Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Zucchini Meatloaf Recipe

Earlier this week, I was craving meatloaf, but I've never really loved the idea of serving up a big hunk of ground beef. It may be tasty, but I'm a big advocate of adding vegetables to every dish I possibly can.

Still craving meatloaf, I decided to experiment and add equal parts of zucchini and ground beef. At lunchtime, I put a big smile on my face and told Mr. Handsome that we would be having zucchini meatloaf for dinner. "Are you sure that's a good idea?" he asked, trying to look excited but obviously a bit nervous. "It will be great," I assured him, although I have to admit I wasn't sure it would be.

I am thrilled to report that the experiment turned out great. Boy was I relieved! For all you meatloaf and veggie lovers, my recipe is below.

Mr. Handsome is really into making memes, so he made the one above for my post. What do you think?

Zucchini Meatloaf

Using a food processor or a food grinder attachment with a KitchenAid Mixer, process two cups of zucchini. If you don't have either of those contraptions, a simple grater will work just as well.


Doesn't that green mush look extremely appetizing? Let's zoom in on it, just for kicks and giggles.


Add processed zucchini to a large mixing bowl, and mix in ground beef, breadcrumbs, tomato juice or milk, onion, eggs, and pepper. Place in a loaf pan.


Place bacon on top, and cover with topping. Bake at 375F for 50 minutes to 1 hour.


Enjoy!



Zucchini Meatloaf

Ingredients:
2 cups ground beef
2 cups zucchini
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup tomato juice or milk
1 small onion, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 strips of bacon (optional)

Topping: 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)

Directions:
1. Using a food processor or a food grinder attachment with a KitchenAid Mixer, process two cups of zucchini. If you don't have either of those contraptions, a simple grater will work just as well.

2. Add processed zucchini to a large mixing bowl, and mix in ground beef, breadcrumbs, tomato juice or milk, onion, eggs, and pepper. Place in a loaf pan.


3. Place bacon on top, and cover with topping. Bake at 375F for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Enjoy!

51 comments:

  1. Anonymous1/25/2017

    Love the meme. That's me when we get an unexpected day off!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous1/25/2017

    Soon as I saw this, I thought, "How is she going to deal with getting rid of the excess moisture the zucchini will give off?" I guess you didn't!

    When I use zucchini in a recipe, I grate it on a box grater and then squeeze out the excess moisture with paper towels. That takes care of the worst of the moisture. Zucchini seems to have no end to what it can exude, though!

    Have you ever seen the meat loaf pans with the lift-out trays? There's a little room for the excess juices to collect under the tray. Then when you lift out the meat loaf to cut it, it's not swimming in its own juices.

    I've pretty much stopped making meat loaves, though. I prefer to make ground chicken or turkey patties. You can add all sorts of stuff to them, like a meatloaf mixture, and then saute them in a pan. We had ground chicken the other night to which I added lemon zest, dill weed, and onion, along with the usual bread crumbs and egg, like a meatloaf mix. The patties were delicious. I served them with some low-fat mayo mixed with sweet pickle relish, because I was out of tartar sauce. The patties were even better the next day, when the flavors had mingled. I used the ground chicken breast, so the patties were not too high in fat.

    To ground turkey breast, I add the usual bread crumbs, onion, and egg, but then toss in chopped green olives and some Mexican seasoning blend. Those burgers, I grill outside. You do have to be careful to cook all chicken or turkey patties to 170 - 180 degrees inside (well over 165). There is no such thing as a "rare" chicken or turkey burger.

    I can't remember the last time I used ground beef. We only eat red meat about once a month, if that. Rest of the time, it's chicken or turkey. You can do so much with those.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It did give off some moisture, but it turned out well. You could definitely separate out all the zucchini "juices" before cooking, but I didn't want to risk getting rid of any of the nutrients. Lol. It wasn't a super stiff meatloaf, but it sure did taste great.

      I haven't done much with ground turkey or chicken, although I use ground turkey in my stuffed peppers. That is something I would like to experiment with. Thanks for the great ideas!

