Thursday, May 22, 2014

Make quick, easy mini meatloaves

Disclosure: This post only contains one link to a previous cooking post where I reviewed a cookbook and shared some of what I prepared. Read my complete disclosure policy.

Quite a few years ago I saw a recipe in a magazine (uh, it coulda been online) for mini meatloaves. I followed that recipe closely and we each enjoyed our own little meatloaf heaven. You already know I’m not a fan of cooking, but with three young children at home it must be done. Here are my tips for making the yummiest, juiciest mini meatloaves and a quick chicken burger.

I used the typical ingredients: ground turkey, chopped onion and peppers, seasoning, maybe an egg, ketchup or barbecue sauce and topped with cheese. It is as yummy as it sounds. A few days later I decided to take the pound of ground chicken I had to make little loaves again.

This time my ingredients weren’t as typical because supplies were running a little low so I did my classic “whatever is on hand that I know will taste good” meatloaf. To the ground chicken I added:

  • chopped onions along with green, red and yellow peppers
  • chopped broccoli
  • a little leftover fried rice
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • garlic powder
  • a little ketchup
  • grated parmesan cheese

I really don’t measure the ingredients, but everything is about 1/2 a cup except for the seasonings, which I’d say are about a teaspoon. After the meatloaves were 3/4 done, I diluted the last of the barbecue sauce just a little and poured it over the loaves. All of that was put into the muffin pan.

They baked on 400 (my kids were complaining that they were starving to death) for about 15 minutes then I lowered the temp to 325 for the last few minutes after I poured the final barbecue sauce. While they baked I prepared a quick rice and broccoli side. The good thing about the one dish meals is my children like vegetables so they don’t mind if they’re in a meat or casserole, and since they’re slender children I don’t have to worry about the extra starch/carbs once in awhile…. I use that same logic when I don’t fix vegetables.

Another great thing about this method is you don’t have to put your hands into the meat mixture unless you just love to do it that way. I use a metal spork (I think it was originally made for salads) to mix, mash and cut then spoon out into the pan. The spoon is the perfect size.

My two middle children loved them and asked for seconds, my youngest heartily ate hers but claimed she didn’t like it that much so she could get some toast. Don’t ya just love kids?

I have to confess I’ve used the same spoon method when I wanted a chicken burger and didn’t want to get my hands dirty. (My nails are really long right now – hand mixing meat with long nails is absolutely gross to me.) All you have to do is mix your ingredients in the bowl, take the amount of meat you want to make a burger with and put it in the center of your skillet, fold/turn from the edges out until it’s more compact then press to make it firmer. This actually makes a much juicier burger especially if you’re using ground chicken breast, which can be very dry if not prepared correctly.

What types of quick dishes do you prepare with ground meat?

There aren’t any pictures of these yummy, little meatloaves because someone can’t find the pictures she took of them. Therefore, please enjoy a short video of a tasty dish I made a little while ago.

See it, fix it, bake it, eat it.