For whatever reason Meatloaf seems to have a bad rap; perhaps because it comes from the days when everything was made in a Pyrex dish and contained a lot of butter, cheese and Cream of Mushroom soup. Or perhaps because it doesn’t look all that pretty and at one time was considered a poor man’s dish. But this American comfort food is definitely a favorite in our house, particularly because it is easy and quick to make, can be made ahead of time, and a great dish to use up a variety of veggies when they are loosing their freshness. And the best part is, it somehow managed to skip the butter, cheese and Campbell’s soup.

Be creative, don’t worry about exact proportions, and add as many veggies as you like to make it even healthier!

What’s your favorite meatloaf variation?

Mom’s Meat Loaf

1 lb ground turkey or beef

1 C** chopped onion

1 C chopped celery

3/4 C bread crumbs (try Brown Rice bread crumbs if you are Gluten intolerant)

1/2 C milk

1 egg

1 tsp. salt                 (I prefer sea salt for health reasons)

1 tsp. garlic or celery salt

1 tsp. pepper

small can tomato sauce

Optional things I like to add:

chopped carrots

chopped bell  peppers – all colors

crushed red peppers  either in the mix or on top, depending on how much spice you want

(I like to drizzle Ketchup over it when I eat it)

Mix all ingredients by spoon or by hand except for tomato sauce and form into a 1 1/2 qt. glass loaf pan.

Pour tomato sauce on top and bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 1- 1 1/4 hours*.

Let stand for 10 minutes and serve.

(Can also prepare and stick in the freezer for another day)

*If you feel like it’s too long for you to cook, an easy variation would be to divide the meatloaf evenly in a cupcake pan (I’d grease it first), pour the tomato sauce evenly on each one, and then bake at same temp for 20-25 minutes. May feel weird to eat a meatloaf “muffin” but it will cut back the time and taste just as delicious.

**C= Cups