      Ellie

      Delete
  3. Anonymous1/25/2017

    I like the cute meme! I think the meat loaf would be taste. The only thing I wonder about is adding a bunch of stuff that soaks up and keeps the meat fat in the food. I would likely just put some tomatoes sauce and seasoning and cook it so the fat would separate as the meat shrunk and then put it off the cooked meatloaf. Then I would serve it with some vegetables on the side.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used lean meat, so it worked well, but that's a good thought to keep in mind. :)

      Ellie

      Delete
  4. Anonymous1/25/2017

    I don't like Zucchini. I make my meatloaf with half ground turkey meat,half ground pork and half ground veal I love it that why.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous1/25/2017

      Half plus half plus half equals one and a half. Do you mean a third?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1/25/2017

      I've never seen ground veal in my supermarket. I wouldn't buy it anyway...poor little calf...

      Delete
    3. Anonymous1/26/2017

      She means 1/2 ground beef or turkey, 1/2 veal, 1/4 pork.

      They have ground veal at the supermarkets.
      You don't need to make remarked about veal. The calf doesn't care that you eat it.

      Delete
    4. Katrina1/26/2017

      Look for Rose veal (although not sure if that is available outside the UK) the calves have a much better life - can run around, eat what they want and not be forcertain fed milk etc...

      Delete
    5. Anonymous1/26/2017

      1/2 plus 1/2 plus 1/4 is still more than 1! Sounds like this needs to be expressed in terms of ratios, not fractions.

      And I agree about veal. The US industry is trying to move to more "humane" methods of raising the calves, but not every factory farm has gotten away from the crates. It does seem like a cruel, short life for a sweet little calf. I couldn't eat it.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous1/25/2017

    I love the cat picture that Mr.Handsome put up there. That is so cute and funny.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous1/25/2017

    Do you know what "2 cups of ground beef" would be in terms of weight? Also, what percent fat was in the beef you used?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katrina1/26/2017

      Roughly 400g

      Delete
    2. Yep, about 1 pound. I use as lean as I can find. (This beef was 90% from Costco.)

      Ellie

      Delete
  7. Our family also enjoys adding vegetables to most everything, and one of our creations has been zucchini meatloaf. Zucchini is my favorite vegetable to add to virtually everything! 😀

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Betsy,

      Is your zucchini meatloaf recipe similar?

      Ellie

      Delete
    2. It's a little different. I guess I never thought about using a recipe, since half the stuff we cook we just throw together. We simply throw meat, seasonings, and whatever else we feel like into it. 😀

      Delete
  8. Anonymous1/25/2017

    What do I think about your meme? I think it glorifies a patriarchal society and focuses the idea of a woman as an object for her husband's pleasure and want. This is what drives equality backwards. I can't read your blog anymore. Have fun being stuck in the '50's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously I love cooking for my family, I work full time and still cook 3 to 4 meals every week. I love it. I love to cook and when my husband eats and enjoys it, its even better!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1/26/2017

      You see a woman who wants to always please her husband. I see a woman who created a receipe based on what SHE wanted to eat, and gave it to her husband even though she knows he prefers meat to veggies. Of course she is happy he liked it, she made it all from scratch and she obviously love cooking. Aren't you proud when you succeed at something you enjoy doing?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous1/26/2017

      Hey, I can still wear the pants in the family (a.k.a. do what I want and have things my way) AND please myself and my husband with a good meal. Women these days can have it both ways. In fact, controlling what goes on the dinner table is a pretty powerful position. You eat what I feel like making and don't complain!

      Delete
    4. Katrina1/26/2017

      Women attacking women in this way reinforces the patriarchy and misogyny far more than the meme

      Delete
    5. Anonymous1/26/2017

      I can read your blog still cause I think that a world where the men are grateful for a good meal made by their wives is always going to exist and there is nothing wrong about that. So anything created to thank or appreciate the good behaviors is still going to be a thriving industry and not threatened with extinction!
      That meme could also read they instead of husband if anyone thinks it is too specific to apply. It is a cute and sweet meme!

