Sunday, May 22, 2011

Meatloaf Dinner Party

Sorry there hasn't been a post in a couple of weeks. Brian and I have been trying to figure out where we are going with our diet and we've decided we need to make a change to be more healthy and weigh less! After quite a bit of research, I've decided on the Paleo Solution. This type of lifestyle advocates for the removal of all grains, legumes, dairy and limiting sugars to just a little honey every once in awhile from your diet. There are so many wonderful heath benefits from this way of eating. We know that all three of us have either dairy or gluten sensitivities, so it made the most sense to get them out of our systems.

We want to lose weight, but not at the expense of being healthy. The Paleo Solution has so many health benefits including lower risk of heart disease, increased metabolism, slowing bone loss, better cholesterol numbers, and more particular to us, fewer GI and psoriasis symptoms.

To be frank, this isn't that huge of a change for us because we haven't had gluten or much dairy in our diet for awhile. However, Nora was still eating mac and cheese and sandwiches every once in awhile and we all still had quite a bit of unnecessary sugar in our diets. Nora was having tummy aches and BM problems because none of those things make her GI tract happy.

To accommodate our new way of eating (notice I'm trying to avoid the word diet) and still have a fun dinner party, I decided to have a meatloaf party! This means that everyone at the party got to mix their own meatloaf to his/her own tastes. It was a bit of work to get all the additions ready, but it was worth it because now we have tons of left overs for omelets!

Make ahead and put in small bowls:
Sauteed mushrooms
Sauteed bell pepper
Sauteed onions
Diced olives
Chopped cilantro
Diced jalapeno
Minced ginger
Minced garlic
blue cheese
feta
lemon zest
lime zest
Cooked quinoa
Eggs

Spices:
cayenne
fennel
curry powder
cumin
smoked paprika
chile powder
salt
pepper

Meat:
Italian sausage
Ground turkey
Ground Beef
Bacon

Have a few large bowls out as well as one pound loaf tins. Each person needs to write his/her name on a loaf tin. Fill the tin about half way with the meat combo of their choice and then dump it into the mixing bowl. The only thing they have to add to the meat concoction is an egg to help hold it together. Everything else is optional. I put out quinoa rather than bread crumbs for people that wanted a filler. Here are some optional flavor combinations:

Indian: bell pepper, mushrooms, jalapeno, cilantro and curry powder
Greek: olives, lemon zest, feta, oregano, red wine
Southwest: bell pepper, jalapeno, lime zest, cilantro, cumin, chile powder

Quite a few people just made up their own combos, and one person even added most everything on the bar! We found that the best way to use the bacon was to lay it over the top of the meatloaf when finished. It really crisped up in the oven.

It helps if everyone's meatloaf is about the same size because then they cook at about the same rate. Put them all on a sheet pan in the oven at 375 for about 45 minutes. Use a meat thermometer and make sure they are registering about 160 degrees before pulling them out. Let them sit for at least 10 minutes because they will keep cooking and just be too hot to eat!

We grilled some asparagus, zucchini and red bell peppers to go along with all this yumminess! The best part was that we passed all the plates around the table so everyone could taste the other creations. What fun!

That afternoon I made a special dessert that we could all enjoy. I warmed two cans of coconut milk and added two cups of dark chocolate chips, 1 t of cinnamon, 1 t of cardamom, and 1/2 t of cayenne. This sat in the fridge for 4 hours before we ate dessert and it was lovely with some fresh strawberries.

Have fun! Let me know if any of you have a meatloaf party!

4 Comments:

Blogger Andi said...

Sooo...no more beer brewing?

Your meatloaf party sounds like it was fun and yummy! About your dessert, did you melt the chocolate chips and then chill?

8:34 PM  
Blogger April said...

Yes, just like any custard or pudding. Warm the milk, whisk in chips and spices and chill.

8:41 PM  
Blogger curt swaging said...

nice blog

1:29 PM  
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7:15 PM  

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