Woke up to a really gray and rainy morning. On days like this I always crave comfort food. It’s still hot and muggy though, so I turn to my slow cooker instead of my oven so that I don’t heat up the whole house. I love using my slow cooker all year round. Being able to get dinner started early in the day when I still have energy is a huge plus. Any busy parent knows how crazy that hour before dinner can get and using my crock pot usually makes that time of day much more enjoyable.
I make meatloaf all the time when I’m craving comfort food. I don’t really have a hard and fast meatloaf recipe so I’m not going to share a recipe today. Rather, I’m going to share my substitutions and how I adapt my meatloaf. I like to change my meatloaf up a lot. Sometimes I put bacon and BBQ sauce in it, sometimes peppers, onions and tomato sauce, sometimes I make a quick glaze with ketchup and brown sugar. Regardless of how I make it, I have to avoid a lot of common things that go into a meatloaf. For example, beef, eggs, milk, soy or Worcestershire sauce, and some bread crumbs.
Here is how I substitute for those missing ingredients:
Beef – I use ground turkey
Eggs – I increase the amount of sauce I put in (whether it is BBQ, ketchup or tomato) this helps bind it all together.
Milk – I usually just remove this all together, but you could use rice or soy milk to substitute. Adding chopped veggies will also help keep your meatloaf moist.
Soy or Worcestershire – The increased amount of the sauces above usually does the trick here, but I also came across this recipe for a soy substitute. We have not tried it because of JT’s beef allergy but give it a shot!
Bread crumbs – Some flavored breadcrumbs have other ingredients in them so always read your labels. We have used Ian’s plain panko or crushed Ritz crackers. If you have a wheat or gluten allergy think about crushing up cereals that work for you. For example, Gluten free Rice Chex or Rice Krispies
The most important thing is to use the slow cooker (just make a mound at the bottom of the slow cooker and cook on low for about 8 hours or high for about 4). I’ve been making JT meatloaf for years and before the slow cooker it was always a little bit crumbly. Putting it in the slow cooker helps the consistency of the meatloaf so much. It always comes out fantastic!