Hmmm....my meatloaf is never really pretty....but it's oh so yummy in my belly. ;) Meanwhile I should be banned from bread slicing when I'm tired...look how thick I made those slices...lol.
Anywho.....my meatloaf went through some changes after Paul had the heart attack. I chucked the standard bread crumb addition out the window. Stunning amount of salt in bread crumbs, honestly. I could have used panko or even tried some oatmeal, but I went a different direction. (I may have to give oatmeal a whirl at some point though to see how I like it.) Mashed beans make a really neat addition along with extra veggies. I think it's the shredded zucchini that really puts it up over the top personally....never have a dry meatloaf again I tell ya. All of the flavors blend together very nicely though so you never really notice one single ingredient standing out. So if you are experimenting with a fussier eater.....they won't give you the stink eye asking what in the world you put in the food.
The less ketchup you use the better for the meatloaf topping....tons of salt in that stuff. Ketchup, however, is a must as a topping otherwise it's just not the same. Of course you can also make your own ketchup like I did so you can sneak more on....ehehehe. I need to make more now though since my stash in the freezer is gone.
1 pound of lean ground beef
1/3 cup mix of dry small red and pink beans
1/2 zucchini, grated
1 tbls diced garlic
1 banana pepper, diced
1 sweet onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
3 egg whites, beaten a bit
4 tsp lower sodium worchestershire sauce
1 tsp cajun seasoning (or your preferred seasoned salt)
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 tbls spicy ketchup to cover the to of the loaf
1 tbls brown sugar or white sugar*
Rinse and soak the dried beans overnight in water. This step isn't a must, but I prefer the overnight soak. Drain the beans and pour them into a saucepan. Cover with water (at least an inch over top of the beans) and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for an hour and fifteen minutes. Drain when finished cooking and mash. You may want to add a little water (a tbls or so) while you are mashing....makes it easier and smooths the texture a bit.
Combine egg whites, worchestershire sauce, cajun seasoning, and black pepper. Mix in all the vegetables and the beans, stirring until well combined. Toss in the ground beef and mix everything together very thoroughly. Pour into greased pan....I actually use a 9x9 square instead of the traditional loaf pan....I don't really remember why I made the change and now it's just habit. ;) Mix your ketchup and sugar together. Spread across the top of the meatloaf. Bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes or until done.
*I used a pack of Truvia instead of sugar.
A little view of the meatloaf additions.....so very much veggie action....it makes a lovely, moist meatloaf let me tell you. I used to just throw in onions and garlic back in the day and call it good enough on the vegetable front....detract from the meat?! Madness....ehehehe. Oh, how times change. Any bean works by the way....if you prefer black beans or navy beans go for it. I have a cabinet filled with a variety of dried beans and I use whatever catches my eye that day.