Veggie Rich Meat Loaf

I have to tell you… I’m not a big fan of meat loaf. I can’t understand the whole drown it with ketchup or barbecue sauce and bake it thing. Ketchup is fine as a condiment but not on my meat loaf, thank you very much.

Years ago, I came across a meat loaf recipe that doesn’t smother the poor thing in ketchup. I’m not sure where I found the recipe; it was certainly long before I was using the internet and Pinterest to find recipe inspiration. I don’t make it often but every time I do, I wonder why I don’t make it more often.

In addition to the ground meat, it’s loaded with vegetables. There’s almost as much of the vegetable mix as there is of the meat. The finished meat loaf is moist and tasty and doesn’t need ketchup. The original recipe calls for two pounds of ground beef; my local grocery store and main meat supplier has packages of ground meat that has beef, veal, and pork; the packages average about 1.5 lbs. I went with that.

Meat mix

As for the vegetables, I used my food processor for the mushrooms, onions, and carrots; I’ve shredded my finger nails too often and the processor makes nice little pieces that sauté up nicely. The only thing I did slice and dice was the celery.

veg mix

I’ll be serving it with Grandma’s Scalloped Potatoes and some veg (probably carrots and peas) on the side.

Oven ready


 

Veggie Rich Meat Loaf

[printable version]

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup celery, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1.5 – 2 lbs ground meat
  • 1/2  cup flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp. fines herbes
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce

In a large skillet, melt the butter and heat the vegetables and water to boiling. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender but still crisp. Allow to cool.

Once the vegetables have cooled, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix lightly until well blended. Shape into a loaf approximately 8″ x 6″ on a greased jelly roll pan or in a loaf pan.

Bake at 350ºF for 1 hour or until cooked through and browned.

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Captain Ben’s Crispy Cod

For as long as John and I have been together, whenever there’s talk of fish and chips, one specific recipe comes out. Sure, we could go to C-Lovers, our local fish and chip joint which is pretty good but, really, John’s fish and chip recipe is so much better! He’s had this recipe for a long time, probably some time in the 70’s, a newspaper clipping from the Vancouver Sun, given to him by his aunt.

Captain Ben20000As you can see, the original recipe calls for a dash of monosodium glutamate (MSG, aka Accent); I do  not keep that poison in my home; it is definitely a migraine trigger for me.

Cod2

Now, if I were to tell you that this fish doesn’t get soggy, you probably wouldn’t believe me. It’s true, though. We’ve made this many times; I’ve taken leftovers (if I’m lucky enough that there are any) to work with me the next day and they’re STILL crispy. Seriously!

Cod3

And there’s one ingredient that isn’t in this recipe… beer. This ain’t no beer-battered fish. Trust me… try it.

When John makes it, he doesn’t usually marinate the fish as the recipe directs. I made it today and followed the recipe exactly. Either way is good but I must say, I really enjoyed it marinated. Oh, I used the leftover batter to make onion rings.

Cod1

 

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Captain Ben’s Crispy Cod

[printable version]

Fish:

  • 1 lb. fresh cod
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Batter:

  • 2/3 cup corn starch
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • water (I used about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

Cut the cod into chunks about 1″ x 2″ (bite sized pieces), and put into a bowl. Sprinkle remaining ingredients over; stir to mix well. Marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

For the batter, combine corn starch, flour, and vinegar but NOT the baking powder. Add enough water to make a medium thick pancake batter. Heat oil to 375ºF. Once the oil has reached the correct temperature, add the baking powder to the batter, stirring well. Dip fish chunks in the batter. Fry until golden brown, 3-4 minutes.

Remove to paper towel-lined baking sheet; hold in a warm oven until all the fish is cooked.

Broccoli Surprise

John asked what we were going to have for dinner tonight; my daughter and her two kids will be here. I told him we’re having Broccoli Surprise. His reaction was, “Surprise? I already don’t like it.” Thoughts of one pan meals with a base of either rice or potatoes, leftovers from the previous week on top of the base with a can of cream of something poured over the lot and cheddar cheese sprinkled on it must be going through John’s mind. This is nothing like that.

The surprise in this dish is that it really does taste good! Broccoli and chicken are baked in a sauce that, yes, is comprised of two cans of cream soup but, honestly, it’s really good. I serve it with rice on the side and will be adding a side salad to fill out our dinner.

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I’ve been making this dish for a lot of years and every time I do, it gets raves.

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Broccoli Surprise

[printable version]

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • pepper and salt, to taste
  • oil
  • broccoli (I usually use two “heads”)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 – 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces; sprinkle with salt and pepper and brown in oil over medium high heat. In a separate bowl, combine the soups, mayonnaise, lemon juice, curry powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces and arrange in a casserole dish. Put the chicken on top of the broccoli and pour the soup mix over the chicken. Sprinkle generously with grated cheddar cheese.

Bake at 375º for 30-35 minutes. Serve over rice.

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