In my core I am a simple woman. I grew up eating on a schedule – it is the whole Taco Tuesday thing only with the foods of my youth: pork chops, spaghetti, fried chicken, and the king of the weekday menu: Meatloaf.
There is no real explanation for my meatloaf mania. I don’t recall having a passion for it as a child, but in my later years, meatloaf has come to signify comfort and familiarity. I wish I could say that I have, over the years, perfected my own recipe. But I have not.
If my mom ever wrote down how to make it, I have long since lost the instructions. Since she worked and it was my job to get dinner on the table, I’m sure there was a recipe; I just don’t follow instructions well…if at all. So I look up recipes on line and try to find just the right mix of meat, ketchup, and other ingredients to satisfy my cravings. Fortunately for me my husband is not a huge fan; leftovers are all mine! Who, doesn’t love a cold meatloaf sandwich on white bread with lots of mayo? Not your thing? That’s ok, just no need to tell me how gross this sounds to you. Thank you.
Some meatloaf experiments have gone better than others. Sometimes I try to get fancy with the seasonings only to regret it in the end. I know for a fact that my mom’s meatloaf used onion, celery and green peppers chopped up and blended with the meat. I have decided that I prefer a less crunchy meatloaf. It is like pablum for a baby. Also, sneaking veggies into a regular dish to up the nutrition quotient, is a no-no. Just give me ground meat a few key seasonings and a texture that neither dry nor too moist.
I tried getting cute by making a Mexican themed meatloaf – cumin, onion, garlic, topped with a salsa like mixture. Yeah, it was ok. But was it real meatloaf? Not on your life. I also reject turkey meatloaf, ground chicken meatloaf, and it should go without saying that any kind of meat substitute will never be meatloaf. I will accept some pork blended with the ground beef, but that is as exotic as I choose to get. Sorry. Facts are facts.
This week I decided to try a Keto friendly recipe. Yes, I was suspicious, but it turned out surprisingly delicious. Most of the ingredients are standard fare. But where this recipe departs from the normal meatloaf route is that it replaces bread products with crushed pork rinds. Yes, those rich, crunchy bits of fried pork skin that used to be taboo. I really didn’t think it would work, but it did! I made the dipping sauce and spread it on top of the meat during the last 10 minutes of baking. It was a tangy addition to the dish.
In full disclosure I did not have sugar free ketchup nor keto friendly brown sugar. So, in the purest of senses mine was not totally a keto dish. But, it was so good and something I will make again.
So, what’s your go to favorite food from childhood? I have more, primarily Mac ‘n Cheese (homemade not the blue box). But that is for another day. Enjoy some of those old things. Modify the recipes as needed to match your current eating style and health requirements, but enjoy yourself as you nourish your body.
Have an amazing weekend!