Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Italian Meatloaf & Mashed Cauliflower



Does anyone else think of Will Ferrell in The Wedding Crashers yelling, "Ma! Meatloaf!"
Cracks. Me. Up.

These recipe was a result of 1) A cravin' and 2) me trying to stick to lower-carb foods

First up, the loaf of meat:
Now, to be fair, I made a close version of "Not Your Mama's Meatloaf"- 
1) I added about 1 tsp of Italian Seasoning to the Tomato Sauce Topping
2) halved the original recipe (b/c 2 lbs is a lot of meatloaf for 2 people), and 
3) omitted the prosciutto and provolone ('cause I had zilch)

Here's the original recipe:

Tomato Sauce Topping
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup sugar substitute (such as Splenda)
2 teaspoons white vinegar or 2 teaspoons water

Meatloaf
2 lbs ground beef
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced (roasted or fresh)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 lb prosciutto, thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 lb provolone cheese, sliced

Directions:
1 Preheat oven to 350°F.
2 In small bowl, combine tomato sauce topping ingredients and set aside.
3 Add water to sauce to thin, as needed.
4 In large bowl, combine beef, eggs, cheese, vegetables, herbs & seasonings.
5 Place meat mixture on a wax paper-lined jellyroll pan or counter.
6 Form meat into a 10x8-inch flat rectangle.
7 Place prosciutto slices on the meatloaf mixture.
8 Place the provolone slices on top.
9 Starting with the short side, roll the meatloaf up (may need to use the wax paper to help).
10 Seal ends and place, seam side down, into a loaf pan.
11 Spread tomato sauce topping on the meatloaf, completely covering the top.
12 Bake for 75 minutes (1 hour 15 minutes).
13 Drain fat and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

So, what's the result?
It tastes 80% like an Italian Meatloaf/Meatball and 20% like a traditional (Yes, I CAN verify those stats.)
The Tomato Sauce Topping tastes surprisingly like ketchup on top of the meatloaf. 
 

 Next up, is the "Mock Garlic Mashed Potatoes" from Foodnetwork.com
The Secret? 
Cauliflower
Ingredients
1 medium head cauliflower
1 Tablespoon cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry chives, for garnish
 1 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions
1) Set a stockpot of water to boil over high heat.
2) Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done. 3) Drain well; do not let cool and pat cooked cauliflower very dry between several layers of paper towels.
4) In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, butter salt, and pepper until almost smooth.

 So, were they a good substitute for mashed potatoes?
I thought these were delicious!
I personally liked these better than mashed potatoes.
BUT, if you are a major mashed potato connoisseur, please note: Mashed Cauliflower is somewhat similar to, but they are *not* mashed potatoes in the classic sense- they are naturally slightly sweeter (which I love) and the texture is a bit different. 
 
Hubby prefers his actual mashed potatoes, but I think I'd make the mock version any day.

***
After a few days of feeling sluggish, I was READY for a good workout today, and, boy, I had a great one!

Which looked something like this:
- for the warm-up, 5 minutes on the elliptical
- for the HIIT Blitz portion, I did Fitnessista's Holiday HIIT Workout (4 times through)
- Lean Leg Circuit  portion
-for the 10 minutes of Steady Cardio, I jogged 6.0 (1 mile) on the treadmill

Whew!  
It was a good one!




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