Meatloaf recipes are basically the same except as we revise them to suit our needs or whims. What’s in your refrigerator? What’s on your pantry shelf? If not an ingredient your recipe calls for, you might find something that will work as well or better. I have fun with meatloaf. Why not be creative?
Before I started my meatloaf, I decided what I would serve along with it. I want to include fruits and vegetables, alkaline along with acidic foods, so I served zucchini patties, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and cherries.
Parsley and onion were ingredients in the meatloaf.
Then began the fun of building my personalized meatloaf. I used three sirloin patties, each one being 1/3 pound, or one pound of ground beef. I chopped some onion, not quite 1 cup. (I put in extra chopped onions because we like meatloaf with lots of onion. Subtract or add as you prefer.) I added the onion to the ground beef and mixed them together.
I added a few sprigs of parsley, minus the stems. I put parsley leaves into my Cuisinart food processor and chopped it finely. (I placed a coffee cup next to the food processor so you can tell how small it is.) The parsley adds dark green nutrition to my meatloaf and does not noticeably change the taste. Leave it out if you prefer.
Then I added dried spices, about 1/2 teaspoon of basil, 1/4 teaspoon of oregano, 1/8 of ground thyme, and a pinch of sage. I mixed again. (Feel free to put the spices you like in meatloaf, or none at all.)
I also added some cooked rice, about 1/4 cup. I had leftover rice in the refrigerator, but if you don’t, you could use bread crumbs, rolled oats, crushed crackers, or whatever you have on hand.
Next I added two eggs.
Then the fun began: I usually use tomato sauce, but I didn’t want to open a can to use only a small part of it, so I opened my refrigerator to see what might be in there. I found a bottle of buttermilk. I needed to use it, and I felt quite certain that it would be good in meatloaf. But how would I know unless I were to try it out? So I added 1/4 cup of buttermilk to my meatloaf to moisturize it along with the eggs and onions.
On top I poured a little cold-pressed virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This is not my first time to use this combination on top of meatloaf. It adds a slight spicy taste. In the past I used ketchup on top, but ketchup has high fructose corn syrup on the ingredient list, so I don’t use it any longer. My husband still uses it as a condiment, but I never use it in cooking.
I mixed it well, patted it lightly into a loaf pan, and baked it at 350 degrees about an hour. Our dinner was served as planned with vegetables and fruits. I made zucchini patties to go with the tomatoes, cucumber, and cherries.
I could barely wait to try the meatloaf made with buttermilk. I wondered how different it would taste. Steve and I both tried it, and we tried it again. It was delicious, but neither of us could tell any difference from using buttermilk instead of tomato sauce! I was a little disappointed. I hoped it would be spectacularly different but still delicious.
Love this!!! Buttermilk — what a great idea! I, too, am mildly disappointed to hear that you couldn’t really taste it, though I suppose that’s good news because it means I can make the substitution without my crew being any the wiser. I just love cooking experimentation, though my long-suffering family, bless their patient hearts, are not so enthusiastic. 🙂
Ha! Yes, there is the occasional suffering moment when one of our creative substitutions or first-time-ever recipes disappoints. Think of all that we learn from being bold. Most of the time we are right on.
I prepared a recipe for gratin potatoes yesterday from Epicurious. I had to make substitutions or go to the grocery store. I made the subs. I really hoped it would work, and, praise God, it did! I bookmarked this recipe to use it again. I love the recipes that I can mess with and still get a good result. Blessings to you, Jennifer…