Basic meatloaf mix is a recipe that you can use as a starting point to create many different meals. It comes together quickly and freezes well, so it’s a great way to prep for meatloaf, meatballs, soup, and more.
This basic meatloaf mix recipe was originally published as part of a post in the Greenwood Daily Journal, on Saturday October 15, 2011
Do you ever stop and think about how many times a day you think about food? What you will cook that day, what sounds good, what you wish you could have? I speak from experience when I say that I have food on my mind all of the time.
Eating and feeding my family is a multi-dimensional hobby for me. Not only do I love to cook and try new things, I enjoy the hunt, so to speak. I love to read cookbooks and cooking periodicals. But like many hobbies, I have difficulty finding the time to sit down and enjoy the research of finding new recipes.
A few years ago, I decided that I would sit down on a Saturday morning and plan out my weekday menus for a month. I poured over my recipe box, scoured the Internet, and clipped tons of coupons. I was diligent about reading grocery ads and staying on top of who sold what and for how much. This lasted all of 2 weeks. I bought more than I normally would, just because I had a coupon for it, or drive out of my way to do my shopping to save a dollar on toilet paper.
I wanted to find a way to feed my family healthy meals, get them on the table quickly, and not break the bank in the process. There is a popular misconception that preparing great meals at home has to be extravagant and expensive, but it really doesn’t. Healthy meals can be colorful, not boring, and not too time consuming to make.
Starting at the beginning, decide what is a priority. Think out of the box, so to speak. Be prepared, so you can prevent quick trips to the grocery store every day. I tend to make bad purchases when I do that. So making use of frozen or pre-cut vegetables and fruits, making meals ahead of time, and planning only one week of meals at a time is what I do to stay on track.
What I wanted was to eat well and to stretch a meal to have leftovers for lunch or best case, make a larger portion so I could freeze half and prepare the rest. I found that it is possible to break from the ordinary and mundane yet still make something that my family and pocketbook can appreciate.
This basic meatloaf mix recipe fits into that category perfectly.
It may surprise you to know that one of my favorite meals is meatloaf. Now don’t judge, it is a great and very versatile meal to have in your cooking repertoire. It has taken me several years and a whole lot of lackluster attempts to finally perfect my recipe and I owe it all to Martha Stewart. I read an article in her magazine a few years ago about her secret to a flavorful basic meatloaf: fresh bread crumbs soaked in milk. That’s all I needed to hear.
I have found that you either love meatloaf or you hate it. Some people envision a greasy loaf of meat slathered in ketchup so that’s not very appetizing. My new recipe makes enough for 2 meals. I call it my ground meat mix. I split the mix in half to make a meatloaf now and freeze the rest for later use. I use that portion to make meatballs, empanadas, or another meatloaf. This mix is ready and waiting to be transformed into what I need. 2 meals out of 1 prep. Best of all, on this particular night, I had a little left over that I used to make great grilled meatloaf sandwiches the next day!
So give this one a try, you will like it. I use this basic recipe and sometimes spice up the glaze a bit. I form the meat mixture into a long, flat loaf shape and cook it on a sheet pan. Sometimes I even put a small amount in the spots on a muffin tin to make little ‘mini’ meatloaf muffins. You can refrigerate this meat mixture for one day or freeze for up to one month . Thaw overnight before shaping and baking.