When life gives you lemons, make meatloaf

You feel tired. It’s -80 degrees outside. You are starving. And you want to spend time with your family, not be stuck in the kitchen. What do you do?

tick.tick.tick.tick.

Answer: You make meatloaf. Or apparently “Swiss Loaf.” I’m Swiss, this recipe isn’t. But it does use Swiss cheese.

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I’m glad he’s not a picky eater! Hey, I like duck too. Yum!

Growing up, we never had meatloaf. My mom isn’t a big meat-eater in general, and the idea of forming meat into a loaf kind of grosses her out. (Actually, it grosses most people out, right? But usually the taste is worth the gross-out factor, I think.) Well it wasn’t long into my relationship with E that I realized meatloaf is one of his favorites. I started trying recipes out more and more and found a few that didn’t feel like they were a throw back to the loaf of meat my elementary school served on Tuesdays. Well now meatloaf is actually a nice fall back recipe for me.

Just after I had Little K, E and I decided to try to cut down on the amount of carbs we were eating. I want to emphasize that – we cut down – not out. I think carbohydrates are a very important part of any diet, especially if you’re getting them through whole grains. But generally speaking, the majority of us are getting way more carbs than we need. So, we bought a big ol’ low-carb cookbook and started working the recipes into our repertoire.


Low-Carb Swiss Loaf

Overall: three-star

DSCF4624Ease to Prepare: four-star

As far as meatloaf goes, this one was mildly more complex. Veggies to chop, cheese to grate, wine to drink. Wait, that last part is totally optional…

Instructions: three-star

This recipe lost a couple points because of the way the cookbook is set up. First of all, I always look for photos in my cookbooks. This one doesn’t have any. It’s not one of those where there are a few in the middle, this one has squat. Boo. Secondly, the recipe has a bad page break and apparently continued onto the next page. I didn’t even notice it until I was cleaning up and putting the cookbook away. It was something about broiling it, a step I completely missed. I think the dish came out fine anyhow.

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Little K is learning where his food comes from already! No, not from the bath. The book: On the Farm.

One part of the instructions that I was shocked to read – while the meatloaf is cooking (for almost two freaking hours, yo!), you need to give your baby boy a bath. Ok, it didn’t say that. But my meatloaf turned out great and I’ll happily lay the blame for that on Little K needing a bath. It just makes sense, people.

Food: three-star

See? The presentation = Not so hot. I served it with wilted spinach and mushrooms, if you're wondering.

See? The presentation = Not so hot. I served it with wilted spinach and mushrooms, if you’re wondering.

I didn’t love it, but I usually don’t love meatloaf. E said it was pretty good though. The onion, pepper, and celery really freshened up what is essentially just a giant wad of meat. And the cheese was a unique touch. The presentation left something to be desired, but I didn’t let it scare me off.

Clean up: four-star

Clean up was pretty good! The prep work was all done in one bowl. The actual loaf pan needed some elbow grease to get clean, but par for the course with meatloaf.

Cost: four-star

This recipe required 2 1/2 pounds of meat. Holy cow (literally). Well, actually, I strayed from the recommended 2 1/2 pounds of beef and used a mix of pork and turkey. But that much meat is a pretty penny; we do have lots of leftovers though! The veggies were a nice addition to the flavor, but helped tick the cost up too.

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