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Tonight, I have a recipe and two rants. The first rant is a small one. I was at the grocery store earlier today and there was a lady there passing out samples of a salad made from corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers. When I walked up, she asked me if I would like to try some, I told her I wasn't hungry but Daniel might like to try it. Her response to me was "oh, I don't think he'll like it, it has cucumbers in it." What??? This woman had never met me or Daniel in our lives and she just assumes that Daniel won't like cucumbers!!! So I replied, "oh, he loves vegetables," and I gave him a big bite of the salad to which she replied, "oh my goodness, that is so rare for that age! I don't believe I have EVER seen a toddler eat cucumbers before!" So to that I say, WHY is this the mindset in our culture? WHY DOES EVERYONE JUST ASSUME THAT CHILDREN WILL NOT EAT VEGETABLES! IT DRIVES ME INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! This is the problem, parents just ASSUME their kids won't eat it and feed their kids processed GARBAGE instead! Come on everyone, join my challenge and let's change this!
Ok, now onto tonight's topic which brings me to my second rant, but we will get to that in just a second. Tonight's meatloaf recipe is one that I adapted from Jessica Seinfeld's meatloaf in her book "Deceptively Delicious." That being said, The Foodie Mommie DOES NOT APPROVE of Jessica Seinfeld's, however well intentioned but misguided, book "Deceptively Delicious. " I got this book a few years back as a gift from a very well intentioned friend who thought I would like it because she knows how much I like to include extra veggies in everything. I thanked her of course, and with one look through the book I knew it wasn't for me. Then one day, my BFF Heather, who is also a total Foodie and shares the same food beliefs as me (and who is not the friend who gave me the book) called me up and told me she tried the meatloaf recipe and it was actually decent. I pulled the book back out and decided to give it a try. Before I get onto my version of this meatloaf, let me take a moment to share with you why I do not approve of this book. Though I feel that Jessica Seinfeld had good intentions when writing this book, I have to say that she is very misguided in her beliefs about food. First of all a grand majority of the recipes call for ingredients made in labs, charged with chemicals and are highly processed. For example, many of her recipes call for margarine instead of butter. Contrary to what we have had pounded into our heads in this country, BUTTER IS BETTER FOR YOU THAN MARGARINE! It comes from a natural source and is minimally processed. Even if the margarine says "trans-fat free" that does not mean it is good for you or free of chemicals! Many recipes also call for low fat or fat free ingredients which usually send up red flags for me too. With the exception of sour cream and milk, I DO NOT approve of anything that says fat free, reduced fat, or low fat, and you shouldn't either. Usually those are indicators that the nutrients have been taken out of the product and replaced with chemically produced processed ingredients made in a lab, namely High Fructose Corn Syrup, and other ingredients that are very bad for us. It is my belief that we should eat the way our grandparents and great grandparents ate. They were a healthier generation, and that has been proven over and over again.
Another reason why I do not approve of Deceptively Delicious is that I do not believe it is right for us to deceive our children, or anyone for that matter, about what they are eating. How are our kids supposed to learn good eating habits if we lie to them about what they are eating? We need to change this mindset that things that are good for us do not taste good and that things that are good for us come from unnatural sources, made in labs, with chemicals. How are we supposed to teach our children to appreciate the bounty of nature if they do not know what they are eating, where it came from, and how it was made? Yes, I DO put pureed vegetables in my dishes, but everyone ALWAYS knows that I have included them, and I add them to either give us a boost of nutrition or to give the food a boost of flavor. I am NEVER deceitful. It my opinion, it is NEVER ok to lie to our kids about food. In addition, children will not starve themselves. I have always said that I am not a short order cook, if my family doesn't want to eat something I've made, they don't get to eat, case closed. That may sound harsh, but we cater too much to the culture of processed foods and that needs to stop in my opinion.
All of that being said, the meatloaf recipe is a good baseline recipe, so here is my version:
Meatloaf- The Foodie Mommie Way
- 2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (I make my own, very easy!)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 tbsp. butter or olive oil
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 lb ground turkey or beef
- 1 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 2 cups spaghetti sauce (homemade or tonight I used Newman's Own)
- 1/2 cup pureed carrot
- 1 tsp. granulated garlic
- 2 eggs
Spray a 13X9 inch baking dish generously with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, soak half of the breadcrumbs in the buttermilk for about 5 minutes. Saute the onion and celery in the butter for about 5 minutes or until translucent and fragrant. In a bowl, mix the ground meat with the granulated garlic, the eggs, the onion and celery, all of the breadcrumbs (dry and soaked) half of the parmesan, the carrot, and 1/4 cup of the spaghetti sauce until completely combined. Place in the 13X9 inch dish and form into the shape of a loaf. Pour over remaining spaghetti sauce and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until set and meat is fully cooked. Enjoy!
Before I sign off, just a little disclaimer - these are my own opinions, nobody asked me to review anything, I am just all fired up right now about this topic and needed to get it off my chest!
Until next time, happy and HEALTHY cooking and EATING - naturally!
Et a tous mes compatriotes - BONNE FETE NATIONALE!