add the red pepper flakes and stir to combine everything. Pour the spinach mixture into a colander and squeeze as much moisture out of the spinach as you can. I put my hand into a sandwich bag and just pressed down on it real good. Now spread the spinach mixture evenly over the cheese. This next part I had to have my husband help with since two hands are needed and I’m still in a finger splint for several more weeks. Slowly lift the wax paper or foil from the short edge and start rolling the meatloaf like a jelly-roll. When we got just near the end, we turned the meatloaf 180 degrees on the pan so it would fit better.  Spread the ketchup over the top of the roll and grind lots of black pepper over the top. Next prepare the potatoes (recipe below) and add them to the baking sheet. Bake for one hour, then remove and let sit for 10 minutes to firm up the meatloaf. The meatloaf kind of cracked open while cooking so next time I plan on making the initial base size a littler smaller so that the outer layer is thicker.

Hasselback Potatoes

There are so many versions of this recipe out there so this is mine that I cobbled together. The dish is named after the Hasselbacken restaurant in Sweden from whence it was conceived and served. I have no clue how close to the original version mine is.  But they were sure tasty— and pretty!

3 to 4 Russet potatoes
2 to 3 tablespoons butter or substitute
1 to 2 tablespoon olive oil
2 to 3 teaspoons minced garlic
2 to 3 teaspoons Italian style breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

I pretty much eyeballed all those amounts for the number and size of the potatoes. The measurements don’t have to be exact for this. First, wash and scrub the potatoes. Go find yourself two chopsticks and place them lengthwise on both sides of a potato. Slice the potato thinly down to the chopstick, which will prevent the potato from being cut all the way through. In a small bowl, add all the ingredients and microwave for one minute. Stir to mix well. Baste the butter mixture on top of the potatoes, spreading the slices out and making sure to push the butter in between each slice. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet with the meatloaf and cook as directed above. Since we live at high altitude the potatoes were not quite done when the meatloaf was, so I put them in another pan to cook longer and bumped up the heat while the meatloaf rested. Next time I think I’ll microwave the potatoes for a few minutes to give them a head start.

Mom’s Meatloaf

7 Mar
Mom's Meatloaf

Mom's Meatloaf

I’ve had a heck of a time getting around to writing this blog this week. It was appointment week in my house for some reason, all scheduled at separate times for different reasons. And of course I still had to work, too. The results of the appointments are… 1. One-week followup for surgery: I need to keep an eye on the inflammation going on in my mouth. Today it is worse, I might need antibiotics. 2. Scheduled maintenance on car: The awful screech in our brakes was a rock stuck in one. Problem solved. 3. First orthodontist appointment for daughter: She has an overbite issue that will add an additional year to the correction to her overcrowding. She will need to be in braces two and a half years. Ka-ching! 4. Still waiting on results of husband’s blood test. He also goes in for a dentist appointment tomorrow. Lastly, there was an impending hatch at an owl box I watch. Luckily it was happening around my lunch break time and was able to observe it, even while on a conference call! We welcomed Maggie into the world today, a beautiful (in my eyes) little barn owl. They look like little dinosaurs when they are born, but grow into such majestic raptors.

Meatloaf Mixture

Meatloaf Mixture

One appointment I won’t mind keeping is picking up my sister from the airport tomorrow! HI SEESTER! I hope you read this, lol!!! She will be visiting for two weeks, and I plan on making Tetrazzini Crepes while she is here and will be sure to write about it.

Now, finally to the recipe! I always enjoyed my mom’s meatloaf growing up. She always had to make two of them at a time to feed our large family, but with only three of us, one is plenty sufficient. I asked her many years ago for the recipe, and she said she used the one on the back of a container of oatmeal! Over the years I have adapted that recipe into one that changes each time I make it depending on what vegetables I have on hand and what spices I decide to use (as usual).

When I decided to make this meatloaf the other night (actually a result of reading a What’s For Dinner post on Facebook), my husband was heading to the store.  He has been saying we need to eat less red meat, so I suggested ground turkey. Well that fell flat. “Ewwww” is what he actually said. So then I asked him to buy one pound of fresh burger, because all our burger was frozen. One of the tricks to making a good  meatloaf is using fresh  burger and handling the meat as little as possible while blending. When you try to defrost a pound of frozen burger in a hurry in the microwave, the edges usually end up cooking before the inside is completely defrosted, resulting in an inconsistent product to work with. He got home from the store, and no fresh burger. “It was over four dollars a pound!” he complained. “Well it feeds us two meals! I only asked you to buy ONE POUND!” I retorted. Men.  OK, but I still love him.

Mom’s Meatloaf

1 pound fresh ground burger, or turkey
1 egg
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
Black pepper to taste
Any other spices, to taste
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup vegetables, chopped or shredded (I typically use bell pepper or carrots, sometimes mushrooms or celery)
3/4 cup plain dried oatmeal
Ketchup

In medium bowl, whisk the egg and tomato sauce until well blended. Stir in the spices, vegetables, and oatmeal. The night I made this, I used Cajun spice, Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, and a pinch of cayenne.  I decided to make it spicy! I also used shredded carrots for the vegetable. Add the ground burger or ground turkey to the bowl, and gently fold together with your hands until mixed but don’t over do it! Put the mixture into a lightly oil-sprayed meatloaf pan, glass or metal. Press the mixture down firmly until fairly compact, then pour a generous amount of ketchup over the top. Using the back of a spoon, spread the ketchup evenly. I always add more pepper to the top too. Then stick a knife down between the meatloaf and pan and run it around the pan to help separate it so it won’t stick so much. Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for one hour. Take out and then let rest for about ten minutes. We served with mashed potatoes and green beans.

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