I recently saw a post about foods that people from outside the U.S. hate, and meatloaf was one of them. I was surprised—meatballs seem to be an almost universal food, and meatloaf is like a gigantic meatball! While it may offend the refined palates of my international friends, my husband and I happen to both love meatloaf. It’s inexpensive, easy to prepare (although it needs time to bake), and this version is full of healthy veggies. While some people with IBD find red meat hard to digest, it’s important to try to incorporate it occasionally because anemia, or iron deficiency, is also often a problem in this population, and red meat is one of the best natural sources of iron. Without further ado, here is a very basic but pleasing meatloaf recipe:
Here is all the stuff you’ll need for the meatloaf itself:
Put it in a bowl and mix it all together. Get your hands in there!
Now press it into your pan. Mmmmmmmm raw beef….
Next, let’s get the topping ready. Nothing fancy here. Just plop it in a bowl and mix.
And smear it on your loaf. Mmmm, smeared raw beef…
Ok, now put it in your preheated oven until your oven thermometer reads 160 (mine reads 180 in this picture…whoops…it was still juicy!)
I served my meatloaf with a creamy carrot puree as a side (I’ll post that recipe soon, too!). Buen provecho!
Meatloaf Ingredients (4-5 generous servings)
- 1 pound ground beef (grassfed is always better)
- ½ large onion, finely chopped
- 1 small bell pepper, finely chopped (I used red because that’s what I had on hand, but green is more traditional)
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup blanched almond flour
- 1 can organic diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning*
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup extra concentrated tomato paste*
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine all meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl. Use your hands to mix it all around, but be careful not to over mix because the heat from your hands will melt the fat in the meat and cause it to turn out denser.
- Press the meat mixture into a loaf pan.
- Mix together all the topping ingredients in a separate bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste. Add a little more honey if you like your topping sweeter, or a bit more mustard or vinegar if it’s too sweet.
- Spoon the topping mixture onto the meat and spread in an even layer.
- Bake for about 1.5 hours, or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. You may want to start checking after about an hour, since the amount of time this takes to cook will vary based on the type of pan you are using, its dimensions, your oven calibration, and so on. I recommend placing the meatloaf on the top rack and a cookie sheet on the bottom rack of your oven underneath your meatloaf to avoid a mess if your loaf pan is very full like mine is.
- Let rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving. You may notice that this meatloaf is swimming in a lot of juices and does not hold together quite as well as traditional meatloaf. This is normal; it occurs because there are no grains in the mixture to bind the ingredients and absorb moisture, but the flavor is still very pleasing. Just remove slices very gently using a spatula, and you can drain off excess liquid once the first slice or two are out. It is possible that using coconut flour instead of almond flour would yield a drier loaf because coconut flour is more absorbent; I may try this in the future and report back—if you try it, please let me know how it turns out!
*Please note: No canned vegetables are SCD legal. I used them anyway because that’s what I had on hand, and, as I’ve mentioned previously, my goal is to adhere as closely to the SCD as possible without it dominating my life. So, I used canned tomatoes. Here are my recommendations to make the recipe 100% SCD legal: Chop about 4 large tomatoes into large dice. Toss with olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and about a teaspoon of Italian seasonings. Roast at 375 until very soft. Process the tomatoes in a food processor until they are just slightly broken down. Substitute this for the canned diced tomatoes. For the tomato paste, simmer plain tomato juice on the stove until it is very reduced and season to taste with salt, then add the honey, mustard, and vinegar; or, substitute SCD legal ketchup and cut back on the honey and vinegar.