Meatloaf ~ Super Easy Make-Ahead Meals
Whenever Don or I post pictures of our meals on Instagram, it's always the Meatloaf that draws the most inquiries for a recipe. I will be honest, each time I make our Low-Carb, Hypercarnivore version of Meatloaf, I use whatever I happen to have on hand. So I thought I would share the base recipe, and ways you can vary it. Of course, I always encourage adding in your own creativity. Meatloaf is an ideal recipe to make when you want to use up some ingredients need using up. Just like soups, or bone broths ~ you can add pretty much anything you want, within reason.
Remember, cook once, eat at least twice! Meatloaf is often even better the next day, so absolutely enjoy the leftovers!
The Hypercarnivore Diet Low-Carb Meatloaf
You will need 1-2 baking dishes, depending on how much meat you use. I used 1 8x8 and 1 loaf pan for my last batch which was about 3.30 pounds.
1-2 packages of ground beef (2-3#+) ~ I prefer 85% lean
~ 3/4 medium to large sweet onion, diced
1-2 small cloves garlic, crushed (I remove the green stem in the center as best as possible)
1 14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes, divided
2+ tsp. sea salt or Real Salt or a blend
2+ tsp. dried oregano
Stevia, Xyla, or sweetener of choice
1/8-1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Warm the oven to about 450º.
Lightly grease your baking dishes. I use the bacon fat that I collect in a bowl. Use tallow, or wipe a little butter. (It can probably be skipped, but it can add to the flavor, and ease of removal. There will be plenty of fat in the dish by the end of cooking.)
Chop the onion, and crush the garlic. I learned from watching cooking shows that if you remove the green stem in the center, it is easier to handle the strong garlic flavor. Some people are more sensitive to the volatile oils in garlic than others. It adds a nice flavor to the meatloaf, but skip if you need to.
Place the meat in a large mixing bowl. Add the onion and garlic. Crack the eggs on top. Add salt (be generous) and oregano. Add about 1/4 of the can of tomatoes.
Now comes the fun part. Get your hands in there, and pretend like you are kneading bread. Squeeze enough to just combine the ingredients. Don't over do it or it, or it can create a more stiff loaf.
Place the meatloaf mixture into the baking pans. I tend to make loaves that are about the height of my four fingers, or 2-3 inches.
Place in oven and roast at the high temperature for just 5-10 minutes, then turn the heat down to about 200-250º and bake on the lower heat for about one hour.
Meanwhile, pour the remaining crushed tomatoes into a small bowl. Add a pinch of salt, and either a couple of small pinches of stevia, or maybe up to one teaspoon of Xyla, or Swerve. Stir, and taste. You just want to balance the acid flavor of the tomato with a little sweet, salty flavor. I have variations below.
When it's essentially cooked through, it will be nicely browned, with plenty of fat around the edges, and have a fairly firm texture. I will usually stab through several places on the top of the loaf with a small, thin knife to let some of the sauce sink in, but not mandatory. Cover the tops of the loaves with the sauce.
Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes. Remove, let cool, then cut and serve.
|Meatloaf packs well to go, especially in the stainless steel containers which|
can be placed in a toaster over to heat if desired.
For the Meatloaf:
- Add one peeled and grated zucchini
- Add 1/4 cup (+/-) raisins, currants, or dried cranberries (see sauce variations, below)
- Sub 1/2+ bunch fresh, finely chopped parsley for the oregano, or use both
- If you tolerate bell pepper, add a small amount of finely diced red, yellow, or orange bell pepper
- Spice it up with a little cayenne or add white ground (or black) pepper
- Add any other vegetables you enjoy and well tolerate, such as shredded beets or carrots ~ both of which have a higher sugar content, so will sweeten the loaf a bit
- Add a handful of diced black, pitted olives, or your favorite
- Add chopped mushrooms
For the Sauce:
- Sub garam masala for the cinnamon
- Sub ketchup or tomato paste for the crushed tomatoes
- Use 1-2 tsp. real maple syrup instead of the stevia or Xyla
- Try keeping dried plums or raisins covered in water in your fridge to create a thick molasses-like syrup, then use the liquid to sweeten the sauce; add a few chopped prunes or the raisins to the loaf
- Add fresh grated and squeezed ginger, (or 1/4+ tsp. dried, ground ginger), 1 tsp. dried yellow mustard, sweetener of choice, and a splash of coconut aminos, or equivalent (instead of salt)
- Try using a little good quality, low-sugar fruit preserves in lieu of the sweetener, such as a sweet cherry preserves