Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Single Lady's (All the Single Ladies! All the Single Ladies) Meatloaf

So over here at Chez Single Girl, cooking dinner can be quite lame. One of my favorite dinners is Trader Joe's frozen Chicken Enchiladas. They are 330 calories, and a DOLLAR and SIXTY-NINE CENTS.

That is a full meal. At a budget friendly price.

And they are good. Yummm...ok. Must stop thinking about them.

But sometimes, I like to fancy it up a bit. I mean, dining habits of a bachelorette should NOT resemble those of a bachelor. Us ladies can't eat frozen dinners every night, can we? (I won't answer that).

So, I have a few go-to's. Here is the criteria that make a good Single Lady Dinner:
  • Easy. The simpler, the better. I make most of my meals on Sunday or Monday nights - and they carry me through the week. The less time it takes me to throw it together the better. I'd rather spend my time slaving in the kitchen baking rather than cooking - but that's just my gig.
  • Healthy. Yep. Gotta make sure that what were making is good for us too. Not to say, the occasional cheesy, buttery, carby recipe won't make an appearance.
  • Ingredients are easily kept on hand. A lot of my recipes include ingredients that I can keep in my cabinets. Or freezer. So that when I figure out my week's agenda, I can just pull them out and start cooking.
  • Delayable. The single lady's social calendar can be a bit of a wildcard. Things change a lot. I may think when I'm shopping on Saturday that I will be eating 4 or 5 dinners at home, and by the time Sunday night rolls around its looking like only one or two, sometimes none. Usually, I'll freeze any meat, store the other ingredients, and just pull it out the next week (see above!).
  • Reheatable. Most of the meals I make are for multiple servings. I usually try to cook in terms of four. I find that a lot of recipes serve four, and usually, at the most, I'll be home for dinner 4 nights in a week.  I need my meals to be just as good Thursday night as they were Monday night.
  • Decent Serving Size. Like I said in the bullet above, I need something that will make for several meals, but also won't be so big that it feeds an army - and goes to waste. 
Okay, well that covers the criteria - let's get to the good stuff. The food.

The Single Lady's Meatloaf

(It's okay if at this point you start doing the one hip bounce and singing All the Single Ladies All the Single Ladies - Make Beyonce Proud)

Anyway...moving on.

Ingredients:
1lb +/- of Ground Turkey - I have been getting the leanest kind I can find. Ground Turkey Breast. You can absolutely use ground beef, or regular ground turkey. Whatever floats your boat.
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
2 Egg Whites
1/3 cup Ketchup (or BBQ sauce!)
1/4 to 1 Whole Onion, chopped.
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, and Worcestershire Sauce - any or all of these - however much you like, to taste.
More Ketchup (or BBQ sauce!)

First up - preheat. I put my oven to 350* or 375* (obviously I don't have this down to a science). 

Spray a standard sized loaf pan very well. If you are feeling extra sassy - you could use a couple mini loaf pans. 

Combine all your ingredients. Yep that is it. Here are a few of my notes.

I looooooooove onions. A lot. And since this is the Single Lady meatloaf, if you like them too, go to town. Nobody will mind. I usually use about 1/2-3/4 of an onion. And save the rest for something else. Or just throw it away. If you don't like onions, feel free to skip them. 

You can totally get creative here - put anything you want in your meatloaf. Celery? Carrots? I almost put black olives in it tonight...would that be weird? You could also caramelize or sautee your onions before adding to the meatloaf. But like I said, I'm going for easy here.

Mix well.


At this point. You are basically done. I only started making meatloaf last month. Why did I wait so long?!? 

Now comes the fun part. Pack your meat mixture into the loaf pan. and flatten it down with a spoon. You know what else I love about this method? I don't have to actually TOUCH the meat. Bonus points there.

Squiggle ketchup along the top. You could leave it like that....or using a silicone brush spread the ketchup like a glaze over the entire meatloaf. (I should also mention at this point, you could sub in BBQ sauce for ketchup in the mixture and on top - I am meaning to try this soon - I think it sounds DEEE-LICIOUS!).



Stick it in the oven. Set the timer for 45 minutes to an hour. And walk away.

This is another reason I love this recipe. It gives me 45 minutes to do stuff I need to get done. Unload the dishwasher. Open the mail. Fold laundry. You name it. 

A well balanced single lady would probably cook up some veggies at this point. Unfortunately, I did not plan well, and forgot to pick up some this week. Asparagus would be SO good. Cauliflower and Broccoli as well. Especially anything that can be reheated with the meatloaf.

After the timer goes off - your meal should be ready. Let it sit in the pan for about 10 minutes - and take a knife to loosen the edges. Flip the meatloaf onto a plate or piece of foil. Let cool a little longer, slice, serve the piece you are going to eat tonight, and put the other slices into containers for reheating. (You can also freeze one of these containers for a fully cooked reheatable meal).

I served this up with a bowl of TJ's Low Sodium Minestrone Soup (veggies!). 


So there isn't anything too special about this meatloaf. Except that it's called the Single Lady's Meatloaf (which makes it pretty darn special). But it's just a regular old meatloaf. I think you'll still enjoy it. Single, or otherwise.



5 comments:

  1. i think i want to be single just to make this meatloaf. peace out, davis.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey kim. Thanks for the comment.
    Just came by to check your blog.
    And I loved the title of your meatloaf recipe.
    I'm also a single gal and I have never made a meatloaf for myself. It's tough cooking for one. But I think I will have to make this!!! It's for single ladies anyways! lol
    Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jess - I don't think you can ditch Davis. He'd be lost without you. And YOUR porcupine meatballs. Which reminds me, can you make those and invite me for dinner one of these days?

    Tati - Thanks so much for stopping by! That is so funny about the never making meatloaf thing - I was the same way, I don't know why I never did - I guess I just thought it was boring - but now I know, its YUMMY! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. LOVE this post!

    and the meatloaf will be making an appearance in our single-lady kitchen!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hahah - AWESOME! :) You'll have to share with me some of you & Ellen's Steiger lady recipes! I know you have some! ....I'm thinking GUEST POST? :)

    ReplyDelete