My oldest is a fantastic eater. She has a better palette than most adults and does’t bat an eye at beets or kale, brussels sprouts or squash. I used to think this was the result of my brilliant parenting. However, with the arrival of pickiest child ever, Tommy, I realized that I had, in fact, just lucked out the first time around. With Mr. Picky able to sniff out green pieces, garlic, and any other food item he’s decided to hate, I’m always trying to find ways to pack hidden vegetables into our food. This is especially true with dinner recipes since breakfast and lunch are usually more rushed because we always seem to be on the go.
One of my favorite meals that’s loaded with nutrients and that everyone loves is my meatloaf. Make no mistake. This ain’t your grandma’s meatloaf. I pack my meatloaf so full of veggies it’s ridiculous. This recipe is also extremely versatile in terms of the veggies used so I make this at the end of the week and clean out my fridge with any remaining, random vegetables for the meatloaf. I’ve used everything from diced squash and sweet potatoes to tomatoes and mushrooms in this recipe. Waste not want not!
Another plus, you can make this in the morning and keep it wrapped in the fridge and then have the nanny put it in the oven 45 minutes before you get home from work and you feel like super mom when you walk in the door to aromas of a just-about-cooked dinner ready to set on the table. Little victories, people.
Veggie Packed Meatloaf
1 1/2- 2 lb grassfed, organic ground beef
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 carrots, finely chopped (the smaller the chop the more sneakily they hide from children!)
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 red or yellow pepper, finely chopped
1 small/medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
1 large handful spinach or kale, finely chopped
1 piece of Ezekial bread crumbled into crumbs (I use a food processor)
1/2 cup milk
2 pastured eggs
Salt, pepper, and any herbs of choice (I like a little thyme and oregano)
Preheat oven to 375
Put your breadcrumbs in a small bowl with the milk. Let sit so that the bread crumbs absorb all of the milk.
Meanwhile, in a cast iron skillet melt your coconut oil. Add in carrots, onion, pepper, and celery. Cook until lightly browned and fragrant. About 5-7 minutes. Add in garlic and your greens. Cook for another minute or two. Season with salt and pepper and any herbs you’re using. Set aside and let cool
In a large bowl add the meat, eggs, cooked veggies, breadcrumb mixture, and 2 tbsp of the ketchup.
Mix well and add in a pinch of salt and pepper.
Scoop the mixture into a loaf pan and add a quarter cup of water on top. Top with ketchup.
Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes. Enjoy with mashed leeks and potatoes!