Cooking Class Meatloaf
Last Saturday I taught a class on Cooking Ahead at the Whole Foods Market in Sacramento.  I took a picture of the main entree that I made.  The secret to creating cooking ahead menus and recipes is all in the planning.  This All Purpose Meat Mixture can be customized just for you and your family.  I’ll give you the basic measurements and you can substitute any of them.  For instance, for the beef, I like to use part beef (10% or less fat), part turkey.  I get my ground turkey thighs or breasts at Whole Foods.  They sell organic chickens and turkeys and the taste is fabulous.  Of course if you can’t get to WF then ground turkey from the meat counter works just fine. If you don’t want to use beef at all; don’t.  You could also substitute 1/3 of the mixture with hydrated TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) a soy based product.
This recipe will make over 8 pounds of a meat mixture.  This is when you can get really creative.  Decide how you will use the mix.  For instance, if your meals for the next two weeks included the following, then you would seperate out the meat and mark your container with its future use:  
1.  Mini Muffin Meat Loaves (use 4 oz raw meat mix per person in individual muffin pans) These are the ones I made in the class.
2.  Free Form Meatloaf
3.  Tacos - mix in dry taco seasoning (Like Lawry’s Taco Seasoning).  Dice up a potato and saute in a non-stick skillet with 1/2 a diced small onion, 1 clove garlic, minced, approximately 1/4 cup water.  Saute the potato, onion, and garlic in 1 teaspoon of oil. Saute until potatoes are 1/2 done (about 5 minutes).  If they start to stick, add a little more water (2 tablespoons at a time).  Add meat and taco seasoning.  You’ll have a great taco filling or burrito filling.
4.  Meatballs for Pasta - add frozen meatballs to your jarred pasta sauce and cook, low heat, for approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
5.  Meatball Soup
6.  Sweet and Sour Meatballs
7.  Salisbury Steak
These are just a few thoughts on it. So go ahead and make the mix and create your own ideas.  
24 ounces tomato sauce
3 cups dry bread crumbs, plain
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup carrots, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed, more if you want
1 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed, more if you want
8 pounds lean 10% or less ground beef or ground turkey, or ground pork, or a mixture
Combine all the ingredients.  DO NOT OVERMIX, but make sure it is mixed well.  Divide up into baggies for freezing and don’t forget to label them.
I served Cauliflower Puree (the healthy substitute for mash potatos) which is made as follows:
For 2 People
1 head cauliflower
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 teaspoon fat free milk or fat free Half/Half
Cut up cauliflower into florets. Steam cauliflower until tender, approximately 15 minutes. Put in a food processor, add butter and 1 teaspoon milk.  Process until smooth.  If too thick add more milk, just 1/2 teaspoon at a time.  
Spray a 12 muffin pan with cooking spray. Fill the muffins with the meat mixture.  Bake in a 350 degree oven (preheated of course) for approximately 25 minutes.  Remove and let sit for 10 minutes. Make sure there are no raw areas.  I use a meat thermometer.  Meat should register 160 when you take it out of the oven and it will finish cooking while it is sitting.  Or you can cut one in half and look at it.  You won’t notice the cut when the gravy is over it.
Serves 4
Each serving is 68 calories; 0.4g fat; 0.8g fiber  (yahoo no fat)
You will need the following for 4 servings:
1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 cup picante sauce, divided
1/2 cup (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
chopped parsley
Combine beef broth, flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.  Add 1/4 cup picante sauce and Worcestershire sauce; stir well with whisk.  
In a non-stick saute pan add mushrooms; and saute 2 minutes or until browned.  Don’t be in a hurry for this step.  You want the mushrooms to get a nice “saute” look on the bottom of them.  Add reserved broth to the mixture.  Bring to a boil; cook 3 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly.  Serve over meat loaf.  
Serves 10  (but you can freeze them)
1 (2 pound) package fresh baby carrots
1 cup water
1 (10 ounce) jar low sugar apricot preserves
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
2 teaspoons minced crystallized ginger
Note:  Crystallized ginger is fresh ginger that has been cooked in a sugar syrup and coated with coarse sugar.  It adds a sweeter ginger flavor than fresh ginger. You can find the ginger in the herbs and spice area (It comes in a jar).  You will love the carrots and use this recipe often.  They are also great chopped up and put in salads.
Combine the carrots and water in a saucepan.  You will need a medium sized one.  Cover and bring to a boil. Boil for approximately 10 minutes.  Don’t overcook.  Drain and put in a bowl.
Combine the preserves, margarine and ginger in a saucepan.  Cook over low heat until the preserves melt.  Stir constantly for about 2 minuites or until heated thru. Pour over the carrots and stir until well blended.
Per serving:  126 calories; 2.4g fat; 2.9g fiber; 59mg sodium.  
Cooking Class Meatloaf
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
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