Jan 20, 2011

Mini Meat Loaf Muffins


Ever wonder what men do when they find themselves alone when the clock strikes dinnertime? After a little research, I've discovered that you can basically classify men into four groups based on the answer to this very question.

First, you've got "The Freak Out," who, in a sweaty-palms panic, dials for emergency pizza or Chinese (or both) to ward off starvation with greasy goodness. You'll find him glued to a couch at colleges and bachelor pads around the world. 

Then there's "The Settler." Thanks to a traumatizing grocery store experience where he accidentally brought home tofu hot dogs and baked Doritos, this man insists that a meal can be made without leaving the house. Thus he will dine on milkless cereal, Fritos covered in ketchup and a beer. 

Next is "The Cook," with an emphasis on those quotation marks. Although his intentions are good, after hours in the kitchen and a few dozen dirty bowls and pans, he'll eat something to the effect of an undercooked pork chop, microwaved tater tots and brownie batter. (Men can’t rationalize waiting thirty minutes for something to bake that’s perfectly tasty in five.)

And finally, there's the "The Unicorn," or so called by his friends who don't believe in his existence or his frivolous dinnertime stories. Supposedly, when alone, he prepares a delicious meal from scratch, complete with non-canned sides and *gasp* a homemade dessert!  

Now, for all you single ladies picturing a shirtless, apron-clad cutie donning a “Mr. Perfect” embroidered chef hat, take a cold shower. Those unicorns only exist in food blogs and reality cooking shows. And in Paris.

We're talking about everyday unicorns. And they're never single. Never. Because that delicious, homemade food was prepared in advanced and left by no other than...their loving wives. 

And if you happen to be a wife, like me, who from time to time finds herself flying across the country for work or a wedding, or you simply like the idea of a weekend with the girls, these little mini meatloaf muffins are the perfect stash-away meal for your man. They're quick to make, packed with protein and nutrition (also a sneaky way to make husbands kids eat carrots) and wonderfully freezable.

To save your homemade love for later, bake and let cool, then wrap each serving (two muffins) in plastic wrap and store in freezer bags in the freezer. When your hubby gets hungry, a quick nuke in the microwave is all it takes for a full belly. Alongside a salad and some homemade cookies or his favorite pie, he's set for a while. At least until breakfast. Thank goodness for Pop-Tarts.

P.S. I'm back! I've enjoyed the most wonderfully long Florida/Bahamas vacation, and a lot of nice time with family. But I'm back in the kitchen...and back in blog land with lots of great recipes to share. Stay tuned!

Dinner Meat Loaf “Muffins”
David Bonom, Cooking Light, MARCH 2006
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2 "muffins")

1  teaspoon  olive oil
1  cup  finely chopped onion
1/2  cup  finely chopped carrot
1  teaspoon  dried oregano
2  garlic cloves, minced
1  cup  ketchup, divided
1 1/2  pounds  ground beef, extra lean (raw)
1  cup  finely crushed fat-free saltine crackers (about 20)
2  tablespoons  prepared mustard
1  teaspoon  Worcestershire sauce
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
2  large eggs
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, chopped carrot, dried oregano, and minced garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Cool.

Combine onion mixture, 1/2 cup ketchup, and the remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl.

Spoon the meat mixture into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Top each with 2 teaspoons ketchup. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Nutritional Info: Calories: 276 (28% from fat), Fat: 8.6g (sat 3g,mono 4g,poly 0.8g), Protein: 28.7g, Carbohydrate: 21.7g, Fiber: 1.8g, Cholesterol: 131mg, Iron: 3.9mg, Sodium: 759mg, Calcium: 48mg.
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