Quick Recipes and Easy

The Best Meat Loaf in the World

Every family has its own meat loaf recipe and many of them start with a soup mix. But this family recipe, given to me years ago by my mother-in-law, is made-from-scratch meat loaf. I’m not talking about the mushy, mystery meat loaf you may have eaten at restaurants. No, I’m talking about all beef meat loaf with ketchup and brown sugar topping.

Quality ingredients are what make this meat loaf so excellent. First of all, the recipe calls for only one kind of meat – ground beef. The bread crumbs are fresh, not something from a can. The onion is also fresh, though I’ve used dehydrated in a pinch. As for the topping, it makes every mouthful of meat loaf extra tasty.

To make the meat loaf healthier I’ve changed a few of the ingredients. I use 90% or 93% lean ground beef, not the cheaper, fattier kind. Skim milk replaces whole milk. Instead of white bread crumbs I use whole wheat bread crumbs. Often I use no-calorie brown sugar instead of regular.

You can make this meat loaf in minutes. A family of four, including two teens, will proably eat this meat loaf at one sitting. If you have any leftovers you can make meat loaf sandwiches or crumble the meat loaf into spaghetti sauce. Here’s the recipe, a gift from my family to yours.


INGREDIENTS: 3/4 cup fresh wheat bread crumbs; 3/4 cup skim milk; 1 1/2 pounds 90% or 93% lean ground beef; 2 large eggs, beaten; 1/4 cup grated onion; 1 teaspoon salt; 1/8 teaspoon frershly ground pepper; 1/2 teaspoon dried sage

Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl with a fork. (Don’t over-mix or the meat loaf will be tough.) Turn meat mixture into a meat loaf pan. Smooth the meat loaf with the tines of the fork. Prepare topping with 1/4 cup ketchup, 3 tablespoons brown sugar (or no-calorie brown sugar), 1 teaspoon dry mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Spread topping over meat loaf. Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Let meat loaf cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Makes 8-10 servings.

Copyright 2005 by Harriet Hodgson.

harriethodgson.com harriethodgson.com

Harriet Hodgson has been a nonfiction writer for 27 years and is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists. Before she became a health writer she was a food writer for the former “Rochester Magazine” in her hometown of Rochester, MN. Her 24th book, “Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief,” written with Lois Krahn, MD, is available from amazon.com amazon.com A five-star review of the book is also posted on Amazon.

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