Mini meatloaves with a thick homemade BBQ style sauce that bake up in a fraction of the time of a traditional meatloaf.  And if the word ‘meatloaf’ makes you cringe…call them extra large baked meatballs.

mini meatloaves with bbq sauce

What makes these meatloaves so flavorful is the addition of sautéed onions, dried thyme (my favorite herb), and a bbq style sauce that binds it all together.  Using 1 1/2 pounds of meat always gives me 4 nicely shaped mini meatloaves.  I used 93% lean ground beef but you could use whatever cut you prefer, even turkey but they might need more sauce.

extra large baked meatballs with bbq sauce

We don’t eat a lot of red meat I’d say, so tossing in a mini meatloaf night is a nice change of pace.  Of course we love a good burger off the grill, or traditional meat spaghetti sauce, but usually it’s chicken that gets the most attention round here.  Step aside chicky!

Summertime usually means serving more simple meals/sandwiches like my #1 Sloppy Joes or THIS or THIS recipe vs. heating up the oven.  That’s why making mini meatloaves is not only smart because they cut down on oven time but you’ll have leftovers you can make into an awesome panini with melty cheese (I recommend pepper jack) and sautéed onions.  I love recreating leftovers (or what I call double duty dinners)!

Leftover Paninis: Saute onions and mushrooms with a bit of salt, pepper, and garlic powder until softened. (I also like adding a drop or two of liquid smoke.)  Thinly slice two pieces of meatloaf and set aside. Spread butter on one side of good panini bread and assemble with meatloaf, onion and mushroom mixture, a slice of pepper jack cheese and cook in panini press until heated through and desired crispiness.  Serve with extra bbq sauce for dipping!

Mini Meatloaves with
Homemade BBQ Style Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb. 93% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup garlic herb breadcrumbs (or any variety)
  • 1 egg
  • Glaze
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1 TB brown sugar
  • 1 TB barbecue sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Saute chopped onions 2-3 minutes in a small skillet with non-stick spray or a little butter. Add minced garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and worcestershire sauce. Saute on low an additional 2-3 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. In a large mixing bowl add ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs and onion mixture.
  4. Using your hands gently combine it all together but avoid over mixing.
  5. Form into 4 mini meatloaves and place on cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes then coat the tops of each meatloaf with the sauce allowing some to drip off the sides. Return to oven for an additional 10 minutes or until meatloaf is cooked throughout.
  7. Allow the meatloaves to rest 5 minutes before slicing.
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Beef Double Duty Dinner

My new website for personal training and online coaching (located in Dayton Oh, but serving online clients anywhere!) is up and running, full of great new fitness related content AND simple recipes!

I was so nervous leading up to my photoshoot but had the best time, enjoying a Snickers bar before it all began!  As a personal trainer and coach, I live out what I subscribe to my clients with flexible dieting…not “clean” eating, MLM products, fads or quick fix guarantees.

Fill out my online questionnaire and tell me what’s held you back from achieving your goal(s)…I’ll be waiting with a snack in hand.

snickers bar pre photoshoot prep

While this site will remain my go-to for posting recipes there are times I whip up something super simple (that doesn’t require much explanation) like my favorite strawberry toast or pancake tacos and won’t include them here. However, I will from time to time create a catch-up post so my loyal subscribers stay up to date.

speaking of subscribers …

My personal training website has a feature for subscribing to the blog too! Check out some recent posts I wrote like Grocery Shopping on a Calorie Budget or Boot Camp Classes for a Leaner Sculpted Physique and stick around if you enjoy them.  Next up is a post on being ineffective and less sexy with your workouts for results.  You’ll definitely want to subscribe for that one!

This was probably sexy when I was 8. (I’d like to have those socks)

So far the recipes featured on my personal training site revolve around a few categories: low carb/high protein, breakfast, snacks, and treats.  I’ll expand as time goes on to include meal prep and work lunch ideas and hope to implement a more user friendly interface that will allow you to subscribe.

Current Recipe Categories:

*Low Carb/High Protein does not mean I promote a low carb diet.  However, many clients I’ve worked with weren’t getting adequate protein but had no trouble with carb intake.  Having a few lower carb recipes on hand can be beneficial.

*Breakfast is one of my favorite meals and I often make a whopper of a homemade egg mcmuffin sandwich but there’s more to breakfast than eggs!  I’ve been thinking outside the box to bring my clients and readers new ideas for getting protein beyond eggs…more coming shortly!

homemade egg mcmuffin iifym

*Snacks are definitely one of my favorite ways to get creative!  My clients will hear me tell them to be strategic with their calories so their bedtime snack doesn’t leave them with celery, hahaha!  I have a feeling this category will grow the most but don’t get me wrong, I love fruits and veggies for snacks too…especially with pb dip!

apples with greek yogurt dip

*Treats will include options for more macro friendly desserts that are tested and approved.  Read my post on Carrot Cake Cookies that will explain what my biggest pet peeve is with most “healthy” dessert recipes.

Stay tuned for more!

