Cheesy Meatloaf Mini’s

 

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I love making meatloaf, AND enjoying the leftovers- probably even better the next day. Even though I am now serving my 18-year old brother as well as my Fireman, we still get at least two dinners out of one meatloaf. Hmmm-who am I kidding?  The boy can eat enough to starve a small country.  I at least like to hope to get more than one meal out of my meatloaf.  While meatloaf might get a bad rap for being unhealthy, I’ve got 5 ways to lighten up and load up on vegetables and whole grains.
1. Sorry Chuck.  Stick with the leaner cuts of beef.  Ground sirloin or round are the way to go- and look for the package that is 94%-98% lean.
2. Add the Veg!  Fill up your meat dish with shredded carrots and zucchini, mushrooms, or chopped celery, onions, and leeks- or take a leap and add a peeled and diced Granny Smith apple.  Paired with onion- it is a tart addition to the classic meatloaf recipe.
3. Grains are Great. Swap the breadcrumbs or saltines for crushed whole grain cereal or flakes.  Add a boost for your digestive health and try high fiber cereal- easy way to get a helping of your 24 grams/day recommendation of fiber.
4. Say Cheeeeese! Go ahead and splurge with a strong flavored cheese- a little goes a long way with cheeses like parmesan, gouda, sharp cheddar, and blue.  You will get all the flavor you desire in a hearty dish, but with less calories.
5. So long portion distortion.  Baking individual portions by measuring out mini loaves or baking in muffin tins speeds cooking, standardizes serving size and produces a moist, delicious main dish.

How do you like your favorite meatloaf?

 
Individual Cheesy Meatloaf Mini’s

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INGREDIENTS:
2/3 cup high fiber cereal, ground (makes about 1/2 cup, or 1oz)
Cooking spray
1 medium onion, chopped 
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 1/4 cups basic marinara sauce
3 ounces white cheddar or mozzarella cheese, diced or shredded
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped green onions (white and light green parts only)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon prepared horseradish
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (preferably sirloin)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 425°.Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs; cook 3 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently.While breadcrumbs cook, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Combine onion mixture, breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup marinara, and remaining ingredients. Shape into 6 (4 x 2-inch) loaves on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until done. Serve with 1/2 cup marinara sauce over top of each.

Nutritional Information:
(Serving Size: 1 mini meatloaf) 
Calories: 256
Fat: 11.6g
Protein: 28.5g
Carbohydrate: 11.2g
Fiber: 2.3g

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