What a pleasant surprise I got this morning when I woke to the sound of a delicious rain pattering outside my window. I’m always amazed at how much I miss everything about it—the smells, the sounds, the clean, fresh air, and even the wet, muddy shoes.
It is inevitable that when the climate cools even in the slightest, I yearn for something a little more hearty than my usual hot-weather staple of grilled meat and salad. Today was just such a day, and with it comes this favorite quickly-assembled meal.
With flavors reminiscent of pizza, this ultimate comfort food is extremely kid-friendly, while the fresh basil and mozzarella paired with sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes add a sophistication sure to please even the most discerning adult. The mixture also makes a fantastic burger patty if you’d prefer to go that route.
1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb bulk Italian sausage
1/2 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, 1/4-inch diced
1 bunch fresh basil (1 cup loosely packed leaves), chopped
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs or almond meal for low-carb gluten-free
1 small onion, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup red wine
1 cup tomato sauce, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Combine the first 13 ingredients (ground beef through red wine) with half the tomato sauce in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or your hands.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. Shape meat mixture into a large loaf, around 12 x 4 inches. Alternately, shape into two smaller loaves, or pile into a muffin tin for quicker cooking. Brush top with remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake meatloaf until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer registers 160 F–170 F: about 75 minutes for a large loaf, 40-45 minutes for half-size loaves, and 20–25 minutes for mini muffin-size.
To choose your organically grown and fresh ingredients wisely, use the following criteria:
·chemical- and hormone-free meat
·pastured-raised, organic eggs
·whole, unrefined grains
·virgin, unrefined, first-press organic oils
·whole-food, unrefined sweeteners
·pure, clean, spring water
·raw and/or cultured milk and cream products