|Italian Style Meatloaf|
I never get tired of meatloaf. There are endless ways to theme it, but one of my favorites is Italian style. And let me just say that any time I can get Italian AND it's low carb, I'm a happy camper. Therefore, I make my meatloaf (and meatballs for that matter) sans any kind of breading or starchy filler - it's simply not needed.
Often times I will use a blend of different meats (beef, lamb, pork, etc.) but for this very simple version today, I used only beef (100% grass-fed). To complete my low carb meal, I paired the meatloaf with a side of Caulimash (steamed organic cauliflower, grass-fed butter, sea salt, organic sour cream and organic cream cheese blended together in a food processor until smooth - leave out the cheese and sour cream to make Paleo and Bulletproof) and a fresh salad of shaved raw organic zucchini with sea salt.
For plating, I spooned some of the drippings from the meatloaf over the dish along with a garnish of fresh oregano right before serving, and for a little extra punch (and mostly because it happens to be Hatch Chile Season right now), I added some roasted Hatch chiles as well - totally optional and not Italian but it worked.
To make this meatloaf Paleo and Bulletproof, leave out the cheese.
Lastly, this meal is entirely naturally gluten-free - always a good thing.
Italian Style Meatloaf
Oven 350 degrees F
1 3/4 lb. 100% grass-fed ground beef (as fatty as possible, see Cook's Note)
1 pastured egg
3/4 cup shredded organic Italian cheese blend, divided (I used Whole Foods 365 Organic Italian Blend which has provolone, parmesan, asiago and fontina) (omit to make Paleo and Bulletproof)
1/4 cup marinara (I use this one, or make my own)
2 Tablespoons organic Italian seasoning (I used this one)
3 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt
2 sprigs fresh organic oregano, leaves only, optional for garnish
Be sure your oven is preheating to 350 degrees F.
Place all of the ingredients, except 1/4 cup of the cheese (reserve to top the meatloaf with it), in a large bowl and mix well with your hands.
Press the mixture into a deep dish loaf pan or dish and top with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese evenly sprinkled across the top. If omitting the cheese, consider spreading a little of the marinara sauce across the top instead.
Bake in the oven for approximately 35 - 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest a few minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with fresh oregano if desired, and don't forget to drizzle all those good juices from the pan over the top!
Cook's Note: Shoot for the fattiest grass-fed ground beef you can find. If grass-fed ground beef is not available, go for extra lean ground beef and add 1-2 Tablespoons of a healthy fat such as unflavored coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, or even better - use this MCT oil, to your mixture before cooking. Grass-fed, pasture-raised beef naturally contains a good dose of healthy Omega 3 and CLA fatty acids which are good for you. Conversely, feedlot or factory farmed cattle contain high doses of unhealthy fats (often in addition to antibiotics and growth hormones), so choosing extra lean when eating this type of beef and then adding your own healthy fats is a better idea.
Out of the oven with a little fresh oregano added: