Barbecued Individual Meatloaves

At last, a recipe in the box for those of us trying to watch our figure after eating one cheesecake a month for the last seven months!* I'm not even kidding: these meatloaves have only 210 calories per serving, including the sauce! (And before you ask, I only know this because they are cut out from a newspaper article titled 'Giving Ho-Hum Hamburger Some Zest,' written by The Slim Gourmet and including the calorie count for both meat loaf and sauce.

As a kid, I fell squarely in the anti-meat-loaf camp. The threat of taking a bite of onion was just too real for me, and I refused any meat loaf that wasn't made by Eleanor's recipe. I'm not sure what happened to the recipe that my mom now makes based on Eleanor's method, but I'm fairly confident this is not the same one, though it is super delicious. I wasn't alone in my childhood hatred, though: Judson felt pretty close to the same. When visiting his aunt as a child, she served him meat loaf for dinner and he turned to her and said 'Aunt Louisa, you really don't know children well, do you?' I guess we both grew out of it, because today meat loaf is in Judson's top 5 favourite foods and as soon as he found out there was a recipe for it in the box, I thought I was gonna have to race him to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for it.

This is the third barbecue sauce I've made from the box, and I have to say I'm getting progressively better at it. This one was just right: super tangy, sweet, smoky, and spicy all at the same time, and although I did wish there was a little bit more than we ended up with, it was forgivable because the texture was so perfectly thick after being reduced for 15 minutes on the stove. And if your weather is going back and forth from frigid and wintry to sunny and warm, this is a perfect meal that hits all the right notes: it's filling and comforting, but won't make you feel like you completely abandoned your diet for the week.

*Just kidding. Judson doesn't like cheesecakes and I'm so tired of 'em that I can't deal with more than a slice, so those go to work with him.

The verdict:

I know it sounds like a lie, but the meat loaf has only 200 calories per serving, and the sauce has only 10. The servings are hearty enough to fill you up, though, and served with a salad and some roasted veggies, you've got a relatively healthy and super easy dinner that may not photograph super well but still tastes great... as long as you're not having any kids over for dinner.

The recipe:

Barbecued Individual Meat Loaves

the directions:

Preheat oven to 220C/425F.
Combine all ingredients.
Shape into 6 mini-loaves in ramekins or small loaf pans.
Bake for 20 minutes or until crusty and brown on the top.
Serve with barbecue sauce, or baste with sauce 5 minutes before finished cooking.

Makes 6 servings.



Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
Heat to boiling, then lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Makes 1 cup of sauce.

the ingredients:
the meatloaf:

24 oz ground beef
16 oz can tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried basil or oregano, if your basil, like mine, turned into oregano when you weren't looking
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
Barbecue Sauce (recipe below)

the sauce:

Reserved liquid from tomato can
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp minced onion
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dry mustard