Monday Meatloaf

The weather has cooled, and something about the feel of autumn puts me in the mood for meatloaf. I would have guessed, once upon a time, something with “meat” in it’s name wouldn’t be too hard to make without grains. I would have been wrong. I used to make a great recipe with pork rinds and cheese in the binding. Then we went totally dairy free about three years ago and I hadn’t made a decent meatloaf in a while. Until last month, when my husband tossed together a loaf that was remarkably stable. I asked him how he got it not to fall apart when he cut it. His secret, it turns out, was garlic and onion powder. I’ve made this about once a week since then and the kids clean their plates and ask for more every time. (Please forgive the poor-quality photo. My daughter was anxious to eat and kept grabbing for the dish!)

Monday MeatloafMonday Meatloaf

2 lbs raw ground beef (900 g)
2 large eggs
1 T onion powder
1 T garlic powder
2 t salt
2 t crushed rosemary
1 t black pepper
½ t dried thyme leaves
¼ t dry mustard powder

¼ c Cranberry-Beet Ketchup (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Stir together all loaf ingredients until thoroughly combined
  3. Press mixture evenly into a 9×5 loaf pan
  4. Bake for one hour
  5. Remove loaf from oven and spread with ketchup, if using
  6. Increase oven temperature to 400°F and bake for an additional 15-20 min until internal temperature reaches 165°F

NOTE: This recipe is sugar-free with the optional topping omitted.

We usually serve meatloaf with baked squashed or a mashed root vegetable and some greens. What do you like with your meatloaf?


Bacon Chicken Nuggets

Deep in the recesses of my brain, I have vague memories of a time before chicken nuggets were a ubiquitous finger food of childhood. I try to forget such dark days ever existed. Back when grains and nightshades played a significant role in my diet, I tried making my own nuggets: cutting chunks if chicken, dipping them in an egg wash, and breading them with cornmeal, sage, and paprika. I quickly learned that the egg wash was unnecessary. When I cut out grains, I discovered coconut flour can often be used to stand in for cornmeal. After I stopped eating nightshades, paprika was out (and coconut sage chicken just didn’t sound terribly appealing). Eventually, my variations turned into this family favorite.

bacon_chicken_nuggetsBacon Chicken Nuggets

8 slices raw bacon (227 g)
4 raw boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-in pieces (681 g)
2 cloves garlic, crushed (6 g)
1½ c coconut oil
¼ c coconut flour (28 g)
1 t salt
½ t black pepper
½ t ground cumin
¼ t ground coriander
¼ t ground oregano
⅛ t ground cardamom
⅛ t ground cloves

  1. Cook bacon until crisp.
  2. Place in blender with chicken, and garlic, blending until mixture forms a thick dough
  3. With wet hands, form chicken dough by 2 T (30 g) into small patties
  4. Heat coconut oil in 3 qt saucepan to 325°F
  5. While oil is heating, whisk together coconut flour and spices in a shallow dish
  6. Coat nuggets with flour mixture
  7. Fry in batches 3-4 minutes per side, until crust is golden brown and internal temperature reaches 165°F
  8. Remove with slotted spoon, allow to drain and cool 5 min before serving

Yield: 24 nuggets

Which food from your childhood makes you most nostalgic?

Coconut-Crusted Pork Chops

Growing up, my mom was a big fan of the “Shake ‘N Bake” breading method. I have always preferred using my own mixes to coat meats. Once I’d cut grains from my diet, I tried using almond flour as a breading, but only found limited success. And with the price of almond flour, I hate to waste it on recipes my family may or may not eat. One evening, inspiration struck–coconut flour to the rescue! The kids cheer when I make these for dinner, plus I’m saving about 85% compared to a coating made with almond flour.

Coconut-Crusted Pork with green beansCoconut-Crusted Pork Chops

¼ c coconut flour (28 g)
1 t salt
½ t black pepper
½ garlic powder
¼ t rubbed sage
¼ t ground thyme
¼ t crushed rosemary
⅛ t cinnamon
8 4-oz boneless pork loin chops (908 g)
3-4 T coconut oil for frying

  1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a shallow container
  2. Dredge medallions in coconut flour mixture
  3. Fry in coconut oil over medium-high heat 3-4 min per side, or until the internal temperature reaches at least 145°F
  4. Allow chops to rest 3 min before serving

Yield: 8 breaded chops

You can also mix up a big batch of breading to give as a gift or to keep on hand in your own pantry for quick weeknight meals. Just use 2 t breading mix to coat each 4-oz chop.

I created a simple label you can use for your mix. Just click here or on the label image to download the PDF.

What is your favorite way to serve breaded meats?