It’s Meatloaf | No Muss, No Fuss

Meatloaf is real comfort food, and we may have differing opinions about it. Whether we prefer it with or without ketchup—and what we like with our meatloaf can be real deal breakers.

Here’s a meatloaf solution that makes perfect sense to me. It’s a one pot meal with three separate components: a moist and succulent Italian-influenced meatloaf, smashed potatoes and cauliflower with green onions, and steamed carrots with sage butter.

There is nothing complicated here, beyond soaking the meat loaf’s bread crumbs in milk for 5 minutes—which is a crucial step in the success of this entire extravaganza.  Of course, there is a pressure cooker involved, too.

It is simply a matter of loading a layer of quartered red potatoes and cauliflower florets in the bottom of the pot with 1 cup of water.  The very basic meatloaf is assembled, formed into a ring, sprinkled with a bit of Parmesan, placed in a steamer insert, and set atop the potato layer.  Carrots are cut into fingers tossed with sage and butter, salt and pepper, folded into a foil packet and perched over the meatloaf.

The pot is brought up to pressure and it cooks for 10 minutes. Seriously.  While the meatloaf reaches its full potential its excess juices drip down and flavor the potatoes.

Once the pressure is released, the carrot packet is removed, and the steamer insert is lifted out. The potato water is drained off. The potatoes and cauliflower are quickly smashed with a bit of milk, seasoned to taste, and finished with green onions.  The meatloaf is cut into wide wedges and dinner is ready.

meatloaf combo (1)

No muss, no fuss.

meatloaf plate

It’s Meatloaf

Meatloaf, Potato-Cauliflower Mash, Sage Carrots Packet | One Pot PC

Inspired by Hip Pressure Cooking by Laura D.A. Pazzaglia

Ingredients
1 cup water for pot
Meatloaf
1 pound ground beef, or a combo of meats
½ cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1 cup milk
½ onion, chop
1 clove garlic, crush
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
One pot add-on vegetables
4-5 red potatoes, quarter
1 cup cauliflower florets
½ cup milk
Salt, pepper
2 green onions, chop
3-4 carrots, peel cut into fingers
1 teaspoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon crumbled dry sage
Salt, pepper

Directions

  1. Add 1 cup water to pressure cooker insert.  Spray the stainless steel insert with non-stick cooking spray.  Cut one foil sheet approximately 12” square.
  2. For meatloaf: in mixing bowl combine dry bread crumbs and milk; soak 5 minutes to absorb liquid.
  3. Place ground beef to the bowl, add all ingredients through nutmeg and combine well.  Add the egg and combine lightly.
  4. Shape the meatloaf into a long loaf, place in steamer joining into an even ring. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Lay the foil out flat, place carrots in center, drizzle with melted butter and oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and dried sage. Fold ends together to form a sealed packet.
  6. Place the potatoes and cauliflower in the water in the bottom of the liner. Place steamer basket on top with carrier handles up, if available. Rest the carrot packet on top.
  7. Lock the lid, set pressure to High and pressure valve to Sealing.  Set time for 10 minutes.  When done, allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then use Quick Release to expedite process.
  8. Remove the carrot packet and the steamer basket with meat.
  9. Remove the potatoes and cauliflower with slotted spoon to a flat bowl and mash with milk. Season with more salt and pepper if desired, and add green onions.
  10. Cut meat into wedges and serve with potato-cauliflower mash and sage carrots.  Serves 4.

 

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Beware of the Easter Bunny: Carrots for Breakfast!!

I’ve always been partial to carrots.  They are a happy vegetable, they like getting along with others.

Carrots’ inherent sweetness means we can cut down on sugar if using them in a sweet setting. Since they have plenty of fiber and bulk, they can assist in thickening, as with many soups. They are an ideal addition in curries and dishes with complex sweet/savory components.

Carrot cake is a favorite of many, but it’s notoriously high fat content can be a major deterrent. We know carrots are rich in fiber, beta carotene, Vitamins A, K and C, as well as potassium, iron and other minerals. So why ruin a good thing?

Carrot Chai Muffins

Carrot Chai Muffins

Here’s a solution with built-in advantages.  To emphasize their healthy attributes, our miniature carrot cakes cut back considerably on the oil factor when we substitute yogurt instead. Friendly chai spices of cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon jump in and extend an undercurrent of warm richness.

Although these muffins require nothing more, in the spirit of carrot cake, we have replaced the traditional cream cheese-butter based frosting with a lighter version.  Instead, Neufchatel cheese stands in—the tasty low-fat cream cheese alternative—whipped until light with zingy marmalade, since orange is another natural carrot companion.

Enjoy these sweet cakes anytime of the day:  warm from the oven, slathered with Marmalade Cream, or cooled and finished with a decorative swirl on top. Good luck keeping these from the Easter bunny!

Carrot Chai Muffins

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1-½ teaspoon chai spice, or ½ teaspoon each cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup plain yogurt, regular or low-fat
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup finely shredded carrots
Marmalade Cream
1 cup cream cheese, or low-fat Neuchatel cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons marmalade

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line 12 cup muffin pan with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine flour through salt and whisk to remove any lumps. Add the raisins and toss to coat with flour.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg briefly, then incorporate the oil. Whisk in the yogurt and vanilla; when combined, stir in the finely grated carrots.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and gently blend in the egg-carrot mixture. Don’t overmix.
  5. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full.  Bake 18-20 minutes, until a pick inserted comes out clean. Cool on rack 5-10 minutes and remove from pan.
  6. For the Marmalade Cream: With a fork, beat the cream cheese to lighten.  Stir in the marmalade to taste. Cover and chill until needed. Swirl a dollop on top of cooled muffins or serve it separately.  Yield: 12 muffins