October 27, 2014

Sunday Dinner: Meatloaf, Shredded Brussels Sprouts, and Mashed Potatoes


I hope that everyone had a great, relaxing weekend!! I am happy to say that we had beautiful weather, and got to relax and enjoy some time at home- and spend a little time prepping for baby.

I know that I have mentioned my love for Sunday dinners before... getting to make something comforting and perhaps slightly indulgent, while spending the evening as a family, enjoying the calm before the week begins again. Sundays are also usually the days that I have the most time to mess around with my own recipes, like the ones I made tonight!

After a quick, late-afternoon nap, I set out to make our Sunday dinner: meatloaf, shredded Brussels sprouts, and mashed potatoes.

First, a confession: I used to hate meatloaf... (like really, actually hate and refuse to eat). Over the past couple of years, however, I have set out to make a meatloaf that I enjoy... and after some trial and error, I have happily succeeded. (I actually enjoy it now, and have developed a love for ketchupy, gooey topping...) Usually, when make meatloaf I throw a bunch of seasonings together and hope it turns out well, forgetting to write things down so that I can make it again... Tonight, however, I kept track of my ingredients so that I could share a yummy, family-friendly, easy, meatloaf recipe with you!

This meatloaf is so good, that in between bites, my (three-year-old, picky eating) son came over to me, gave me a hug and said "you're a good cooker, mommy." !!!!! If that's not enough of a reason to make this meatloaf, I don't know what is!

Meatloaf

Serves 4

Loaf:
1 lb. ground beef (I used 90% lean)
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 small onion, finely diced (about 1/3 cup)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Topping:
1/3 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tbsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place ground beef, Panko, and other loaf ingredients (through pepper) into medium bowl. (Remove jewelry!) Mix with your hands, turning mixture over, until ingredients are well combined. Do not overmix. Place into loaf pan and shape into loaf. In separate bowl, combine ketchup, mustard and brown sugar. Spread half of topping mixture over loaf and place into oven. Bake 30 minutes, then cover meatloaf with remaining topping mixture, and bake another 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Now, for the Brussels sprouts! Brussels sprouts are my husband's favorite veggie, and one that I really didn't eat before I was married and tried to cook his favorite things. Over the last six years though, I have had plenty of time to practice, and tonight's side is one of my successes! This is a simple, delicious and fresh side- one that even non-sprout lovers would enjoy.

The only time consuming part of this dish is the prep of the sprouts, (about 10-15 minutes), which is easily done while your main dish (tonight's meatloaf) is in the oven. The sprouts aren't actually shredded, but sliced very thinly- if you care to, you could use a food processor to speed up prep. I cooked the sprouts once the meatloaf was out of the oven and resting- cook time is about 5 minutes. The vinegar and honey mixture helps rid the sprouts of any bitterness without becoming overpowering.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts

Serves about 4

1 1/2 lbs. Brussels Sprouts
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey

Rinse sprouts, remove outer leaves. Then trim, cut into halves lengthwise and thinly slice sprouts into strips. (If some leaves fall apart during this process, don't worry, just toss them in with your sliced pieces for a little extra texture). In small dish, whisk together vinegar and honey and set aside. Heat oil and butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add shredded sprouts. Season with salt and pepper, and saute for four minutes, or until sprouts are crisp tender. Add vinegar mixture to pan, tossing sprouts to mix well and saute for about one more minute. Remove from heat and serve!

I paired my meatloaf and sprouts with very simple mashed potatoes (no recipe to share), for a perfect comfort food, family dinner!

For dessert, I kept it super quick and easy and made microwave mug brownies... I followed this recipe, used milk in place of the water, reduced the sugar to 3 tbsp, and spiced it up a little bit with a dash of cinnamon and some vanilla ice cream. A perfect ending to a great night- and the perfect satisfier for a chocolate craving!

I hope you have a great week!

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