Sunday, March 20, 2011

Individual Bacon Cheddar Meatloaves with Baked Onion Rings PLUS the Meal Plan and Grocery List 3/21-3/27

I will sing the praises of these yummy lil' meatloaves in a moment, but first this scene from my kitchen:

"What's for dinner?" my husband asked. "Meatloaf!" I sang out enthusiastically. Disregarding my exuberance, he gave me a wary look from across the kitchen and responded with one of those questions that isn't really a question, "I'm supposed to be excited about meatloaf?" (He might as well have added a nice juvenile "Ewwww" before he asked it and threw in  a "YUCK!" after his "question".)

Since it wasn't really a question anyhow, I ignored it and continued gathering my ingredients. Oh, you'll eat it, buddy. And you're gonna like it too....

Seriously, why does meatloaf get such a bad rap? It's good!

These individual-size meatloaves are especially good. Full of cheese and topped with bacon, these may just change the opinion of even the most adamant meat-loaf "haters". I had to laugh when I overhead my husband bragging to some friends later that evening, urging them to try the leftover meatloaf.

If you've never made meatloaf before, it's really simple. You just dump everything together and mix well. This was a pretty basic meatloaf recipe. I used ground beef, eggs, cracker crumbs, onion, salt, and pepper. The special ingredient here was shredded cheddar. I like to use my pastry cutter to blend the ingredients, but your hands work great too! Squish, squish!

Divide the mixture into 4 parts and shape into mini-loaves with your hands. Place in the bottom of a 11 X 7 inch baking dish.

Brush with equal parts of ketchup and barbecue sauce. (I left one plain for my anti-condiment kiddo). Top with bacon.

Then, to put these over-the-top I gave them a final sprinkle of cheese before popping the dish into the oven.

While the meatloaves baked, I set to work on the baked onion ring recipe that was featured with the meatloaves in Light and Tasty magazine. Just slice a large sweet onion into rings. Then, dip the onion rings in egg (or egg substitute) until coated.

Toss them with bread crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper. Arrange the onion rings on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and bake for 15-18 minutes, turning halfway through.

The meatloaf was a big hit. The onion rings were okay. No surprise... they tasted like baked onion rings. Not nearly as good as the fried version, but if you're trying to cut back on the fat and calories and you need to satisfy that onion ring craving, these might do the trick.

Bacon Cheddar Meatloaves inspired by Light & Tasty magazine April/May 2007
4 Servings Prep: 20 min. Bake: 40 min.
2 eggs
1/2 cup crushed butter crackers (about 13 crackers)
1/3 cup plus 8 teaspoons shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pound lean ground beef
2-3 tablespoons barbecue sauce
2-3 tablespoons ketchup
2-3 bacon strips, cut into smaller strips
•In a large bowl, combine the eggs, crackers, 1/3 cup cheese,
onion, salt and pepper. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.
Shape into four small loaves; place in an ungreased 11-in. x 7-in.
baking dish. Combine barbecue sauce and ketchup, brush over the top of each meatloaf. Top each with a half-strip of bacon.

•Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until no pink remains and a
meat thermometer reads 160°. Sprinkle with remaining cheese;
bake 2-3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 4

Notes: The original recipe was a lightened up version of meatloaf. It called for 4 egg whites instead of 2 eggs, reduced fat crackers and cheese, turkey bacon, and did not call for a sauce on top. These are great ideas to lighten up this recipe!

Baked Sweet Onion Rings published in Light & Tasty April/May 2007

4 Servings Prep/Total Time: 30 min.

1/2 cup egg substitute
2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 sweet onion, sliced and separated into rings
•Place egg substitute in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish,
combine the bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Dip onion rings into egg,
then roll in crumb mixture.

•Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425°
for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Yield: 4

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving equals 66 calories, 1 g fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 312 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein. Diabetic Exchange: 1 starch.


And now for the meal plan and grocery list...

Monday March 21st

Cauliflower Cheese Soup and BLT Sandwiches

Tuesday March March 22nd

Chicken and Artichokes with Wine Sauce

Wednesday March 23rd

Cheesy Southwestern Pasta

Thursday March 24th


Friday March 25th

Tomato Gnocchi with Broccoli Pesto Cream Sauce

Saturday and Sunday March 26th and 27th

Road Trip! I'll be packing a basket of snacks, but no cooking for me this weekend.

Grocery List


1 whole cauliflower
sweet red pepper
green onions
1 head broccoli
pine nuts


4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves


1 cup half and half
shredded cheddar
Parmesan cheese

Canned Goods

2 quarts + 1/3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup dry white wine
cooking oil
chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
olive oil
tomato paste
1 cup prepared alfredo sauce

Dry Goods

bread for sandwiches
crushed sage
bowtie pasta
chili powder


8-9 oz package frozen artichoke hearts

To download or for a printable copy of this meal plan and grocery list, click HERE!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It looks sooo good - I'll have to make this as soon as possible :-)

My best,

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