Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I know meatloaf is nothing fancy and by no means gourmet, but there are times when it just hits the spot...like comfort food. While the term "comfort food" is typically applied to something warm, rich and filling, I often think of this meatloaf as my ultimate comfort food. Considering the lean meat content and mixture of finely chopped veggies that comprise this dish, it really isn’t unhealthy - making it a low-guilt comfort food. This recipe is exceptionally versatile as it can be made with virtually any ground meat: beef, turkey, pork, etc. I used beef this time and must admit - the leftovers make delicious meatloaf sandwiches!

Once you combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly using your hands (I admit, I glove up my hands with disposable rubber gloves, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with clean, bare hands getting involved), then shape your mixture into a loaf. No need to use a loaf pan, the egg and bread crumbs will hold this meatloaf together quite adequately.


4 slices white or wheat bread, torn into pieces
2 1/2 pound ground meat
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and loosely chopped into large chunks
2 cloves garlic
2 ribs celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh, flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 large eggs
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tsp. mustard
1 tbs. salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper*

For Topping(to be added during last 20 minutes of baking):
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tsp. mustard
2 Tbs. brown sugar
Mix the above three ingredients until smooth.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place bread in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a large bowl; add ground meat. Place onion, garlic, celery, carrots and parsley in food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Add to meat mixture; combine using your hands. Note: the texture and shape of your meatloaf will not be the same if you attempt to mix with a spoon or in a large mixture-must be mixed with your hands! Add eggs, ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper; combine thoroughly, again using your hands. Shape into a loaf and place in a large casserole dish. Cover very loosely with a foil tent and bake in 400 degree oven, about 90 minutes or until meat thermometer reaches 160 degrees, remembering uncover and spread topping on the loaf during the last 20 minutes of cooking. Enjoy!

*Live-It-Up-Variation: add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes to give an extra kick!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Simple Roasted Potatoes

I must be Irish at heart as I love potatoes - mashed, french fried, roasted, sauteed, gnocchi, fried into patties, you name it. I once even attempted (albeit halfheartedly) to convince my husband that we should purchase a potato farm. Yes, I love potatoes. I started oven roasting potatoes a few years ago and have experimented with a variety of seasonings. This recipe has made it's way to the top (currently, anyway) as my family's favorite concoction for roasted potatoes.

You begin with 6 potatoes, and chopped into rough 1-inch cubes. To this you add 1/2 of a yellow onion, chopped fine.

Combine olive oil and seasonings (complete recipe below) in a large bowl, whisking well. Pour the oil mixture over the potatoes and onions, stirring well to combine and give a good coat to each of the potato cubes.

Pour potatoes onto a sheet pan and spread evenly so that each potato is on the sheet pan. Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes.

Simple Roasted Potatoes

6 medium potatoes, well-washed with skins left on
½ yellow or purple onion chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp. Garlic powder
1 tsp. basil
½ tsp oregano
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. pepper

Chop potatoes into ½-inch cubes and place in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Add chopped onion. In a small bowl, combine olive oil and all remaining seasonings. Whisk to well combine. Pour oil mixture over potatoes and onions and toss till potatoes are well coated. Pour potatoes onto a sheet pan, spreading evenly and making sure each potato is touching the pan, so they are not stacked on top of each other. Roast in a 400 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes.