Comfort food just isn’t the same as it used to be.
What was once flour, butter and sugar is now just an empty space where my beloved pastas and scones and brownies once were.
I may have mentioned before that since Mister discovered his gluten issues, we haven’t really done a whole lot of the replacement foods because it’s just too heartbreaking. Brownies are gritty, bread is crumbly, pasta is mushy…it’s just not worth it.
But I’m getting better about trying new recipes. It’s been long enough that either I don’t remember what the real thing tastes like, or (more likely) I miss it so much that a close approximation to the real thing is good enough.
Folks, I made meatloaf without eggs or dairy that’s also gluten-free. Yes, it actually tastes good, and if you cook it right, it will stay together for you even without the eggs and bread. It’s fast becoming one of my go-to dinners because we all love it.
Once I master a gluten-free, dairy-free baked mac and cheese, my ultimate comfort meal will be complete. But for now, I’ll have my gluten free meatloaf with a baked sweet potato and call it good.
I load my meatloaf up with veggies and herbs to give it flavor, and to sneak more veggies into the kids. They’ll tear through meatloaf, but getting them to eat every bite of their vegetables takes a little encouragement. No harm done if they don’t know it’s there.
My gluten free meatloaf makes an incredible freezer meal, too. I just mix up a double or triple recipe when I’m ready to run the veggies through the food processor, and I portion them out – a dinner’s worth goes in plastic wrap and two loaves fit in a zip-top bag. Then I freeze them uncooked. When I’m ready, I’ll throw the frozen meatloaf onto a baking sheet and bake it free-form. No loaf pan, no prep required.
Want to try it for yourself?
Gluten-free Meatloaf Recipe
1 green bell pepper
3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1in chunks
1 med. onion
2-3 cloves garlic
2lb ground beef
1tbsp black pepper
1 1/2tsp paprika
2 tbsp Italian seasoning (or 2tbsp total of dried oregano, parsley, basil, whatever you have)
For the sauce
2tbsp brown sugar
Coarse-chop the bell pepper, carrots, garlic and onion in a food processor. In a large bowl, combine chopped veggies with the ground beef, salt, pepper and herbs. Form into a free-form loaf on a baking sheet or press into a loaf pan. Mix the ketchup and brown sugar, and set aside. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and brush the sauce onto the top. Return the meatloaf to the oven for another 15 minutes, until the internal temperature registers 160F.
IMPORTANT: Bake the meatloaf uncovered. The veggies release a lot of moisture when cooking, and we’d rather all the water evaporate off than water-log our meatloaf.
The ketchup glaze…fancypants, I know. Break out the white linens, right?
All I promised was comfort food and I happen to like the glaze. Use organic ketchup from heritage breed grass-fed tomatoes you lovingly squeezed yourself, if you must. Just do yourself a favor and glaze the meatloaf.
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