Classic Beef Meatloaf

Classic Beef Meatloaf

I don’t make meatloaf very often, but whenever I do, this is my classic go-to recipe. I think it’s the veggie pieces in the meatloaf and homemade ketchup that really do it for me. It all adds color, and the veggies add some nice texture and flavor too. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do! Also, you can definitely make this with ground turkey if you prefer or want to change it up.

P.S. Cirque du Soleil was amazing last night! We had a fantastic time.

For the meatloaf:

  • 2 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced large
  • 1 large carrot, diced large
  • 2 small celery stalks, diced large
  • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced in half
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee or butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 1 egg, preferably pasture-raised
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 batch homemade ketchup (see below)

Meatloaf directions:

  1. Place diced carrots, onion, celery and garlic in the food processor. Pulse until everything is finely chopped. You can also use a blender such as this one to prep the veggies.
  2. Melt the ghee in a large pan over medium heat. Then, add the veggie mixture from the food processor. Saute 3-4 minutes or until softened slightly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Once veggie mixture is cool, add to a large mixing bowl with the ground beef, egg, sea salt and pepper, tomato sauce, coconut flour and fresh parsley or cilantro. Get in there with your hands and mix well. Once everything is fully incorporated, place in a large loaf pan. Alternatively, you can form it into a freestanding loaf on top of a foil-covered baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Remove from oven and top with about 1/2 cup of homemade ketchup. Place back in oven to bake 30 minutes longer.
  5. Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve meatloaf with extra ketchup, if desired.

Classic Beef Meatloaf

For the ketchup:

  • 1 tube or can of tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/3 cup water, preferably filtered
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Squirt of raw honey, optional

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and whisk well to combine. Store in the refrigerator.

 

Things I’m Excited About…

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Hi and happy Monday, everyone! I thought I’d take the time to share some things that I’m anticipating and excited about right now. It’s great to have things to look forward to and in general, it’s good to be excited about life. Please take a moment to tell me what you’re looking forward to in your life. I’d love to hear!

Cheers,

Alisa

Cirque du Soleil: Jesse and I are going to see Totem this Wednesday night. It was a late birthday gift to him from me.  We plan to go out to dinner beforehand and making a full evening of it. We try and catch the Cirque du Soleil performances whenever they come through town because they’re always amazing. It always makes me want to change my mind about what I want to be when I grow up. Gotta start training young for those kinda skills though.

Hawaiian honeymoon: I know I’ve already mentioned our belated honeymoon, but it’s coming right up! We leave for Kauai April 25th and will be there for seven nights. Then, we fly to Oahu for the last three nights to visit some of our favorite stomping grounds. A couple things we already have planned are zip lining in Kauai and going on a bike tour in Honolulu or the North Shore. A former colleague of mine (from when I worked at a PR firm) just moved to Honolulu with her husband and opened a bike tour business there. They now have a location in Portland and one in Honolulu. So cool!

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Animal Flow: The talented Mike Fitch himself will be here in Portland April 12th and 13th, at Recreate, leading the certification. I’m blessed with great employers who are hosting the certification and also paying for me to do it. It will be hard work, but valuable and fun too. Plus, have you seen Mike Fitch?

September MI trip: Jesse and I just booked a week long trip to Michigan September 24th – October 1st. My dear cousin is getting married on the 27th and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. She was like another sister to me growing up (kissin’ cousins, like our parents said), so missing it is not an option. It will be a beautiful wedding and a lot of fun too.

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Leftover meatloaf: I will be sharing the recipe of my classic, go-to meatloaf later this week, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, we’ll be enjoying the leftovers for the next couple of days. As a kid, I detested meatloaf in any way, shape or form, but now I like it, especially the leftovers.

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Simplifying My Life

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Happy Monday! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I definitely did, and it consisted of some much needed rest and relaxation (breakfast with friends, taking walks, drinking wine in the sunshine with Jesse, getting a massage, easy meals, etc.). I’ve been pretty pooped out lately, especially when the end of the week hits, so it felt wonderful to kick back.

