Monday, January 25, 2016

Comfort Food: Meatloaf [Gluten Free & Wheat Free]

 You are either team meatloaf or you're not. I grew up team meatloaf because it's fairly inexpensive to make and tasty. I have tried various types of meatloaf recipes and always keep going back to the one my mom would make growing up. It was not a complicated recipe. In fact, you can find it on the back of the Lipton French Onion Soup box. This recipe has always been in my arsenal of go-to recipes ever since I flew the coop and started off on my own adventures.

Once I made the change to go gluten free, I was heartbroken that I would not be able to make my favorite meatloaf with the same ingredients. I decided to go on a mission to find a gluten free version. It didn't take me long to find what I was looking for in one of my favorite grocery stores: Trader Joe's! Not only is it affordable, but it is gluten free. My inner kid squealed in delight and I bought a few packets to test out the recipe once again.

Let me just say this, I was not disappointed! So let's get cooking.

Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. 96/4 lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 packet of gluten free onion soup (Trader Joe's has a gluten free version!)
  • 3/4 C gluten free bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 C water
  • 1/3 C sriracha ketchup*
  • 1/2 C BBQ Sauce (you can add before baking or after)** 
*I got my sriracha ketchup from Fry's (Arizona's Kroger equivalent). If you can't find it, you can use 1/3 C regular ketchup and 1-2 Tbsp sriracha depending on how spicy you want it. This happened by accident as it was the only type I had. This was a good accident to have happen.
**I prefer my BBQ sauce to be added after it's been baked, but it tastes just as good if you add on before baking.

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, add the ingredients in order given. 
  3. This recipe calls for you to get in hands deep to mix things up. Since I'm a germaphobe, I will put vinyl gloves on before sticking my hands in the mixture. I suggest you do the same too. Plus it's easy clean up. Work smarter, not harder. ;)
  4. Before you get your hands full of meatloaf mix, you will want to make sure your loaf or mini loaf pan is ready to go. Mix the ingredients thoroughly with your hands. 
  5. Once the ingredients are mixed together, scoop the meat mixture and pat it into the loaf pan so that the top is flat.
  6. Place in oven for 1 hour.
  7. Once meatloaf has cooked, I recommend letting it sit for about 10 minutes to cool before serving.
  8. Serves 6-8 (depending on type of pan used) 
  9. Add BBQ sauce if you didn't already put it on before baking.
  10. Recommended sides: potatoes and green beans
Additional Thoughts:

This was my first time using the mini loaf pan and I really liked the way it turned out. They definitely helped with portion control and it was the perfect amount of meatloaf. Using a loaf pan can be great, but it's hard to control the portions when you have to cut them yourself. A whole loaf is a serving size, right?!

Turning this recipe gluten free did not change the taste or texture of the original recipe. In fact, you cannot even tell it's gluten free! It's still very moist and juicy and most importantly, tasty!

Let me know what you think of the recipe and if you make it! I'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Stay strong my friends! Until next time.