bacon, coconut milk, dinner, dinnertime, gluten-free, grain-free, grinder, grinder attachment, ground meat, ground pork, kitchenaid, make ahead, meat grinder, meatloaf, mushroom, organic, paleo, pork, ralphs, spinach, vegetables, vitamix
Today, my day off, is the time where I get to do what I want. I usually end up cooking, baking, and/or shopping (grocery or otherwise). I also clean the house, do laundry, and catch up on all the shows that I have recorded that my husband doesn’t want to watch, i.e. The Housewives of (insert city), Reign, Grimm, Dracula, Beauty and the Beast…you get the picture.
Today, I pretty much did it all.
Of all the things I did, I had to get at least one thing done regardless…the meatloaf. It doesn’t sound all that glamorous, but this isn’t just any meatloaf. It’s ground pork mixed with spinach, mushrooms, and onions, topped with bacon. Yum!
I was at Ralph’s the other day and they happened to be having their 50% off pork sale. While we don’t use many cuts of pork, what we do use is on major sale. The pork shoulders go from around $20 to half off! In the summer, we slow cook the shoulder on the barbecue. Since it doesn’t get that cold in California, we could probably barbecue in the winter too, but what I love to do with the pork shoulder is grind the meat into ground pork.
My Kitchenaid isn’t just used for mixing cupcake/cake batter or for making cookies. With the meat grinder attachment, you can do lots, especially ground pork. If you aren’t able to grind your own meat, obviously packaged ground pork works too!
I set everything up and got to work…
To make the process go more smoothly, I like to cut off the thick layer of fat on the shoulder. I didn’t when I did this my first time and all the fat kept getting stuck in the machine. I had a heck of a time getting the fat untangled from the end of the attachment.
You can see that thick layer of fat…that is what I cut off.
I have kept the fat in the freezer since I’m pretty sure I can cook it and render it for later use. I know it would be great for cooking (it’s Paleo approved!).
Here are the strips of pork that I cut so that I am not fighting with the machine. It may take a few extra minutes, but it saves much more time in the end. Last time, I had to stop in the middle just to cut the pieces smaller. I am wiser the second time around.
From the strips of pork, to the grinder, to the bowl…beautiful!
Once I finished with the whole shoulder, I prepped the ingredients for the meatloaf. I use organic celery, parsley, spinach, butter, and eggs – makes me feel a little bit healthier.
Before I go any further, I like to try recipes that I find (usually on Pinterest – I’m addicted) and try to replicate it. Sometimes, I’ll make little changes here or there, but for the most part, I’m not one of those lucky people who can just open the refrigerator doors and make some fantastic meal, so I usually just follow the recipe. Hence the reason why I was in baking as part of my early career – it’s very measured (literally and figuratively) and scientific. At least that is the part I love about it…that also pretty much fits me to the “T.”
Where I’m going with this is sometimes you see a recipe that looks and sounds great, but it doesn’t turn out and you are disappointed, having wasted a whole bunch of time, money and ingredients. I, for the sake of the world (a little dramatic much?), am volunteering myself and my time to trying recipes and giving an honest take on what it is like to make them, how accurate the recipe is, and what the end product looks and tastes like. So, of you see recipes on here that I make, they are most likely not my own, though maybe someday I’ll get artistic enough to give it a try. The recipes will be things that I have seen and wanted to try. They will be tried, tested, and reviewed, if you will.
I hope this will help you and your family/friends keep recipes that you love, and leave the rest behind. Plus, I love cooking and baking and it sure does give me plenty to blog about. I also get to take pictures…win/win for all!
So with all that said, here we go!
I got this recipe from a very well-known Paleo blog, Nom Nom Paleo. The recipe is Super Porktastic Bacon-Topped Spinach and Mushroom Meatloaf.
As I have made it once before, I can say that it is delicious, moist, indulgent with the bacon, and can also be frozen for use at a later date, which makes coming home from a long day at work a little bit easier, especially knowing you don’t have to “cook” anything. You can just throw this in the oven and about 1.5 hours later, dinner’s ready!
Here are the ingredients, except the spinach (it was in my steamer getting all soggy).
You sauté the onions and mushrooms with the butter until the onions are softened and clear.
Below is the celery, parsley, and coconut milk in the Vitamix blender…just blend and it’s done!
I forgot to take a picture of the step between the above picture and the end result, but basically, you put everything into a bowl and mix it up. You will see this step in the original recipe on Nom Nom Paleo’s site. Finally, you place the mixture in a loaf pan or a round pan (it’s just like a pie). Either one will work just fine. It just depends on what shape you prefer.
Once in the pans, you top each with a layer of bacon. At this point, you can either cook it for dinner or freeze it for later use. I froze all mine today since we have plenty of leftovers we need to use first.
The best thing about this recipe is you don’t have to be following the Paleo diet to LOVE it! Pretty much any meat-eating, pork-loving person will make this their favorite meatloaf ever!
It is a little time-consuming, getting all of the ingredients chopped, measured (though I didn’t really measure very much), sautéed/steamed, and mixed, but it isn’t a particularly difficult recipe. It is certainly very easy to make a lot, as I did, to freeze and use in the future. It keeps well too.
My husband knows nothing about being Paleo, except that you can’t drink beer (or really alcohol for that matter, but I splurge sometimes), and you can’t eat the fun stuff like ice cream, cookies, etc. (though I splurge sometimes here too). BUT he LOVES this recipe and doesn’t even miss not having bread or rice or couscous or pasta for dinner. He doesn’t know it, but he’s slowly becoming Paleo too! Shhhh….don’t tell him.
This recipe will be going into my Family Favorites recipe box – that’s how great it is!
Note: I do not put tomato sauce on top. I feel like the meatloaf with the bacon on top is enough by itself, and frankly, I don’t love tomato sauce that much…so do what you wish with that!