ItalianStuffedMeatloaf

Tweaking a meatloaf, lowering the carbs

Olives, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese change up your classic meatloaf.  |  Sue Ontiveros Photo

Since November is Diabetes Awareness Month, I thought I’d show you how I make eating tweaks as a diabetic who follows a low-carb diet.

Take this recipe for a meatloaf from blogger Homemade Food Junkie. Nice twist on a comfort food classic.

Whenever I look at a recipe I determine if it’s as low in carbs as possible. The recipe here is fine as is if you’re not thinking about carbs. But like I said, I am. So I want to cut down the carbs, which for beginners means less oats.

The oats are the binder though, so I added some mozzarella to the mixture. I upped the ground beef a bit, too. But it’s still not as dense as a traditional meatloaf. That didn’t bother my family, who really liked this dish.  My son called it Lasagna Meatloaf, because of the flavors.

Jarred spaghetti sauce often has a lot of sugar (AKA carbs). I stay away from it. I included my recipe for a mock sauce that’s simple to make. I didn’t cook it ahead of time, but next time I might, to see how it impacts the flavor.

My plan for the leftovers is to serve this over sauteed spinach. I do that just by eyeing my ingredients, but here’s Ina Garten’s recipe you can follow. That’ll be a nice way to soak up the sauce.

 

ITALIAN STUFFED MEATLOAF

MAKES 6 SERVINGS

1 pound ground beef

1 egg

1 cup oats

½ cup finely chopped onion

½ teaspoon ground pepper

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup mozzarella; divided

1 (12-ounce) can olives, sliced; divided

1 (29-ounce) jar organic spaghetti sauce

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8×8 baking dish.

Mix the ground beef, egg, oats, onion, pepper and Parmesan cheese thoroughly.  Press half the ground beef mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle half the mozzarella cheese over the hamburger to within one inch of the outside perimeter.

Add half the olives, half of the mozzarella and 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce.

Place the remaining meat mixture over the filling and press the edges closed.

Smooth the top. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese and olives over the top. Pour the remaining spaghetti sauce over all and smooth with a spatula.

Bake for 45 minutes or until it bubbles.

Adapted from Homemade Food Junkie

 

Here’s my version:

 

ITALIAN STUFFED

MEATLOAF, LOW-CARBED

MAKES 6 SERVINGS

1½ pounds ground beef

1 egg

¼ cup oats

½ cup finely chopped onion

½ teaspoon ground pepper

1¼  cup grated Parmesan cheese

1½  cup mozzarella; divided

1 (12-ounce) can olives, sliced; divided

1 (29-ounce) jar organic spaghetti sauce (see Note)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8×8 baking dish.

Mix the ground beef, egg, oats, onion, pepper Parmesan cheese and ½ cup of the mozzarella thoroughly.  Press half the ground beef mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle half the mozzarella cheese over the hamburger to within one inch of the outside perimeter.

Add half the olives, half the remaining mozzarella and 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce.

Place the remaining meat mixture over the filling and press the edges closed.

Smooth the top. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese and olives over the top. Pour the remaining spaghetti sauce over all and smooth with a spatula.

Bake for 60 minutes or until it bubbles. (The meat thermometer should reach 160 degrees.)

Note: I made my own sauce by combining a (8-ounce) can of tomato sauce and a (6-ounce) can of tomato paste (both with no sugar added) with about a half ½ cup of water, then tossing in some basil and oregano. Easy and way cheaper than a bottle of organic sauce.

Adapted from Homemade Food Junkie