Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Not Your Ordinary Meatloaf!

As with a few recent posts - this recipe I found several years back the only difference is - I've made it a few times and each time loved it.  Monday I decided to make it, though I didn't want to go through my box of recipes, so I looked on line with what I remembered.  I found it but the recipe was now listed as being made with turkey.  So out the box came and on to a delicious meatloaf!

Karina's Meatloaf

1 3/4 lbs. organic grass fed free-range ground beef
1 small sweet or red onion, peeled
1 medium to large carrot, washed and trimmed
1 smallish green bell pepper, cored and seeded - or 1 mild chili pepper, such as Anaheim or banana
4-5 cloves fresh peeled garlic
2/3 cup tomato ketchup - organic
1 TB of steak sauce, or Worcestershire sauce (I used Pickapeppa, has a similar taste a tad thicker)
1 TB agave nectar maple syrup, or molasses (I used maple)
2 organic free-range eggs or omit for egg-free (I used the eggs)
1 scant cup Crunchy Golden Crumbs (without the oil), gluten free rolled oats, or your favorite gluten free bread crumbs  (I used bread in the past & most recent Uncle Sam's cereal with flax) lol
A small pinch of nutmeg (I used freshly grated)
A good pinch or two of cumin
1tsp dried basil
1-2 tsp Italian or French herbs- oregano, parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put ground beef into a large bowl and using a fork or spoon, break it apart a bit.

Roughly chop the vegetables into the same sized chunks and place them into a food processor; add the garlic cloves, pulse until the veggies are uniformly diced - fine- not too chunky; add to meat.  I did this before without using a food processor, I just used a very good knife!  :)  This time I use my old cheap-y processor - I didn't care for it but it was doable.  Add veggies to meat. Toss lightly with spoon or fork to quickly distribute the veggies.

Add the catchup, agave, eggs (if using) crumbs, herbs and spices.  Mix it all up- but try not to over mix it (it makes for a dense loaf).  If the mixture is to dry, add a little more catchup.  If it's to wet, add more crumbs.

Spoon the meatloaf mixture into a loaf pan and firmly press into place, smoothing the top.  Obviously I choose not to use a loaf pan.  :)
Bake in a preheated oven for about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes.  Use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature - it should reach 160 degrees.  Pour off the excess fat and allow the cooked loaf to cool for ten minutes or so before slicing and serving.

If you like a sauce on your meatloaf, pour it onto the meatloaf half way through baking time and cover loosely with a piece of foil.


1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup real maple syrup, or molasses (I used a mix)
A dash of mustard, and or balsamic vinegar (I used balsamic)
A dash of steak sauce, Worcestershire or chile sauce, to taste (I use pickapeppa sauce)
A pinch of nutmeg and curry or cumin to taste ( I use cumin)

The sauce was awesome but in all the excitement of the meatloaf I forgot to snap a picture!

I had mine with broccoli and also slices of cantaloupe - everyone else with salad.

Original recipe was found here but now with turkey and check out Karina's Meatloaf Pie.  The recipe above is so yummy I can't imagine changing it and there wasn't any leftovers for the pie.  Next time!
Karina has a wonderful gluten free site.
And for just some possible interest on the spelling of ketchup, catchup, and catsup - check here; it's one of many interesting site on the subject.  I just used "ketchup."  Enjoy ~

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Minestrone Soup ~ Boy Howdy!

I made a friend in town and we got to talking about food so he sent me this recipe for Minestrone Soup.   Almost every time I saw him in town he'd ask about the soup and what I thought adding "it's really good, Vicky you have to try it!"  That was - and I can't believe how time goes," June of 2011!!!  Last week I saw him and he asked - I of course said not yet and he handed me a printed version.  Well, wait no more I made it last night and it is not just good it's outstanding!  It's so tasty my dad said to make sure I set a bowl aside for him to have for lunch the next day.  It's a "keeper!"

Homemade Minestrone soup


3 TB olive oil
1 cup minced onion (or diced small)
1/2 cup chopped zucchini (I used close to a cup)
1/2 cup Italian green beans* (I used regular)
1/2 cup minced celery (or diced small)
4 tsp minced garlic
4 cups of vegetable broth (homemade or not, I used Pacific)
2 (15oz) red kidney beans (O Organic), drained
2 (15oz) small white beans (I used O Organic cannelloni beans), drained
1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes (I used Pomi), drained - (I semi drained)
1/2 cup carrot (julienned or shredded) I use extra
2 TB minced fresh parsley (I had dried from the garden use less)
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil (I used 1tsp heaping + of fresh minced)
1/4 tsp dried thyme
3 cups hot water
4 cups fresh Baby Spinach
1/2 cup small shell pasta (I used Delallo Organic Orzo no.65, 3/4 cup)

1.  Prepare all your ingredients and get your water ready to heat.
2.  In the (large) pot you'll be making your soup in, heat 3 TB of olive oil over medium heat.
3.  Saute onion, celery, garlic, green beans* and zucchini in oil for 5 minutes or until onion begins to turn translucent.  I also put my carrots in at this time since they take longer to cook sometimes and I didn't use a shredded cut.
4.  Add vegetable broth to pot, tomatoes, beans, carrot (unless previous), hot water, and spices
5.  Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
6.  Add spinach leaves and paste and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until desired consistency.
Makes about eight 1 & 1/2 cup servings.

*On the Italian green beans - some say they're thinner, some say flatter, I know here they wouldn't have them here so I used organic frozen and cut in desired length; it was delicious - though while checking into Italian green beans gave me some gardening ideas, that's good - I think?

My friend said he substituted swiss chard for spinach, lentils and soy beans for white & kidney beans.  If using swiss chard and if not baby - remove stems and chop leaves.  The recipe he emailed me stated that at the last 15 - 20 minutes they added White Tail Shiraz and liked it.  I didn't but I might have if I had.  Apparently this is a copy cat recipe for the Olive Garden.  I never cared to go, though been there once.  The soup is definitely once I'll make many time and it doesn't even need a pretty bowl.
Enjoy and Thank you John!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Baked Salmon w/ Parmesan Herb Crust ~

I was on Facebook the other day and a friend had shared this recipe for salmon.  I just happened to have taken a Coho out and made it.  Delicious!  I shared a picture with a friend who said the dinner looked scrumptious!  A good word too and it was scrumptious also a nice change from the norm.

You'll need -

Pictured 1 salmon filet (I used Coho) about 2lbs.

For the Parmesan Herb Crust

3 cloves finely minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped Parmesan cheese (I used finely grated)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil.  Place salmon that's been rinsed off and excess water patted off onto lined baking sheet.  Flesh up as pictured and place on top a sheet of parchment and bake 10 min, I baked for 9.  Then remove parchment on top and top with herb mixture.  Return to the oven and bake another 8-9 minutes.  I just know when its done by sliding a knife slanted into the thickest part of the fish and comes out med hot.  Orig. recipe said allow to bake until it registers 135 degrees.  Sometimes fish can easily be over cooked and it continues once removed.
When done to your likeness take out and let stand for 5 minutes.

Simple, simple recipe and enjoyed by all.  I can take very good pictures and the pictures here don't do it justice.

Served along with roasted zucchini (easy to do, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, seasoned with salt and herb of choice in a hot oven 425 degrees) and Caesar Salad.  Maybe not quite the combo someone might choice I was hungry for the Caesar!  :)

Again the original recipe found here and please check out the site - lots of wonderful looking recipes at "add a pinch."  And thank you Wendy H for sharing!