Two moms. Five daughters. Opposite ends of the globe.

Two moms. Five daughters. A friendship that spans opposite ends of the globe.

We have been best friends for ages with a shared love for good food. A desire of good health for ourselves and our families have lead us to exploring the paleo lifestyle together. Enjoy our adventure!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Most Awesome Meatloaf

I couldn't decide what to call this... it is hands down by far the best meatloaf ever...and I have tried a LOT. Just about every paleo blogger has their own version...and I've made several of them. They are all good - so what makes this the best? Well, a few things. First - what to use to keep it moist, and take the place of breadcrumbs? Most people use almond or some other nut meal. I like almond meal fine in meatloaf and meatballs, but frankly I don't need the calories. Second - basic meatloaf is well, boring... I've been adding my other secret ingredient in increasing amounts so not to overwhelm the loaf. Totally got it perfect tonight... moist, rich, flavorful... So good, we were all fighting over seconds. So, what are these two fantastic additions? Read on:

My super-awesome, totally-yummy, "keep your hands off my seconds" nut-free Meatloaf!

1 zucchini, grated
1 teaspoon salt

2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
1 diced onion
2-4 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh herbs - basil, oregano, marjoram, or a mix.
1 teaspoon dried herbs. (oregano or any italian mix)
2 eggs
3 Tablespoons tomato paste (1 foil pack)
1 can diced tomatoes (optional)

4-6 oz marinated liver, grated, or diced very fine if not frozen
(I mentioned this in my last recipe- liver is worlds upon worlds better if you marinate it in lemon juice for at least 30 minutes & up to a day. I cook some of it on its own, and freeze the rest in approximately 5 oz chunks to use later in meatballs or meatloaf.)

What to do:

First, grate the zucchini and salt it. Use your hands to mix the salt in well, then leave it while you get everything else ready. Grate the liver into a separate bowl. Be careful if its frozen that you don't get frost bite on your hands. (trust me!)

Scoop the zucchini up in both hands and squeeeeeeeeze. Squeeze some more. I dump that onto a doubled paper towel and gently squeeze again to get all the water out. Don't skip this, or you won't have a loaf so much as a soup. It starts out as about 2 cups grated zucchini, and ends up about a cup after all the water is out.

Get your slow-cooker ready with a light swipe of oil.

Mix all the ingredients by hand thoroughly and form into a loaf to fit your slow cooker. I get it close, drop it in, and then push the sides in all around to make it a little taller than I want. It will settle a little while cooking.

Sometimes I add a can of chopped tomato over the top. Its not really necessary, but it makes a great sauce that can be served over veggies.

Cook 5-7 hours on low... plus or minus depending on when you want dinner and how your cooker cooks. I usually start on high for an hour and then turn it down for another 4-6.

Serve with veggies, roasted root veggies, or mashed rutabagas...

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