Meanwhile, I know I haven’t been sharing many recipes lately, so I thought I’d share a non-food related post. I’ve been working on simplifying my life pretty adamantly since the start of the New Year and so far, so good. Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  1. Ridding myself of clothes I haven’t worn in 6 months or more. If I think I might want it, I’ll try it on and decide then, but I haven’t done this much at all. I realize that I really don’t need much, especially “regular clothes.” My job entails me to wear workout/comfortable clothing around the clock, so wearing “normal clothes” comes about once a week.
  2. Trading in books for credit on Amazon. I made $80-some dollars (in Amazon dollars) doing this and even though you have to ship the books on your own, Amazon gives you a shipping label to do it for free. So, all you need to do is provide the box. I also traded in my old 3GS iPhone and got $18. It’s not much, but still more than zero dollars. Plus, the phone is old and didn’t work well, so nobody would really want it anyway. That’s the reason I got a new phone in the first place.
  3. Recycling piles of magazines that I thought I’d come back around to for reference, ideas, etc. And, recycling old cards, papers, school assignments, boxes, etc.
  4. Cleaning out and donating other stuff. Lots of stuff. This was mostly Jesse’s stuff and his doing when he was snowed in last month (and I was in Kentucky for a workshop). I had already done this myself, but not to the extent that he did. He has a heck of a lot more stuff than me since he’s been out here much longer.
  5. Sifting through my computer and deleting documents, downloads, bookmarks, pins from Pinterest, etc. This includes cleaning up my email account as well and unsubscribing from various emails.
  6. Keeping counters less cluttered. I am often guilty of the notorious mail or junk pile on my kitchen counter. I am pretty sure I inherited this habit from my parents since they almost always have a pile of mail, papers, magazines, etc. on the kitchen table, chair or counter top. It’s a cluttery habit that I picked up and unfortunately, Jesse does it too, so we both contribute. But, we’ve both been getting better about it and the pile is either almost nonexistent or or not there at all.
  7. Decreasing the amount of time spent on my computer and iPhone. This is probably the hardest for me because I get sucked into social media, reading articles, etc. I’m trying to only use my computer when I need to and spend less time on social media when I do. Life is too short, and after losing a very dear and special friend last week to cancer, I was reminded of this once again.
  8. Going for walks to clear my mind on a more regular basis. This has been especially nice with all the sunny days we’ve been having lately. Sometimes, it’s just a walk to the grocery store to get a few things, but it always feels good and puts me in a better mood.
  9. Not stressing over my blog (or the sweating small stuff in general). I used to do this when I didn’t have something to share. Now, I let it go and move on. It’s not worth stressing over, especially because my blog is not my job. I often make really easy recipes that don’t always warrant a blog post or they’re things I’ve already shared before.
  10. Organizing my clothes closet, the linen closet, kitchen cupboards, etc. It’s all gotten a little refresh.

What have you done to simplify your life?

Simple Supper Friday: Southwest Beef & Broccoli Slaw

Southwest Beef and Broccoli Slaw

For a while now, ground meat cooked with broccoli slaw has been one of my favorite, easy, go-to meals. I can easily change the flavor by using different spices and Tessemae’s All Natural dressings, and adding any extra veggies I have on hand. It always satisfies and I don’t get sick of it, nor does Jesse. My schedule varies and some nights I don’t get home until late in the evening, so having this easy and quick option to throw together works great. Plus, I always look forward to eating it. Even though I didn’t do it here, I usually always toss some avocado slices on top too because avocado makes everything better.

On another note, you have probably noticed that I’ve cut back on blogging quite a bit. This is just where my life is right now and what I need to do. To be honest, it feels kinda good and it’s nice not to stress over posts (after all, this was always meant to be fun). Even though I don’t post as much, I am still active on Facebook, so make sure to follow me there if you don’t already. I still aim to get at least one quality post up each week, so you can always look forward to that. Anyway, thanks so much for your support and understanding. Meanwhile, always know that I am here if you have questions, comments, feedback, etc.

Cheers and happy Friday!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 tsp grass-fed butter*
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced into thin half moons
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb 20% fat grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 large carrots, sliced into thin coins (rounds)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 12 oz bag broccoli slaw
  • Tessemae’s Southwest Ranch, for drizzling on top, once served

*Note: you may need more butter if you choose to use leaner ground beef

Southwest Beef and Broccoli Slaw

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion and garlic, and saute about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Then, add the ground beef and break up with a spatula. After a minute or so, add the sliced carrots and season to taste with a little sea salt and black pepper. Stir well, and then add the cumin and chili powder.
  3. After 5-7 minutes, once meat is browned, add the broccoli slaw. Stir and season to taste with a bit more sea salt and pepper, if desired.
  4. Continue to cook over medium-low heat for a few minutes or until slaw has softened a bit.
  5. Once done, serve into bowls and drizzle Tessemae’s Southwest Ranch dressing on top. You can also drizzle this over the whole pan after removing it from the heat, but it’s a little spicy and best served individually. If desired, throw some avocado slices on top too.

Yields: 3 servings

Simple Supper Friday: Roasted Cauliflower Curry Soup

Roasted Cauliflower Curry Soup

Happy Friday, everyone! I have a tasty soup recipe to share today that was inspired by my recent stay at the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort & Spa. Jesse and I ate my birthday dinner in the restaurant at the resort, and started off our meal with a cup of their soup special that evening, which was a curried cauliflower soup. The waitress sold us pretty quickly on it, especially once she told us it was both gluten and dairy-free (it was also vegan, but that was not a concern). The soup was even better than we expected and we both found ourselves scraping the bottom of our cup to get every last bit of puree.

