One good, but scary change... as of later this month, my youngest son will be attending public school for the first time in his life after homeschooling/unschooling all his life... high school...both of us made the choice.
This is almost worst than my oldest 3 starting kindergarten... it's a good change... (say over and over in my head...)
Clothes shopping as soon as we get down to Denton!
First, I will start by saying that I don't love my crock pot... it's big and clunky and a pain in the patootie to clean... it's not that hard if it is soaked, but... ehh... it's useful, makes good food, saves oven space, and it does not heat up the house in the summertime.
The writing of this recipe is a work in progress. I plan to take some pictures next time I make a meatloaf. Maybe later this week!
What I like to do is to put the meatloaf onto a bed of potatoes (sweet or/and white) or other chunky veggies that take a little time to cook... turnips, rutabaga, winter squashes, etc... post a comment down below with some other ideas. The reason behind putting the meatloaf on top of the vegetables is to keep the meatloaf from getting super soggy and falling apart while giving the vegetables juices to cook in. My recipe is NOT a low fat recipe: I recommend using ground beef or ground chuck, nothing leaner than 80% beef and 20% fat because we NEED those juices to drip down and flavor and cook those vegetables!
You could try using a leaner meat and using some broth, maybe 1 or 2 cups?If you use broth, leave a note in the comments below letting me know how much you used and KUDOS to you if you use a nutritious home-made, long-cooked bone broth!
This is not an *exact amount* recipe. I'm inspired by The Frugal Gourmet who liked to estimate amounts. I remember him saying in a Cali-girl tone: "didn't she have a grandmotherrrrrr??" when someone was obsessed with needing the exact amounts. I may list amounts, but they are all "to taste"/As You Wish!
It can be made gluten free if you use almond or rice flour or gluten free bread crumbs.
The super-condensed version is: layer some long cooking vegetables along the bottom and sides, put in your meatloaf, put a little sauce on top. If you're using lean meat, put some broth on the bottom... cover and cook on high or low for a few hours until vegetables and meat are done. Serve and enjoy.
Long cooking vegetables such as potatoes (sweet & white), rutabaga, carrots (sliced thickly), turnips, parsnips, winter squash, etc. .. you'll need enough to line the bottom and about 2" along the sides of your crock pot. I used an equivalent of 6 medium to large potatoes in a 7 quart crock pot.
Slice these babies 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
1 chopped onion
2 or 3 cloves garlic chopped
Your favorite meatloaf recipe OR for a 7 quart crock pot, I use:
3 lbs ground meat. I usually use 2 pounds of ground beef and 1 pound of sausage.
3 eggs (1 egg per pound of meat).
Enough bread crumbs/croutons/almond flour to hold the meat together yet, so that the meat is still moist, maybe a cup?
1 small can of tomato paste or equivalent amount of ketchup or 1 or 2 tablespoons of soy sauce or steak sauce or bbq sauce
Seasonings such as salt & pepper, onion, garlic, creole seasoning, Cajun seasoning, etc.
1: spray the bottom of the crock pot with cooking oil spray or coat with oil of your choice; olive oil is nice.
2: line the long cooking vegetables along the bottom and sides of the crock pot. Make sure the bottom is covered. If you have some thin slices, you can use more than one slice on the bottom...
3: mix the meat(s), eggs, chopped onions and garlic, seasonings, salt/pepper, ketchup, bbq sauce, steak sauce, soy sauce . You don't need to use all these sauces, pick 2... or use all if you like! Be sure to set aside enough of one of the thicker sauces for the top... mix well.. I use my hands... and transfer loving thoughts into the mixture.
Note: you can do this step before you do step 2 so the meat mixture is ready to be plopped into the crock pot.
4. Form your loaf so that it will fit on top of the vegetables without touching the sides of the crock pot.
5. Slather sauce on top of the loaf.
6. Cover and set to low or high... mine usually cooks in 3 or 4 hours, check and see if the vegetables are soft enough. I wouldn't go much more than 6 hours.
7. Serve & enjoy. In my house, 3 pounds of meat in a meatloaf will feed about 8 or 9 people... I live with hungry bears... slim ones! Except me: I'm the fluffy one!
Now where did I put that spell checker.....?? Ah. Found it. It insists that crockpot needs to be 2 words... Google goes both ways!