Gluten Free Meat Loaf & Mashed Potato “Cupcakes” Recipe
Years and years ago, I was in the mood for a good old-fashioned meat loaf dinner but short on time so I made my meatloaf in muffin pans. Not only does this method result in perfect-sized portions but it bakes in 20 minutes! So I had just pulled out the mini meat loaves when my hubby comes in and says “meat loaf cupcakes?!?” At first I thought he was crazy and then I realized he was inspired! Why not? I mean, after all, what goes better with meat loaf than mashed potatoes and why not just combine the two into one adorable little package?
There is really no way to prepare mashed potatoes that I am not going to love, but my new favorite way is to make them dairy free with a tangy, buttermilk ranch-style dressing flavor. I simply combine some vegan mayo with lemon juice, a touch of garlic and some fresh herbs and mix that with the potatoes and WOW! It’s amazing! And no buttermilk! Or butter! And by the way, the little sauce I make to whip into the potatoes makes a great creamy, dairy free salad dressing or veggie dipper, as well. Seriously, all the yum of ranch dressing with no dairy! Now of course you can always make your mashed potatoes with ranch, buttermilk, or however else you prefer.
The mini meat loaves (or beef cakes as my friend Karin suggested I call them) are moist and meaty with a little carrot and onion grated in. I like to grate the veggies into my meat loaf, it adds moistness. Then I top them with a little dollop of ketchup glaze, made with Health Garden’s sugar-free ketchup, a hint of sweetness from honey, and Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. This is the best tasting sugar-free ketchup I’ve ever had, and I highly recommend switching to things like sugar-free ketchup and using natural foods to sweeten recipes when it comes to kids’ diets – sugar just contributes to so many issues as an adult and is too much for little bodies to handle, as well, so might as well get them trained to enjoy foods in their natural states instead of getting accustomed to sugary foods.
On their own, the meat loaves are terrific but when you add the ketchup glaze and tangy topping of potatoes, each bite is pure delight. And it all comes in such a cute package!
So, what do you think? Cupcakes for dinner anyone?
- 1½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes - (4 or 5 medium sized), peeled and chopped
- ½ cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice - (about ½ lemon)
- 1 teaspoon flat leaf parsley - finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon chives or scallion - finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ pounds lean ground sirloin
- 1 small or ½ large white onion
- 1 carrot
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce plus a couple of dashes for the glaze
- 1 cup gluten free bread crumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup Health Garden sugar-free ketchup
- 1 dash hot sauce
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 12 cherry or grape tomatoes - cut in half
- 12 sprigs of flat leaf parsley
Start by getting the potatoes going. Put the chopped potatoes into a large pot of cold water that has been liberally salted. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Let boil until the potatoes are tender, 15 – 20 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the meat loaf.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a standard muffin pan with gluten-free, non-stick cooking spray.
Put the sirloin in a large mixing bowl. Grate in the onion, carrot and garlic. Add the salt, pepper, Worcestershire Sauce, bread crumbs and egg. Mix with your hands to combine. Do not over mix the ingredients. Portion the mixture into the prepared muffin tin, an ice cream scoop works well for this or just lightly roll the meat mixture into balls with your hands.
In a small bowl combine the ketchup with a couple dashes of Worcestershire Sauce, the hot sauce and the honey. Spoon some on top of each mini meat loaf. Bake for 20 minutes. Cut into one and make sure they are cooked through.
Make the ranch-style dressing for the potatoes. Put the Vegenaise into a small mixing bowl, grate in the clove of garlic. Add the lemon juice, parsley, chives (or scallions) and pepper, whisk to combine.
When the potatoes are tender drain them and then put them right back into the hot pan. Whip the potatoes a little with a hand held mixer. Add the dressing and whip until smooth and creamy. Taste the potatoes and add a little salt if needed.
When the meat loaves are done top them with a generous portion of the whipped potato mixture. Garnish with the tomatoes and a parsley leaf and serve.
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