Since we enjoyed the soup so much and it seemed pretty easy to make, I decided to create my own version. Mine is definitely different and even a different color, but it’s just as delicious, if not more (roasting the cauliflower adds a lot more flavor). I don’t think the restaurant version actually contained any curry powder or paste because the soup was completely white and very coconutty. I think it was called a curried soup just because of the coconut. If there were any curry spices added, it was definitely minimal, which the lack of color made obvious. As you know, curry powder adds an orange-ish color and the pastes are either yellow, red or green, so a white curry soup is nearly impossible.

Keep in mind, there is no protein added to the soup, so you’ll want to have something on the side for a complete meal. Otherwise, this isn’t going to fill you up very much. We ate ours with some local curry lamb sausage and dunked bites into the soup. It was awesome! A hearty salad with roasted chicken, beef or lamb mixed in would pair nicely as well.

Roasted Cauliflower Curry Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 small heads of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1.5 tsp curry powder, plus more to taste, if desired
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 cup full-fat coconut milk, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • Dash of paprika
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee or butter
  • Toasted unsweetened coconut chips for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cauliflower on a large pan and drizzle with coconut oil. Then sprinkle on the curry powder and sea salt to taste. Roast in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  2. Meanwhile, slowly heat coconut milk and broth in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the Thai red curry paste. Once dissolved, remove from heat and pour into a blender container.
  3. Once cauliflower is done, add half of it to the blender with the milk mixture. Puree until nearly smooth and then add the remaining cauliflower, along with the ghee or butter and paprika. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, and puree again.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed (I added a dash more curry powder here) and add a bit more coconut milk if soup is thicker than you like. Once done, serve immediately or pour into a pot to keep warm on the stove or reheat slightly if it cooled off too much.
  5. Serve hot with toasted coconut chips and a side protein of choice. It’s also delicious with sliced toasted almonds on top.

March Instagram Challenge

Good morning! It’s the last day of February and with March starting tomorrow, I want to let you all know about the March Instagram Challenge. I’ll be participating again and invite any of you to join or follow along, as usual. The details are laid out below. Oh, and Sunday is my birthday! I’ll be heading to the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort & Spa with my husband to celebrate and am very excited! So, my day two and three Instagram challenge photos will probably be from there. Again, if you don’t already follow me, be sure to do so here.

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Starting on Saturday, March 1 2014, we’ll be hosting our third mini Instagram challenge– a clever way to meet new people on Instagram and have fun in the process. Participation is easy: every day throughout the week you’ll post a picture on Instagram using the themes below. The first day do #1, the second #2, and so on. Be creative with it and don’t worry about posting the “right” or “wrong” things– it’s all just for fun! Just make sure that you tag #mygreen2014 and your cohosts: @grownandhealthy and @scratchmommy so we can all see what you post!

March Instagram Challenge \\ Instagram Challenge, March 1- March 8

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

  1. Follow @grownandhealthy and @scratchmommy on Instagram.
  2. Take a daily picture using the themes below, tagging #mygreen, @grownandhealthy and @scratchmommy. in each so we can find your posts easily!
  3. Check out the other posts under the #mysweet2014 thread each day to see what other great bloggers (and you great readers) are posting as well.

March Instagram Challenge \\ Instagram Challenge, March 1- March 8

Want to find out who else is participating in the challenge? Link up your Instagram account below so we can follow each other more easily! Everyone is welcome to participate, the more the merrier. This is a blog hop, so any other bloggers are welcome to post this to their websites as well.

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Important: The Instagram URL does not let you choose a profile pic from your feed, so be sure you have a picture you can upload! If you get a “Error: The requested URL returned error: 500″ that just means it can’t find a picture to use, it does NOT mean that your link is bad. Click on “Direct Image URL” if you have one or “Upload from Computer”.


March Instagram Challenge \\ Instagram Challenge, March 1- March 8

Floating for the First Time

No, that's not me. This is to show the size tank Jesse floated in. (Photo credit: tripadvisor.com).

No, that’s not me. This is to show the size tank that Jesse floated in. (Photo credit: Float On on tripadvisor.com).

As some of you know, my husband and I experienced something new last weekend: floating in a sensory deprivation tank. We were both familiar with it, but had never done it before. After hearing more people talk about the benefits, including Jim Laird at the Train Like A Girl 2 seminar I recently attended, I decided that Jesse and I needed to go ASAP. So, I booked us each a 90 minute float at a place called, Float On here in Portland. For those who live in the Portland area, this is just one of several places you can go to float here in town.