      Delete
    6. Anonymous1/26/2017

      I think Elli is probably becoming an experienced cook and she may be more skilled in the kitchen than her hubby by now. However I don't think she would know how to do people's dental work!

      Delete
    7. Anonymous1/27/2017

      Everyone's marriage is different and personal to them. When I was a stay at home mum I did nearly all the cooking. Then when I went back to work we split it, and now most of our kids are grown up, it's actually my husband who does nearly all the cooking! It works for us, which is what matters.
      If you read Ellie's blog regularly you will know she comes from a more traditional background, so it seems strange to criticise the way she and her husband choose to live their lives when you know that!
      I don't share all of Ellie's beliefs, but I enjoy hearing about her life starting out as a young wife and I think she is very gracious to, and interested in, her readers. Thank you Ellie! :)
      Bee

      Delete
    8. This is coming from a woman whose husband (over the past 6 years) has cooked just as much as me if not more. My husband also is a meat fan. He enjoys his plate to be filled with meat and maybe a small portion of veggies. I saw the meme and found it incredibly cute! It is exactly how I would be if my husband enjoyed a meal I made with more veggies than he would prefer. And my husband is a kind, thoughtful, grateful human being. Everything involving a woman cooking and a man enjoying it does not have to be patriarchal. Also, I do fully believe that my husband is the head of the household and the leader of our family. I believe he loves me self-sacrificially. Clearly our roles aren't a set-in-stone list of duties. I believe the roles of a man and wife are matters of the heart more than lists of appropriate activities for each one to be involved in. I hope my response just gives a different perspective of the Christian faith.

      Delete
  9. If you enjoy cooking with zucchini, you should try growing some this upcoming summer! We grow a few plants, and you can either grate it and then freeze for the winter, or cube it and freeze separated on a cookie sheet...once frozen put in a freezer bag in the freezer for later. I put zucchini in almost everything I cook, and it is very economical to grow it yourself and freeze for later!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous1/26/2017

      I cannot for the life of me grow squash. It's OK as long as the weather doesn't get hot and wet. But the second it does (and it ALWAYS does), here comes the mildew on the plants, and POOF, they wither and die. I don't know how to keep the mildew away, and I don't want to spray chemicals. Any hints? Other than move to a cooler climate?!

      Delete
    2. Katrina1/26/2017

      They grow great in containers as well if you don't have the garden space

      Delete
    3. That's a great idea, Candice! What size container have you used, Katrina?

      Ellie

      Delete
    4. I laughed at Annonymous' comment, "...move to a cooler climate", as I'm from the praries in Canada. We are probably cooler than you, and unfortunately I don't have any proven advice...perhaps if you planted earlier in the season you could get a few feeds off before the mildew struck your plants(?).

      Delete
    5. Anonymous1/27/2017

      There's a fine line between last frost and first mildew!

      Delete
    6. Katrina1/28/2017

      Hi Ellie

      I usually use grow bags for my zucchini (courgette as they are known in the UK), not sure if you can get them in the US but this site provides some more info about them - http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/growfruitandveg_usingagrowingbag1.shtml

      This site gives specifics for growing zucchini in pots - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/vegetables/courgettes

      Delete
    7. I'm going to look into that for this year, Katrina. Thanks for the info!

      Ellie

      Delete
  10. Anonymous1/26/2017

    I pressure canned some zucchini. It is under cooked in a glass jar. I add it to sauces sometimes. (Zucchini was taken off the pressure canning information list due to inconsistent results in the test kitchen aid theAmerican government.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous1/26/2017

      I meant to say over cooked in a glass jar, way, way over cooked. I can't believe the weird changes speed check makes.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1/26/2017

      I can't imagine something so "spongy" would be good once it's pressure canned. But then I like zucchini when it's lightly sauteed to "al dente" or still a little firm. It's one of those vegetables that's abundant and not too expensive in winter, so I wouldn't see the need to grow extra just to preserve.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous1/27/2017

      I lived in a more northerly rural place, pressure canning is done a lot to stock up for a long not growing anything season.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous1/27/2017

      It turned out mushy like a sauce. I put too much salt in though.

