It was a record-cold day here in Atlanta, so I was in the mood for some comfort food. This fall when I discovered quinoa, I spotted a few recipes that used it in meatloaf. That sounded good to me, so I thought I’d try to come up with my own version. It turned out so well that I stuck with my basic recipe.
The nice thing about quinoa here is that it replaces both the bread crumbs and eggs in my meatloaf. I’m also a huge fan of “soysage” (soy-based sausage), so when I spotted a fat-free variety (“Gimme Lean”) I knew I had to use that. One of the reasons I like soysage so much is that it is usually more flavorful than meat-based sausage. If you don’t like a somewhat strong sausage flavor in your meatloaf, this might not be the right choice for you. This isn’t a vegetarian dish – I use regular ground beef in it also. The quinoa and soysage are just for nutrition and flavor.
I started by bringing to a boil:
- 1.5 cups (salted) water
- 1/2 cup quinoa (rinsed)
Once the quinoa returned to a boil, I simmered it (covered) for 15 minutes. Check to make sure you can see the “tails” on the quinoa so that you know it’s done after 15 minutes. Drain any excess water, cover the pan with a clean towel, and cover. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes. You’ll want to let it cool after this.
In the meantime, saute together in a non-stick skillet with a swirl of hot olive oil:
- 16 oz. or so of sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 2 yellow onions, diced
Cook them until everything is tender, and most of the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated. Let cool a bit.
Combine in a large bowl (I use my hands to do this – it’s too hard with a spoon):
- 1 14-oz package of Gimme Lean fat-free soysage
- 1 lb. ground beef (I used 85/15 beef, which still turns out a very lean meatloaf)
- cooked quinoa
- cooked onion/mushroom mixture.
Once well-combined, put the mixture into a loaf pan (sprayed with vegetable oil). I top the meatloaf with a mixture of ketchup, honey, and dried mustard:
- 1/2 c. ketchup
- 1 Tbsp Coleman’s dry mustard (this can be adjusted to suit your taste – I like a lot of mustard zing and sometimes use more than this)
- a squirt of two of honey
The meatloaf bakes in a 350-degree oven, until the internal temperature is at least 155-degrees. In my oven, this takes close to an hour. Here’s the final product, sliced and served with baked sweet potatoes and apples: