Thursday, April 20, 2006

Losing Weight the Low Carb Way #2

(As stated here, I'm cooking low carb, healthy meals using George Stella's cookbook, Eating Stella Style, until I lose 14 pounds.)

In George's cookbook, Eating Stella Style, he presents a meatloaf recipe that so intrigued me I had to try it. Whole, hard-boiled eggs stuffed into a meatloaf? Is there a reason for this besides being a bit quirky? George wanted to use up leftover hard-boiled Easter eggs. Wouldn't deviled eggs have been a bit less, oh, I don't know, silly? And more practical? Does one really need all that protein in one dish?

Snarky questions aside, this made for a pretty tasty, low carb dinner. You can bake it with George's Quick and Easy Ketchup on top, or save the catsup to use as a condiment on your plate. Serve with steamed green beans tossed with diced red bell peppers which have been sauteed in Smart Balance and sprinkled with finely chopped basil and you've got a nicely balanced low carb meal. And while the hard-boiled eggs were a hoot, next time I'd leave them out. Unless, of course, you have children who are entertained by such things.

Because I substituted ground turkey for the lean ground hamburger, this dish baked in less than time than called for and was very, very juicy. Be sure to have 5 hard-boiled eggs on hand (or not) before beginning.

George's Crazy Egg Meatloaf
2 pounds lean ground beef (I used ground turkey)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diced raw red bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced (I used three)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (I used dried marjoram because I didn't have dried oregano)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon kosher salt (I used 1/2 teaspoon and wish I'd used a whole teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (such as my favorite, Tellicherry)
5 hard-boiled eggs, peeled (I only had room for 4 in my glass dish)
4 tablespoons Quick and Easy Ketchup (George says this is optional and I agree. It's much better as a condiment)

Set your oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

Mix all ingredients except the hard-boiled eggs in a large bowl; using your hands is best for this job.
Place half of the meat mixture in the pan, pat down evenly and then place the hard-boiled eggs end to end, lengthwise down the center. Cover with the rest of the meat mixture and smooth the top. Spread the catsup over the top if using.

Bake for about 1 hour or until the meat has pulled away from the sides of the dish and the top is nicely browned and an instant-read thermometer reads about 130. Carefully pour the juices off and let sit for about 10 minutes.
Cut into 8 equal portions and serve.

As I said above, I used less salt than called for and wished I hadn't. And maybe because I used ground turkey instead of ground beef, this meatloaf didn't pack much punch flavor-wise. Next time I'd used more herbs and maybe add some sliced, pimiento-stuffed green olives. And while my 19-year old son thought they were "gnarly looking", I'd leave out the hard-boiled eggs.

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