“The secret ingredient is always love.”
Comfort Food at Its Finest
When I was growing up, my Uncle Buddy lived with us. My mother started teaching me to cook when I was 10 years old, and after mastering the basics, I loved trying new things. For Buddy’s birthday one year, I offered to cook him anything he wanted no matter how fancy. He smiled and asked for meatloaf. I was shocked and tried to talk him into something else, but he knew that fancy doesn’t always mean delicious. There’s nothing quite like a simple meal prepared well.
Most traditional meatloaf recipes include egg and bread crumbs. Eggs are meant to hold it together, and the bread crumbs are meant to improve the texture. (A meatloaf with nothing but meat tends to be hard as a rock.) For this Paleo AIP recipe, I did some experimenting and it turns out that shredded vegetables serve both purposes. The end result is the best-tasting meatloaf I’ve ever had!
Melt coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Use food processor to grate carrots with small grater attachment and add to skillet.
Remove grater and insert chopping blade. Add cauliflower chunks and pulse until they reach a rice consistency. Add to skillet.
Add quartered onion and whole garlic cloves to food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add to skillet.
Spread vegetables evenly across bottom of skillet and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Place ground meat in a large mixing bowl. (You can use a Kitchenaid mixer if you have one.) Add the salt and thyme. If using a mixer, use the paddle attachment and blend at low speed until incorporated. If you don't have a mixer, use your hands to blend the spices evenly into the meat.
Add cooked veggies from skillet to the meat mixture and blend again.
Transfer to 2 loaf pans. Bake 1 hour.
Serve slices of meatloaf with juices from the pan on top.
Time-saving tip: Many stores sell pre-chopped cauliflower rice in the frozen food aisle. 1/2 a medium head of cauliflower is equivalent to about 2 cups of cauliflower rice.
If you don't have a food processor, you can use a hand grater for the carrots and cauliflower and a knife for the onion and garlic.
This recipe first appeared in the e-cookbook: Freezer Cooking for the Paleo AIP. You can freeze the cooked slices of meatloaf in individual freezer-safe bowls, for easy meals later. To defrost, just transfer the bowl from the freezer to the fridge the night before, or use the defrost function of your microwave. When ready to eat, you can reheat in a microwave or a skillet. In the microwave, it will take 1-2 minutes depending on the strength of your microwave. In a skillet, melt a little coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add the meatloaf (including any juices). Cover pan and cook 3-8 minutes per side. (Time will vary based on thickness of slices and whether they are fully defrosted before you start reheating).