Healthy, Simple Family Friendly Meals: Meatloaf

One of my passions is cooking, I just love to be in the kitchen. Since I’ve had children though it’s not easy or practical to spend hours in the kitchen just to cook dinner. So, for this season of my life I’m focusing more on meals that are quick to prepare and are kid friendly. Raise your hand if you have a picky pre-schooler in the house? Anyone out there besides me? Finding things my three year old will willingly eat that are healthy is such a challenge. Today I’m going to share a meatloaf recipe that even he will eat {usually}.

{Side Note: Does anyone else think of Will Ferrell in Wedding Crashers yelling, “Maaa, the MEATLOAF!!” whenever they hear the word ‘meatloaf’?…Or is that just me? I’m not even a huge fan of that movie but every.single.time that quote pops in my head.}

Okay, back to the recipe. It’s simple, delicious and juicy. It DOES take a while to cook, but once it’s mixed up and in the oven it’s pretty hands off. Just add a couple of veggies and you’ve got an easy meal that’s healthy and yummy for your family. Some of my favorite vegetables that would work with this are sautéed zucchini and yellow squash. If your family is a ‘meat and potatoes’ type of family you could whip up some mashed potatoes or for a healthier spin cut up some baby red potatoes and sauté them in a little extra virgin olive oil. I usually season them with some black pepper and some rosemary.

Ingredients for the Meat Loaf:

  • 1-2 Tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 sweet yellow onion
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 Cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Cup breadcrumbs
  • black pepper
  • ketchup

Some notes on the ingredients:

I highly encourage you to purchase organic, grass-fed beef when possible as it’s the healthiest option for your family. The majority of grocery stores are selling it now, my Kroger sells is for $7 a pound which I consider a great price.

You can make your breadcrumbs but usually I just use the store-bought breadcrumbs in a can. I don’t know about you but the time I’m cooking dinner always seems to be when the baby is clingy or the pre-schooler is grumpy so I look for as many ways as possible to shave off time spent in the kitchen. Buying the breadcrumbs pre-made is one of those time savers for me.

Did you know that black pepper is an antioxidant? It also has antibacterial effects and promotes digestive health. So, if your family enjoys the taste of black pepper there’s no need to hold back on it. Limiting salt intake is always wise but we don’t have to worry about if we add too much pepper.

Now for the steps:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. Add the EVOO to a pan and heat over medium heat.

3. Finely chop the onion and add the onion and garlic to the pan. Cook for a few minutes until the onion is translucent. Stir occasionally while cooking and watch so the garlic does not burn.

4. Take the onion and garlic mixture off the heat and allow to cool some.

5. Mix the beef, milk, egg, salt and breadcrumbs in a bowl. Add the onion and garlic to it. *You can mix the meatloaf together with a spoon, but to be honest I’ve found that it gets better mixed by hand. That’s why you need the garlic and onion to cool a little first.

6. Form the meat mixture into a loaf and put in a lightly greased loaf pan. *I don’t cook mine on a baking sheet, I use the loaf pan because I feel that the meatloaf is more juicy this way.

6. Sprinkle the top with black pepper and put it in the oven. Cook for 40 minutes.

7. Remove it from the oven and lightly coat the top with ketchup.

8. Bake it for 15 more minutes. Let it rest for about 10-15 minutes before serving it.

Well, now you have another easy family-friendly recipe to add to your cooking repertoire. I hope your family enjoys this dish as much as mine does. Bon appetit!

Do you have a kid friendly recipe you’d like to share with me? I’d love for you to include it in the comments.

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

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Herbed Turkey Breast with Orange Sauce

I hope you’re not already all “turkeyed” out…even though Thanksgiving is a week away. Well even if you’re tired of turkey, dressing and sweet potatoes and the other yummy foods we stuff our faces with this time of the year, here’s a turkey recipe that’s a little different. This turkey recipe is definitely worth trying because it’s made in a crock pot and if you’ve been following me blog you know that I LOVE the crock pot!

The crock pot is currently my favorite kitchen appliance and is used pretty regularly around here. I just love how tender meat is when it comes out and the time saving aspect of putting together dinner is also a perk. This recipe is Herbed Turkey Breast with Orange Sauce and is delicious.

I love the combination of the rosemary and garlic mixture that is rubbed on the turkey breast before cooking; it pairs well with the orange sauce. Cooking the turkey slow and low for so many hours of course makes the meat very tender and juicy. Turkey is a very lean meat, especially with the skin removed, and is therefore a healthy choice for dinner. Try this recipe; I think your family will like it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 boneless skinless turkey breast (about 2-3 lbs)
  • 1 1/2 C. orange juice

Directions:

  1. Place onion in crockpot. Combine garlic, rosemary and pepper in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut slices about 3/4 of the way through the turkey at 2″ intervals. Rub garlic mixture between slices. Place turkey, cut side up, in crockpot. Pour orange juice over turkey. Cover; cook on LOW 7-8 hours
  3. Serve sliced turkey with the orange sauce.

{recipe is from Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes}

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake

Looking for a healthy, one-dish meal that’s easy and takes little time to make? Okay, then try this Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake for a simple weeknight meal. After supper my hubby told me I should make it again sometime soon and he got seconds (or was that thirds?)…so I’m definitely keeping this dish on my meal rotation.

I love serving up a big scoop of this casserole in a bowl and diving into it’s cheesy, creamy goodness. This is one of those recipes that you don’t have to worry about your picky eaters with either; everyone in the family is sure to love it!

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cooked and shredded)
  • 4 C. cooked brown rice
  • 3/4 C. frozen corn
  • 15 oz. can black beans, drained
  • 1 C. fat-free sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
  • 4 oz. can chopped green chillies
  • 1/2 C. salsa
  • 1 C. low-fat Cheddar cheese (or Mexican cheese blend), plus more for topping
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine all ingredients except cilantro and mix thoroughly to combine.
  2. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Transfer to a 13×9 casserole dish and top with the additional cheese.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Top with the cilantro before serving if desired.

Bon appetit! I hope you enjoy this family friendly, easy recipe. Have a wonderful weekend!

I found this recipe on Pinterest so here’s the link to the original recipe:

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake

Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup

Last night I created a soup recipe that turned out pretty tasty. The Hubby said “it was perfect for a snowy day”…ummm, it’s only October and we hardly ever see snowy days in Georgia, but I’m taking that to mean that I should make it again sometime.

So, let’s talk about this Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup…it was very hearty and filling; full of big chunks of chicken and ham and potatoes. But at the same time very creamy because of the Swiss cheese melted throughout. Topped with LOTS of black pepper and some chopped chives and it is complete!

Here’s the recipe…give it a try and let me hear some feedback!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans cream of potato condensed soup
  • 20 oz low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cubed cooked chicken breast
  • 5 small red potatoes (cubed and boiled until tender)
  • 1 cup cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 6 oz shredded Swiss cheese
  • chopped chives to sprinkle on top
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, saute garlic in olive oil until lightly browned
  2. Add ham and chicken (both fully cooked) to the pan and saute for 5 minutes over medium heat
  3. Add condensed soup and chicken broth along with the boiled potatoes–Stir until well combined
  4. Add Swiss cheese and slowly stir until melted and consistency is smooth
  5. Salt and pepper to taste and top each serving with chopped chives

So simple. Perfect for week night cooking! Bon appetit!!