Let’s face it. Time is a commodity when the kids are starving after a day of school, you are exhausted from the general chaos of raising a family, working, being human, and there is still so much to do at the end of every day. Cooking big dinners is rarely on the to-do list. Dinner may not even always be on that list, really.:)
But, cook we will – and pack the lunch for the next day we will. I have this theory lately that all dinners should involve at least enough leftovers to double as school lunches and I’ve been busily at work in the OBE test kitchen butchering recipes and making things that are super easy, I know my kids will love and – of course – will go right into tomorrow’s lunch kit after the evening meal.
I’ll be sharing these meals with you over the next couple of weeks in hopes that dinner can have a bit more ease for all of us, and some smiles too.
Today’s recipe came to me while I was on the search for compact, portion-controlled dinners that were also packed with protein and veggies. It is modified from a similar recipe in the October 2011 issue of Woman’s Day (great holiday ideas, I highly recommend picking it up). These mini meatloaves are super fun and tasty to eat and they pack up remarkably well for the lunch box. Depending on the size of your muffins, this easily feeds a family of 4 or 5 with leftovers. With cooking time, you can whip this dinner out in about half an hour – which I consider a major score because that means only about 10 minutes of prep.
- 6 to 8 new potatoes cut into pieces. You can peel them if texture is an issue. Otherwise leave the skins on for extra vitamins.
- 2 eggs
- 2 TBSP Ketchup
- 2 TSP Worcestershire sause
- 1/2 C panko or bread crumbs (we used Italian seasoned bread crumbs for extra zip)
- 2 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1 carrot and a chunk of zucchini grated (you can put any veggies in you like. But, these are the ones we thought tasted best)
- 3/4 LB of ground bison or beef (we used bison)
- 1/2 LB of pork or pork sausage (we used local Bratwurst out of the casing)
- Grape tomatoes
- A handful of frozen peas.
3/4 C Sour cream
1. Heat oven to 375 and line your muffin tins with a double layer of liners. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for 15 to 18 minutes until tender.
2. Combine eggs, ketchup and Worchestershire, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper as well as the breadcrumbs. Stir in the veggies, then the meat. Don’t overmix. Make balls and place one in each muffin tin (we made full-sized ones and minis). Optionally, you can press a grape tomato into the middle of each of the muffins. Be warned though that the tomatoes are VERY hot in the mouth coming out of the oven. Pop the muffins in the oven for about 18 minutes.
3. Back to the potatoes, drain them and put them back in the pan. You can use the optional sour cream (my kids hated it) to mash up with the potatoes. We used goat milk. Then, spread the mixture over the top of the baked muffins and put a few peas on top.
There you have it. Yummy meatloaf muffins for all to enjoy!