Bean and Beef Meatloaf

I’m working on a project for Library Tech school right now, where I have to develop a proposal of a program that could be given at a public library – the program must fill a need in the community, so I chose healthy, affordable cooking, with a focus on less processed food.

One of my sessions is going to be “Meatless and Less-Meat Meals” – which tends to be the way I try to cook anyway.  As much as I love meat, it is expensive and I also love beans and legumes which can add nutrition and health benefits to your diet, while saving you money, and can be eaten on their own, or to stretch and enhance your meat!

I found the basis for this recipe through Chef Michael Smith’s webseries on cooking with lentils,  but as usual I couldn’t leave it alone and had to make some changes of my own.

Whenever I make a recipe like this, or a casserole, if I have enough ingredients on hand, I make a double batch and stick one in the freezer.  It takes only a few minutes of extra time – not double the time! to make twice as much!  This way you have a bunch of “frozen dinners” ready that are cheaper, healthier and tastier than anything you can buy in a store’s freezer.

There were some problems with this recipe, which I will write at the end but it was a big hit taste wise – the texture needed a bit of help to my mind, though William thought it was better this way.

Bean and Beef Meatloaf

2 eggs (I used flax eggs – 3 tablespoon flax meal plus 9 tablespoons water, refrigerated for at least 15 min.)
1 5.5ounce can tomato paste
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 carrots roughly chopped
1 cup oatmeal flakes
1 can black beans, or 2 cups cooked beans
1 tsp. ground cumin seed
1 tablespoon sage
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon thyme
2 tablespoons or more turmeric
1 tsp. chili garlic paste
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375’F.

Saute the onion, carrot, garlic and sesonings in a frying pan until golden and fragrant.

Sauted vegetables, seasonings and oats.

Let cool then add to food processor with oatmeal and beans and eggs.  Process until pasty.

Pureed vegetables, beans and oats, with bowl of flax eggs to be added.

Mix vegetable paste and beef in a bowl until just combined.

Mound the mixture onto a lightly greased or parchment paper lined baking sheet – or use a cool meatloaf pan like the one I got for my birthday!

Bake for 45-55 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting

Mushy meatloaf with mashed potates with corn and spinach.

Result: I made way too much vegetable paste for the small amount of beef I had which was I believe more like 3/4 of a pound.  I put half the paste in the freezer to use with beef later in another loaf.  There was still rather too much paste, so the meatloaf had a very soft almost spreadable consistency.  While this irked me, William was talking about spreading it on pita for a sandwich before we were half way through dinner.

Next time I would use more meat, and I would not puree the beans – I would put them with the meat to mix directly with the pureed vegetable paste.

I will try this again with some modifications and update the recipe!

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