Not Your Grandma's Meatloaf {Recipe}

So who of you out there likes meatloaf?  Do you really?  As a kid I loathed the stuff.  Experimental meat was all I pictured.  I just knew I was going to find yesterdays' leftovers in the shape of a loaf (ok, so my interpretation was a bit skewed).  You always knew it would have eggs, bread crumbs ... a bunch of other things... and ketchup for the top (in my case, to camouflage the taste!).  All I know is that I know I was never a friend of the stuff until about 6 months ago.  I'm so thankful my taste buds changed... matured.  :)

One of our church-family friends has a passion for delicious and nutritious (not to mention gluten-free*) cooking.  She passed on this recipe to me as my husband and I tried our swing at a gluten-free lifestyle... and I'm so thankful for her help!  Plus, I dare say she is one of those who can throw a little-of-this and a little-of-that and it will turn out delicious.   Anyway, on to the recipe.

Meatloaf Meatballs *GF Style
a.k.a. Mini Meatloafs

2 lbs. of lean ground beef
1 cup shredded carrots  (If using pre-packaged shredded carrots, cut them into smaller pieces)
1 cup diced onion
1-2 eggs (I used two eggs if using lean meat - 90/10 or better)
Tomato Sauce OR a can of diced tomatoes (We just tried the tomato sauce and loved it! It's our new favorite topping)
~that's right ~ no ketchup!  You don't have to add the same thing your great-grandmother did!  :)

In a hot skillet, cook onions and carrots in a couple of Tbsp olive oil until veggies are tender.  Set aside to cool down (so your eggs don't cook when you mix everything together).

In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients together and add some salt and pepper.  Mix it really well so eggs are evenly incorporated.  At this point you can dump the mixture into a loaf pan, pour tomato sauce over it and bake at 350* for approx. 1 hour


Form into meatballs with your *ahem* ice-cream scoop!  Drop into a greased cupcake pan.  Top each meatball with sauce.  Bake at 350* for ... 30 minutes?  Not sure on the time - I forgot to set a timer or watch the clock.  

The sweetness of the cooked onions and carrots are where most of the flavor comes from.  So Delicious!!
I have kids ~ so we have to change up our meals.  You know.  So we don't do the same-old-things with the same-old-things.  Now doesn't that feel like an accomplishment!

I used some fattier beef this time (80/20) and while I was hoping for the shape of a muffin to my mini meat loafs they ended up like meatballs - round.  I think the leaner meat would keep the shape - if that matters to you. :)  Oh, and it is sort of messy - I was afraid I would scare you away from this recipe if I showed you a picture - the grease splattered quite a bit.