Friday, April 15, 2011

Healthy Homemade Meatloaf

Heinz, maker of Classico pasta sauces, said today that they were surprised by the National Consumers League criticism. The NCL thinks Heinz should not be allowed to say that their products are made from fresh tomatoes, when in fact, they are made from “reconstituted industrial tomato concentrate.” Read the article at Food Navigator.

This news, along with the leftover brown rice from yesterday’s post, made me think of having a great homemade meatloaf topped, not with ketchup or with a jarred pasta sauce, but a quick and easy homemade tomato sauce.

You can make the sauce in less than 30 minutes, while the meatloaf bakes, and though it’s not made from fresh tomatoes, it has none of the added sugars that almost all jarred sauces have and certainly no industrial tomato concentrate. Serve it on pasta, chicken breasts, grilled salmon, almost anything.

Meatloaf with Homemade Tomato Sauce

Makes 8 servings

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced  
1 clove garlic, minced
2 pounds extra-lean ground beef
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice  
1 egg
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley  
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, drained
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Tomato Sauce
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14-ounce) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or use about 1/2 teaspoon each of dried oregano and dried basil)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°.

To make the meatloaf, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and tilt the pan to coat the bottom. Add the bell pepper and onion and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly.

Add the ground beef and all the remaining ingredients to the onion mixture and mix well with your hands. Place the beef mixture in a large shallow baking dish (a 13 x 9 Pyrex is perfect) and shape into a loaf (about 12 x 5 inches). Bake the meatloaf uncovered for 1 hour.

While the meatloaf bakes, make the sauce. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and tilt the pan to coat the bottom. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the tomatoes are very soft, about 20 minutes. You can leave the sauce as it is if you prefer it chunky, or for a smoother sauce, use a potato masher to break up the tomatoes a bit. Stir in the basil, salt, and pepper (the sauce makes about 3 cups). Cut the meatloaf into slices and serve topped with the sauce.

Each serving: 17 g carbohydrate, 240 calories, 8 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 83 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 25 g protein, 257 mg sodium
Carb Choices: 1; Exchanges: 1 starch, 3 lean protein, 1/2 fat


  1. Yum! I much prefer to make my own sauce. This one sounds great! Thanks.

  2. Thanks Kate, it's better than any store bought sauce, and better for you too. I think people think it's really hard to make homemade sauce, but it's not!

  3. Instead of all-purpose flour, use whole grain products in adding more nutrition in your meal. Using whole-wheat flour, bread and soy flour in biscuits, oatmeal in your baked muffins are a lot healthier than doing it otherwise. Look and prepare low fat recipe when baking biscuits and all-time favorite cakes, choosing applesauce will also give the much-loved taste but with less the fats.

    Healthy cooking tips