Floating is meant to be a relaxing, detoxifying and meditative experience in which you float privately in 10 inches of water containing 850 lb of epsom salt (so much magnesium!). The water is the same temperature as your skin, which keeps you from getting hot or cold, and causes you to no longer feel where your body ends and the water begins. Also, because of the high salt content, your skin will not wrinkle while soaking. It’s encouraged to float in the nude and in total darkness, but there is the option to wear a swimsuit and keep the lights on. Bathing suits can get uncomfortable and become a distraction, which is why floating naked is recommended though. You’re in your own private room anyway, so going without a bathing suit is no big thing.

I had the luxury of being in what I called the, “queen suite” which featured a large float pool that was open and not inside a tank, like the others. I could literally make a big X-shape with my body and it allowed me ample room to spread out. It was like floating in a huge, shallow jacuzzi (minus the jets, of course). Jesse was in a medium-sized tank that had a door entry, like the one pictured above and was known as an, “Ocean Room.” There is a smaller sized tank option as well. It is more womb-like and many people refer to it as a “space pod.” You can’t stand upright when entering and have to step your feet in and then squat down to get inside.

Nice open shower area.

Nice open shower. The big white button on the right is the light switch.

My float pool.

My float pool.

Anyway, after getting the 101 from one of the employees, Jesse and I each made it to our designated float rooms. I put in the wax ear plugs, showered and then stepped into the float pool. Upon getting in, I pushed the big button on the wall to turn off the lights and immediately laid back into the water. I was there a whole three seconds when I felt the weight from my hair (it was pulled back in a messy bun) pulling my head back. I immediately sat up, which was a mistake because super salty water ran down my face and onto my lips (thankfully, missed my eyes). It tasted terrible and I knew I needed to get up to pat off my face before trying to get comfortable again. But then, I couldn’t find the light button in all the darkness. I felt my way around the walls and finally found it. I admit, I went into slight panic mode for about 10 seconds or so, and didn’t know how I was going to last 90 minutes. Not only that, but I got cold, which shouldn’t happen. I later found out from one of the employees that the tank temperature started dropping right at the time that my float started. He caught it quickly and adjusted it, but this explains why I was cold for a bit.

Another shot of the float pool.

Another shot of the float pool. Notice the bath pillow and noodle on the ledge.

I shut the light off again after drying my face and re-situated myself, so that I could see the light shining under the doorway (remember, mine was a big pool and not inside a tank). I wanted my head slightly propped up for floating (to keep my spine neutral), but unfortunately, the bath pillow was too slippery and wanted to bob to one side every time I laid my head on it. I tried folding the head pillow over the ledge and leaning against it, but was so buoyant in the water that I floated away from it every time. This kinda made me laugh, actually! There was also a small noodle to use, but it was too light rest my head on, unless I held it with my hands (I did for a while too). Then, I just held my head in my clasped hands for a bit, which was quite comfortable until my arms got tingly. That’s when I realized I had to get comfortable with my head unsupported. I laid in a shavasana (corpse) pose and had the small noodle underneath the backs of my knees for a bit. I closed my eyes and my body finally began to ease. I remember getting into a dream-like state, but was still somewhat conscious (I recall dreaming about Hawaii). By the time I figured things out and got comfortable, I was probably 30-40 minutes into my float. The next 50-60 minutes went by in the blink of an eye and I would have sworn it was only a few minutes or so.

To “bring you back,” soft music starts to stream into the room, letting you know to gradually make your way out. You have plenty of time to slowly ease out of the water, shower and get dressed. Like a massage, they don’t want you to rush.

Castile soap for hair/body and ACV for conditioner.

Afterward, I felt incredibly chill and my legs that had been really sore upon going in, felt much less sore. I felt sort of loopy and noodle-like too — so relaxed. I also noticed that my skin felt very soft from all the salt.

Jesse and I went down the street to eat Thai food for dinner afterward and I kept commenting on how good I felt, and Jesse too. When we got home, I felt so tired and still very relaxed. Once I finally slipped into bed, I felt like I was on a cloud and then fell fast asleep.

Even though I had a hard time getting settled in the beginning of my float (and Jesse did too), I would definitely float again. I’d know more what to expect the second time around and what it takes for me to get comfortable. I know that floating can be difficult for people the first time and some people don’t even get to the point that I did. Every time thereafter will be easier to relax and settle down. Jesse and I both plan to do it again in the near future.

If you ever have the opportunity to float, DO IT, but know that it may be difficult to relax and get comfortable the first time, or even the first few times. Like anything, you can’t completely make up your mind or formulate an opinion after the first time experiencing something new though.

If you have questions, feel free to shoot me a comment and also check out Float On’s FAQ.

Have you ever floated before? If so, what did you think?

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