It has been a sunny Labor Day weekend and boy do we love that in La Honda. The only thing that loves the sunshine better than I do is our garden. Everything seems to double in size by the next day when we’re hot and shiny. So I decided it was a perfect day to make a dish in my HotPot solar oven. I cook in this ingenious device a lot in the summer, plus on sunny days in spring and fall as well. Today’s dinner using La Honda Country Market ingredients is Confetti Meatloaf. It’s basically meatloaf made with any kind of ground meat or meat substitute you wish, with diced vegetables added in for color and flavor.
Add a tossed salad if you wish, or potato salad or any other side dish you like. This meal cost me less than $15, and it made enough for two family meals. Plus I had vegetables left over for our next dinner. Now that’s what I call Country Market Cooking! Here’s the recipe:
2 pounds ground beef (or ground turkey, chicken, whatever)
1 cup chopped mixed veggies (carrots, beans, tomatoes, zucchini, etc.)
1 cup parmesan cheese or breadcrumbs (parmesan cheese makes this a low carb meal)
1 T parsley or mixed herbs of your choice (basil & thyme rock, but use oregano sparingly)
2 T soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce or steak sauce (or a combo to add up to 2 T)
¼ cup chicken stock (or water)
Either put the chopped mixed veggies in a ceramic bowl with a tablespoon of water and microwave on high for 2 minutes, or sauté the veggies in a frying pan in a tablespoon of oil (or spray the pan with oil) for two minutes. Let the veggies cool for 10 minutes before adding to the meat mixture below.
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix lightly–do not press the meat with your hands or your meatloaf will turn out dry. Just toss the ingredients together with your fingers. For the solar oven I patted the meat mixture into a dark bundt pan and placed it inside my solar oven’s glass container. Then I left it on a table on our deck for 5 hours and let the sunlight do the cooking for me. It comes out moist and never burns no matter how long you leave it. (NOTE: On the day I made this meal the fog rolled in around 3 pm and I had to finish it off in the oven…it was 2/3 done after 3 hours, so no big deal. And it was still delicious.) For those of you who haven’t discovered the wonders of solar cooking (similar in cooking process to a crockpot), pat the meat mixture into a bread loaf pan or bundt cake pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for an hour.
Option: You can add ketchup, tomato paste or salsa to the top of your meatloaf before putting it in the oven if you like.
What I really like about this recipe, and we make it a couple times a month at our house, is how different it tastes each time because I use different meat or different veggies and different sauces. So feel free to experiment with Confetti Meatloaf and enjoy the results.
See you next week with another La Honda Country Market recipe.