Thursday, May 3, 2012

Meatloaf Bites

I admit: I am a tree-huggin' kind of mama with a bit of a meat and potatoes kind of family. We don't always see eye-to-eye about what's "yummy" and what's "cardboard" (smile), but when meals like this sit upon the table it seems no differences can be found. We all eat, we all enjoy.

I've seen a bunch of meatloaf in cupcake pans approaches to dinner lately, and I've been excited to try them out. Reducing the cooking time of a traditional meatloaf from an hour to 15 minutes seemed too good to resist. Then, I had the idea to try our reusable mini cupcake liners to make "meatloaf bites."  I couldn't have imagined the success- everyone loved them and I literally served them for two dinners and one lunch within a 24 hour period. The mashed potato topping and sauteed kale on the side were also perfect companions.

To try this out with your family:

You will need:
3 tbs. butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup garlic, chopped
2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1/2. tsp nutmeg
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup dairy cream
1/2 cup ketchup
1 lb ground beef
1 1/2 cups gluten-free bread crumbs
Salt to taste

The process:
Sautee onion, peppers, carrots, celery and garlic in butter until soft.

Mix wet ingredients plus spices, and add cream. (I'm so precise with my measurements, aren't I? Serious cooks, look away!) Mix well to combine.
 Add sauteed vegetables to the cream (wet) mixture.
 Add gluten free bread crumbs as well.
 Add ketchup and mix.
Finally, add ground beef and combine well.

Place mixture into greased muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes, or until "muffins" are cooked completely through. If you use mini muffin cups as I did, cook them for about 15 minutes, checking periodically.

Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes before serving.

If you're using mashed potato "icing" then put mashed potatoes in a bag, cut a small hole in the corner, and push mashed potato out as you would icing on a cupcake. 




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