Hello fellow procrastinators! Today we are making that all-American comfort food: meatloaf. I truly believe this stuff has been given a bad rap by pop culture such as Captain Underpants comics, but I’m here to set the record straight: it’s actually a very tasty meal. I will admit that I decided to make meatloaf simply because I’d never eaten it before and I was curious about how bad it could possibly be. Ever the good engineer I was skeptical of the one-sided, Captain Underpants-influenced view of the matter and needed to test the hypothesis that meatloaf is the worst food out there.
Following that backstory, let’s begin this meal-prep. Oh yes, this is a meal-prep. Look how productive we are being this week, because these meatloaves are mini-sized you can just pop two into a container with some veg and you are set for a week’s worth of lunch!
I got this recipe off one of my favourite websites, Budget Bytes, it speaks to me on a special level. Specifically cheapness. Now this recipe also calls for extra lean ground turkey. When I went to the grocery store to buy meat, for the second time this term because I never go grocery shopping and buying meat is too expensive for me, the only options they had were ground lamb from Australia, and a club-size pack of 30% off ground meat that was most certainly not extra lean. I went for the super-massive meat option and it was still $10! Very upsetting. The rest of the ingredients you will need are as follows.
Olive oil, onion, garlic, 2 carrots, a zucchini, a carton of mushrooms, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or as Google told me if you don’t happen to own any of that, soy sauce, ¼ cup ketchup from your roommate’s fridge that you’re not sure anyone has used since 2010, a large egg, ¾ cup plain breadcrumbs (or just the rest of the breadcrumbs in the jar), and 19oz of extra lean ground turkey as we discussed earlier.
The recipe also had a glaze that you could make to top your loaves, I did not make the glaze because I didn’t want to use any more of the ketchup. I just used some pasta sauce from a jar. The ingredients for the glaze, if that appeals to you, you high achiever, are ½ cup ketchup, 2 tbsp brown sugar that you bought just to make this and never end up using, and 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar.
We start by dicing the onion and mincing the garlic. Two things that I will never perfect no matter how many times I do them. I can’t be the only one whose hands possess a lingering trace of onion for days after chopping them, can I? While you sauté these with the olive oil in a large pan on the stove, the largest one you can find! Peel the carrots and wash the zucchini and mushrooms.
When the onions are as pale as you were when you got that midterm back, use a large-holed cheese grater to shred the carrots and zucchini in to the frying pan with the onions and garlic and continue sautéing. Now it’s time to roughly chop the crap out of the mushrooms. Go wild my friend and let it all out. Be warned, this is an endurance challenge because you will soon realize 8oz of mushrooms is way more than you first realized.
Throw in the mushrooms into the skillet along with some salt and a lot of pepper. You can never have enough pepper. If you’re not sneezing, keep shaking. Now you wanna let that sit there and bubble away all the healthy juices from the veggies. When they’re “mostly dry” put them in a bowl to cool for about 10 minutes or until you remember half-way into your fifth YouTube video that you never finished making those loaves.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and coat a muffin tray in non-stick spray. If you can’t find your roommate’s just spend 10 minutes trying to butter the tin, really taking time to get into all the corners. This will turn out to have been a waste of time because the tray itself is non-stick, but you don’t know that yet.
Add the Worcestershire/soy sauce, ketchup, egg and breadcrumbs to the bowl with the veg and mix these until well combined. You don’t have to use your hands but we’re engineers and we prefer hands-on experience. Add in the ground meeeat and fold until it seems adequately mixed.
Divide up your mix between the 12 muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes. Check if it seems cooked through and if you think it needs a little more time, like your degree, go for it. If you want to do the glaze, mix the ingredients and stir till smooth then, when the loaves have cooked for about 15 min, spoon it over them and cook for another 15 min. If you prefer the slightly more sketch tomato sauce version, just spoon that on after cooking when you’ve transferred the loaves to your containers.
Enjoy your well-prepped meal!