For Valentine’s Day dinner, while many were having fancy dinners of steak or seafood, I decided to attempt a meatloaf. While this might seem blase’ to the average palette, for us it was a gamble that turned out to be a wonderful treat.
The reason that such a seemingly simple dish was a gamble is the dietary restrictions I was working with- no gluten, no egg, no cheese & no garlic! Now, up until about 2 years ago, my meatloaf recipe was ground beef, breadcrumbs, a couple of eggs, a bit of parmesan cheese, some italian herbs seasoning blend and a hearty dash of garlic powder. This was my first attempt at meatloaf since learning of our food sensitivities. Thankfully, it was a resounding success!
The basic recipe
(please bear in mind that all measurements are very much approximated)
3 lbs lean ground beef
1/2 c Scharr brand breadcrumbs
1 generous tablespoon ground chia seeds
1/4 c water
3 tbs of herbs- heavy on the thyme, plus basil, oregano, marjoram, summer savory
3 tbs dried minced onion
Put meat, herbs and onion into a mixing bowl and mush together to distribute the herbs. Add a splash of the water (2 tablespoons?)and let sit for 5 minutes or so, then mush together to incorporate the water. Add the rest of the water, then sprinkle the bread crumbs and ground chia seed, and mix well, making sure to work the chia seed powder and breadcrumbs through the meat mixture. Turn oven to about 350F and let it preheat. Let meat mixture sit for 15-20 minutes, to allow the chia seed to absorb the water so it can start doing the binder thing that the eggs would do.
Shape the meat into 2 loaves on a foil-lined (for easy clean up) baking tray & bake for about 50-60 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches the safe 160F (full discosure- I turned the oven off at 140F, took it out of the oven around 155F, and let it rest about 5-10 minutes until it hit the 160F mark)
Slice and serve!
It was no more difficult or time consuming than making my old meatloaf recipe was, and it was just as tasty! It was a bit more expensive because of the breadcrumbs, but I am confident enough with it now that I can consider using stale G-free bread bits to make my own crumbs.
Yay for meatloaf!