RECIPE. Jan 1, 2012

Meatloaf Diet

The first day of the new year and my feature photo is a huge hunk of meat covered in bacon. Not necessarily what you might have in mind when this is the day most people begin to set goals for health and weight loss. I am not oblivious. This is incredibly intentional. I want to send a clear message about food and health. The contents of this meatloaf are local, seasonal and sustainably raised or produced. Each and every ingredient was purchased from the farmers market or food cooperative. While it may have more fat content and less vegetables than a conventional salad, it probably has far fewer harmful chemicals and additives and far more healthy omega 3 and 6, protein and beta carotene.

My message is not that meat is healthier than vegetables. The message is: there is a balance to everything, including food. It took me years to discover, when you put time and energy into carefully selecting your ingredients, it often does not matter what you are eating. What matters is how present you are when you are making and consuming your dish. The more you stay in the moment, the less it matters whether you are eating salad or meatloaf. If the ingredients are from local, sustainable sources then you can trust that your body is being nourished without being harmed. Remember, however, there is balance. Eating meatloaf every night is neither good for you or the world we live in.

We all try the best we can to follow “rules” for eating well. The struggle, however, is the “rules” are often changing. Hundreds of “experts” have conflicting opinions. Children, work, hobbies and life take a lot of time and energy. We cannot always succeed every single day to get the “correct” amount of food in each of our bodies. What we can do, however, is use a strong foundation for health by visiting local markets and food cooperatives. Even if we are making meatloaf instead of a green salad or vegetable soup, we can feel positive about the balance we are creating in our world and our lives. We are focusing less on what we are eating and focusing more on where it came from, how it was made and how we are going to eat it.

It was also incredibly inexpensive for the large amount the recipe produced. I could have easily fed 8-10 people and still had left overs. Meatloaf is not some delicate art form in the cooking world. It’s the comfort food for a busy family. While many dinners can be a battle to get down my toddlers throat, I knew this would be one he would eat and happily ask for more. I made a side of roasted vegetables to balance the dinner.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all meat loaf ingredients except meat and bacon in a large bowl until well combined and mushy. Mixture will fizz due to baking soda and vinegar. Let sit 10-15 minutes, then mix in meat until well combined. On an oiled pan, loosely form meat mix into loaf. Drape bacon over loaf and slide into middle rack of oven and bake 50-60 minutes or until thermometer reaches 170 when put in middle of loaf.

Combine ingredients for glaze in small pot and bring to boil for 1-2 minutes. Twenty minutes before meatloaf is done, pour glaze over evenly and return it to oven.