What do you think of my new site? 

off topic

Carrot cake cookies that are macro friendly, perfectly soft with the right amount of spice and hint of orange, freeze well and only 53 calories each?! Yes I’ll have another, please!  A recipe success x100 and they’re super simple to throw together…

A big pet peeve of mine is stumbling upon a cookie recipe labeled as “healthy.”   Usually the recipe contains copious amounts of things like almond butter, honey, oats and dark chocolate to name a few.  People believe that because these are “clean” or  use “natural” ingredients that they can consume them freely.  Well I’m here to tell you, those recipes are often HUGE calorie bombs, high in carbs and fat.  If you’re trying to lose weight, creating a calorie deficit is key and you CAN overeat on the “healthy” stuff.

With that said these carrot cake cookies come in at only 53 calories a piece with 2.1g fat, 7.3g carbs and 1.2g protein and they’re DELICIOUS!!  I will warn you though…you can’t eat just one.  “NEVER have I ever…eaten one just one homemade cookie.”  Drink!  (if you’ve not seen the Big Bang Theory episode where they play Never Have I Ever….look it up.  cry with laughter funny)

Enjoy a carrot cake cookie or two with breakfast, pack some for a pre-workout, add them as a treat to your work lunch, or hide in the pantry and eat them so your kids don’t know you have cookies.  They’re great with coffee too!

Just go make them already so I’m not talking to myself.  Or go buy what you need to make them.  Or borrow ingredients from your neighbor. And if you’re super weird and don’t like carrot cake then share this recipe with someone who’s normal and would appreciate it.

 

Macro Friendly Carrot Cake Cookies!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (250g) shredded carrots
  • 1/4 c. + 2 TB brown sugar
  • 4TB. butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp grated orange rind
  • 2TB. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup all purpose white flour
  • 1/2 cup kodiak cakes (protein buttermilk pancake mix)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder

Instructions

  1. Using a food processor with grater attachment (or handheld grater on medium blade side) shred carrots and add to a large mixing bowl along with brown sugar and melted butter. Stir to combine.
  2. Next, add grated orange rind, applesauce, vanilla extract and egg and stir until thoroughly combined.
  3. In a small mixing bowl add flour, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder. Gently stir then add to bowl with wet mixture. You got it...stir it again to combine.
  4. Drop by rounded spoonful or 1" cookie scoop onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350* for 8-9 minutes.
  5. Makes approximately 24 cookies. They freeze really well too! Allow to cool completely then store in freezer approved ziplock bag. Heat for 20 seconds and enjoy!
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Over the past year we’ve battered, breaded, and fried a lot of fresh crappie.  But, these cajun crappie cakes elicited a high five of ultimate approval after taking one bite.  And in case you’re wondering…we don’t normally high five at dinner time over recipe accomplishments. Although, I could get used to that.

Anyways, the flavor of these crappie cakes were out of this world.

My hubby has become quite the crappie slayer at Caesar’s Creek.  He recently had the opportunity to take a guided trip on Grenada Lake in Mississippi and brought us home some huge slabs.  I’m hearing murmurs of a fall trip brewing already.

Perhaps the best kitchen appliance we bought over the years has been our vacuum sealer.  We bagged and sealed over 5lbs of crappie from his trip.  However, we’ll be using these big filets for our favorite battered and fried version!

So this recipe came from a youtube video my hubby found posted by Outdoor Life.  I changed it up ever so slightly with the  addition of some panko breadcrumbs and additional parsley.

You start out by boiling the crappie filets for 2 minutes then breaking them up slightly after they’ve cooled.  I’ve got the wet mixture ready to go as well as some finely chopped parsley. 

homemade crappie cakes

After tossing everything in the bowl it’s time to make the crappie cakes.  Crappie-patties is what my kids call them in honor of their beloved Spongebob from younger years.  (glad that’s behind us)

We weighed out roughly 1lb of fish and it yielded 7 thick patties.  They’re very filling!!  Both hubby and I managed to barely finish two.

crappie cajun cakes

At first I was worried they weren’t going to hold up when it was time to flip them, but they held up beautifully.  Since the fish is already cooked in the boiling step, it’s really just a matter of letting them get evenly browned on both sides and allow them to heat through.

fried crappie cakes

What I also love about this crappie cake recipe is the house didn’t have an overpowering smell of fish.  Look at how delicious these look…

fried crappie cakes

When it was time to serve them up, we just squeezed a little extra lemon overtop!  No tartar sauce needed.

I’m sure this recipe could be used with other white fish that doesn’t easily get tough from cooking.  Of course if you’re experienced with crab, this recipe would make great crab cakes too.

 

Grab a beer, give em’ a try and lemme know what you think!

 

Cajun Crappie Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb crappie filets
  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 1 TB dijon mustard (not the grainy kind)
  • 1.5 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup italian herb seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2-3 TB finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Canola oil for frying

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan bring some water to a boil, enough to cover the fish. When water comes to a boil, add crappie filets and allow to cook for 2 minutes or until opaque.
  2. Remove with a slotted spoon to a colander and allow to drain and cool slightly.
  3. Once cooled gently chop into smaller pieces and set aside.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl add mayo, dijon, Old Bay Seasoning, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, salt and egg. Stir to combine all ingredients then add chopped crappie filets. Gently toss to incorporate then add breadcrumbs and parsley. Stir until everything just comes together.
  5. Assemble crappie cakes and set aside.
  6. Heat enough oil a large skillet, to just cover the bottom, over medium-high heat.
  7. Add crappie cakes to preheated oil and cook about 2-3 minutes per side or until evenly browned.
  8. Serve with extra lemon for squeezing overtop!
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Fish/Seafood