      Delete
  11. Andrea1/26/2017

    I agree with Anonymous' comment above: "I think it glorifies a patriarchal society and focuses the idea of a woman as an object for her husband's pleasure and want." It's sad that a wife feels the need to "sell" her husband on her meal planning. Ellie is an adult as is her husband. I get it, she works from home, he works outside of the home, she does meal planning he does other things. "I put a big smile on my face and told Mr. Handsome that we would be having zucchini meatloaf for dinner." Really?! A big smile was required?! How about just making dinner and serving it? Followed by: "Did you enjoy the dinner I made? I used zucchini and ground beef." Ellie and Mr Handsome's relationship as depicted in these posts is really oddly outdated. Perhaps it's just her writing and not how it actually is. I hope she understands a marriage is a 50/50 partnership and not some weird patriarchal scenario.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous1/26/2017

      I hope you ignore comments like the one above. Your marriage is your business. My husband and I have a traditional marriage and have been happily married for twenty-five years. I work to please my husband, and he works to please me. I feel sorry for the husbands of these women who only seem to think of themselves.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1/27/2017

      "I feel sorry for the husbands of these women who only seem to think of themselves." But the key word there is "only." You are certainly free to think of yourself when married. Thinking of yourself doesn't mean you don't also think of your husband. Nothing wrong with keeping yourself happy. It's like what they always tell you on a plane - put on your oxygen or life vest first before helping someone else.

      Delete
    3. Andrea1/27/2017

      To Anonymous: "I feel sorry for the husbands of these women who only seem to think of themselves." My husband isn't complaining. He is happy and proud to have an educated and fully formed adult partner in life. We work together to raise our children and build a life together built on trust, mutual respect and love. PS I'm a stay at home mom after working for a decade as a professional. We eat what the other makes without complaint but usually with compliments. . . balanced meals including vegetables. #adulting

      Delete
    4. Katrina1/28/2017

      I reiterate my earlier comment as women we need to support each others choices not tear them down.

      As my mother used to say "if you can't think of anything nice to say don't say anything at all"

      Delete
  12. Anonymous1/27/2017

    My gosh, some of you seem to think that Mr. H ordered her to make meat loaf with zucchini and then left her home alone for the day so she could figure out how to comply with his wishes, as she's bound to do. This was her idea, she tried it, it worked, and they both were happy! Not exactly a setback for all women. My female friends and I didn't receive a memo that night that we should set our calendars back because of Ellie. If you want to see something that is detrimental to women, turn on the news.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lol, love the meme! I put zucchini in my meatloaf too but in a totally different way. I finely dice zucchini, carrot, onion, garlic, celery, fry it in the frying pan for 5 minutes then allow to cool. Drain off excess moisture then add to meat along with a handful off chopped up parsley. I wrap the meatloaf in bacon, and halfway through cooking add a special homemade tomato sauce in top for the topping. I love how meatloaf lasts several meals :-)

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  14. I love that meme and Ellie just ignore the negative comments. You are a blessing and encouragement to many women who read your blog. I say keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous1/28/2017

    I am newly engaged and my fiancé is really big into eating meat too. Whenever I sneak in vegetables or serve a vegetable he hasn't had before, I won't tell him what it is until he has tried it. Sometimes if I say what it is before he eats it he already has his mind set that he won't like it. Gotta trick him to eat his veggies!


    And I have to say every couple is different. What works for one household may not work for another as seen by some of the comments on here. We are not cookie cutter couples. Let's uphold everyone and stop cutting people down. If you do an equal part marriage and it works, fantastic. If you fall more into the traditional 50's style marriage and you are happy, wonderful. Shout out to all the happily married couples that make it work in their own special way!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I always add vegetables to my meatloaf. I find that it is moist and flavorful.

    ReplyDelete