Gracie’s Meatloaf

When done right, meatloaf can be incredibly delicious. I set out to create a dairy, egg, sugar, and gluten-free meatloaf and came up with excellent results!
Because it contains no dairy or eggs, I wanted to call it Vegan Meatloaf, but I realize that makes absolutely no sense 😉

Glaze:
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 tsp apple cider vinegar

Mix well.

Meatloaf:
1 TBSP coconut oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup sweet potato, cook and mashed ****
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (water may work just as well, I’m not sure)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp oregano
2 TBSP parsley
2 pounds ground beef (or lamb, or mixture of the two)
2/3 cup bread crumbs (gluten, egg, dairy, and sugar-free! I used Food for Life Gluten-Free Rice and Millet loaf)
1 TBSP vinegar

Saute the chopped onion in coconut oil until it begins to turn translucent.
In large bowl, combine sweet potato and coconut milk and mix until well combined. Then add the rest of the ingredients, including sautéed onions, and mix well.
If the mixture sticks to the bowl, add a little coconut milk until it no longer sticks.
In greased (olive oil or coconut oil) 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish, mold the mixture into a free-form loaf. The free-form, as opposed to using loaf pan, gives the meatloaf a nice texture.
Brush half the glaze over the meatloaf.
Cook at 350F for 45 minutes. Brush on more glaze and cook an additional 15 minutes.
I had leftover glaze, so I diluted it with water and added more to my serving of meatloaf.

Serve meatloaf with simple spinach and olive oil salad and coconut oil sautéed yellow summer squash!

*** I like to have already cooked and mashed sweet potatoes on hand to add to recipes. An easy way to cook sweet potatoes (or regular potatoes) is to cook them in a crockpot on low for about 6-7 hours, with just a little water in the bottom. They turn out great and it’s so easy.

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The Best Granola Grace Ever Made

I have made so many variations of granola, and even when I follow the same recipe, I often end up with slightly different tasting results. Granola is a nice food to keep on hand for when I want something a bit sweet or need a snack. However, I don’t like eating that much oats because it always feels like too much. So I continually seem to decrease the amount oats I use and increase the amount of nuts/seeds. I made this past batch in somewhat of a hurry and was attempting to make it even more oat-less than usual. I don’t know if I’ll keep making it this way because pecans are expensive around here and our yummy organic butter isn’t cheap either. But in the meantime, I’m thoroughly enjoying this batch and do plan to make it again sometime.
I didn’t really measure the seeds or nuts, so those measurements are estimates.

5 cups rolled oats
2 cups pecan pieces
2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
2/3 cup sunflower seeds
2/3 cup shredded coconut
dried cranberries
A bunch of cinnamon
some clove
some salt

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup butter (one stick)
a couple squirts of vanilla extract

Turn oven to 350F. Using 9×13 glass baking dish, toast the oats in the oven for about 3 15 minute intervals (stirring in between) or until they are beginning to brown and smell flavorful (not sure how else to say that).
Mix all the other dry ingredients together in medium size bowl.
Dissolve the butter and honey together on the stove on low heat (I usually dissolve my honey and oil in a bowl by adding about 1/2 cup of boiling water, but sometimes it does not completely dissolve and it may become too watery. This is the first time I did it on the stove. Because I was using a frozen stick of butter, it was on the stove for a good while and I think this (and because I used butter instead of coconut oil) is the reason it tastes so amazing.) Add vanilla. Once dissolved, remove from heat.
Once oats are toasted, mix everything together and return it to the baking dish. Bake for about 2 15 minute intervals (stirring in between).

There you have it. The tastiest granola I’ve ever made. I hope I can duplicate it in the future!