We all have go-to dishes that we've made tonnes of times and my Nanny's Meatloaf is one such dish for me. But every now and then, I like to take a familiar dish and give it a little twist...mix it up a little bit. I had bought some lean ground beef with my groceries this past weekend and knew I was going to make meatloaf this week sometime and I was pretty set on it being my Nanny's recipe, which is one of my husband's favorites of all the things I cook. But when I woke yesterday morning, I vividly remembered dreaming about meatloaf infused with Mediterranean flavour. So for dinner last night, I decided to mix it up with a little Mediterranean flair.
When I think Mediterranean, I lean toward food with a Greek influence. As such, I combined my lean ground beef with dry oregano, garlic powder, coarse sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, one beaten egg and some dry bread crumbs to bind it. I then pressed it out onto parchment paper on my work surface until it was approximately 10 inches x 10 inches and 1/4 inch thick. Leaving a border on either end and both sides, I layered fire roasted red pepper slivers, frozen spinach that had been thawed, chopped kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese. I folded the ends up and then rolled from one side to the other and placed the loaf in an ungreased loaf pan. I topped the meatloaf with halved cherry tomatoes, a little coarse sea salt, freshly ground blackk pepper and dry oregano and drizzled on a little extra virgin olive oil. I placed the meatloaf in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 50 minutes.
I obiviously needed to have something on the side with the meatloaf and immediately decided on a Greek Salad but I wanted a starch as well. I washed red petite potatoes, quartered them and tossed them with chopped kalamata olvies, minced garlic, dry oregano, coarse sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and extra virgin olive oil. When the oven timer for the meatloaf was down to the 40 minute mark, I added the potatoe mixture in a oven proof dish.
I had a friend who worked in real estate who would always tell her clients to bake some cookies when they were having an open house but I say roast tomatoes with minced garlic and oregano if you want to see real results, real fast! It's just a phenomenal aroma. I swear, both my husband and my daughter must have asked me every 5 minutes when dinner was going to be ready, and that wasn't about it running late or neither of them having been fed for ages, it was purely about the scent that wafted throughout the house from this dinner cooking in the oven. With 10 minutes left on the timer, I threw together a Greek Salad using romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, English cucumber, kalamata olives and feta cheese, all seasoned with a little freshly ground black pepper and dry oregano. Shamefully, I admit I used a store bought, fat free Greek salad dressing, but in my defense, my husband loves it and what kind of a wife would I be to refuse him such a simple pleasure?
Oh my....just out of the oven! Makes me salivate just looking at it!
Ok, now I'm downright drooling!
Potato was one of those things that I would power struggle about with my mom growing up...I just simply didn't like them. To this day, mashed potatoes are NOT my thing. But roasted petite potatoes? Heck yes!!
Normally I make a sauce for with meatloaf, but I thought with the stuffing of roasted red peppers, spinach, olives and feta, not to mention the topping of roasted cherry tomatoes, that perhaps a sauce wouldn't be necessary. It was a bit of a gamble, but one that definitely paid off because this meatloaf was so moist and delicious, no sauce was required!
lThis meal of Mediterranean Stuffed Meatloaf took less than an hour from start to finish, was healthied-up by using lean beef, minimal salt, fresh veg and roasting as opposed to frying, and I estimate cost approximately $5.00 per portion. Add to that the amazing aroma and phenomenal flavour that lingers and leaves you licking your lips long after the meal is done, (not to mention drooling over the pictures the next day!).
Mediterranean Stuffed Meatloaf with Roasted Red Petite Potatoes and Kalamata Olives....easy, healthied-up, inexpensive AND delicious!