Our Veggie Meatloaf with vegetables and meat!
In our quest to feed various diet restrictions in one meal, we found one dish that is a favorite in our household. Yes, it contains meat and yes it does use organic catsup, but it is filled with vegetables and protein! We love veggie meatloaf!
I start off the quest with a trip to the grocery store and sometimes two to find the organic vegetables and meat I need. Amazingly, Target has turned out to be one of the best places to shop in our neighborhood with their organic selections in the superstore. Here I find less expensive organic ground beef and organic ground turkey. I haven’t seen a source of organic pork yet. So I use the ground pork at Target too.
If I’m lucky, I’ll find organic carrots (whole) and a bag of organic sweet potatoes (usually red) or yams. Often I’ll find organic onions there too. I also pick up one or two bottles of organic catsup.
I usually have to go to a regular grocery store to find the organic zucchini, yellow squash, or bell peppers. My daughter doesn’t like broccoli or cauliflower in the meatloaf, and I don’t do well with zucchini. I usually do one or two zucchini though. Bell peppers give a zing to the meatloaf. Other items that are tasty include fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, but I like to stay away from nightshades.
What are your favorite veggie meatloaf ingredients?
Once I’m home, I gather up the vegetables and move them through the food processor on shred. I pull out my giant wok and usually don’t add any oil to it. The vegetables give up enough juice and moisture to keep them from sticking. After shredding them, I cook on medium heat until they are tender, usually about 20 to 30 minutes. Sometimes I’ll add spices to the vegetables too while they are cooking.
The spices depend on what you are looking for: our family loves cumin, and we add that to our meatloaf, just a pinch. Our basics are organic garlic and onion powder, black pepper, and sea salt.
Once the vegetables are done, I remove them from heat and transfer them to a bowl to aid the cooling process. I don’t want to burn my hands or cook the meat with the hot vegetables.
In a different bowl, I will mix up the three kinds of meat thoroughly and add a cup of organic oats. Here you can add a different grain that you desire. Oats soak up the flavor, and it isn’t enough to cause me issues.
Do you have a food processor?
Once the vegetables are cool enough to touch, I mix the vegetables and meat mixtures. Once they are thoroughly mixed, we start preparing the pan.
I turn the oven on at 350 degrees to cook at medium heat for about an hour. Depending on how much there is and how you shape it, it could cook as fast as 30 minutes or all the way to 60 minutes. We use a large cookie pan and make it flatter because we like the catsup topping. We put parchment paper on the pan to aid in cleaning and keep it from sticking to the pan.
When we pour the meatloaf mixture into the pan, we flatten it out near to the edges of the pan. I usually give it an inch clearance around the sides to allow for juices that seep out. If you like a rounded meatloaf, you can shape yours differently.
We then retrieve the bottle or two of organic catsup and spread it thickly across the top. It sounds awful, but it caramelizes in the oven and tastes delicious. After it is finished cooking, I make sure I have enough containers to hold the leftovers without losing my catsup topping.
Do you put catsup on your meatloaf?
And now I have breakfast or lunch leftovers for a few days knowing I have a serving or two of vegetables with every portion of meat!
What about the sweet potatoes? Those we cook on the side, baked, for a side dish. Hmmmm.
Veggie Meatloaf with Catsup Topping
Ingredients – amounts depend on preference and size:
- 2 or 3 organic zucchinis
- 1 or 2 organic onions, yellow, white or red
- 3-5 organic carrots
- 1 or 2 organic yellow squash
- 1-2 pounds organic ground beef
- 1-2 pounds organic ground turkey
- 1-2 pounds of ground pork
- 1 or 2 bottles of organic catsup
Optional Ingredients – depends on what you want in it
- Fresh organic spinach or kale
- Organic mushrooms
- Organic chopped tomatoes
- Organic broccoli or cauliflower
Spices – all optional, depending on taste and amount of food
- sea salt
- black pepper
- organic onion powder
- organic garlic powder
- pinch of organic cumin, if desired
- Shred the vegetables finely and then cook over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes until soft.
- Add the spices while cooking the vegetables.
- Remove the vegetables from heat and place in a bowl to cool.
- Combine the meat and the oatmeal in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Combine the vegetables and meat mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Cover a large flat pan with parchment paper (a cookie sheet works)
- Pour the meatloaf mixture into the pan and flatten to the edges with about an inch to spare
- Cover the top of the meatloaf with catsup.
- Place in the oven and bake 30 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Remove from oven when done (no red meat) and let cool for ten minutes.
- Serve with salad and baked sweet potatoes.
I hope you enjoy Veggie Meatloaf with Catsup Topping!