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Monday, June 17, 2019

Cheddar/Ranch, Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Meatloaf

Turn an ordinary meatloaf into an extraordinary one by adding some go- to favorites and  a little technique.  I find that a good way to get kids and adults alike to eat their veggies is to pair them with some of the usual suspects, cheese and bacon!.  Luckily, my girls are fans of veggies, so this recipe is just a fun way to include your meats and veg in the same bite!
I rolled this meatloaf so that the cheesy spinach mixture is present throughout and not all crammed into the same middle space.  Mixing the spinach, ranch seasoning and  helped to distribute the flavors of the spices and seasoning mix.  This recipe was created with lots of shortcuts for those extra busy days.
This recipe is great as leftovers and on sandwiches! Imagine a loaded bacon double cheeseburger with spinach instead of lettuce and you have is dish, hearty enough for a hard working mate or chic enough to be added to your recipe lineup for those extra special weeknight dinner days.  Substitutions where needed for your personal diet can be made accordingly. Makes enough for sandwiches or meals the next day.

Recipe:
2 1/2 lb. ground chuck
1 pkg. precooked bacon
1 lb. bag fresh spinach, excess stems removed
1/2  1 oz. pkg. ranch recipe mix
1 pkg. onion soup mix
1 8 oz. pkg. Cheddar cheese blend
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
Olive oil for drizzling
SPST (Salt and Pepper to Suit Taste)
Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine ground beef and onion soup mix, stirring in using a fork.
Place in fridge. This may be done ahead of time to marry flavors and hydrate the onions. Try to marinate for at least 15 minutes if possible.
In a medium sauce pan over medium high heat, drizzle pan with olive oil and add spinach.
The spinach may be added gradually as it wilts.
Add garlic, SPST and wilt the spinach, cooking out excess moisture. 
Remove from pan to cool slightly before use. This may be done ahead also.
Toss half of the ranch recipe packet with the bag of cheese.
When ready, heat oven to 375*F.
Using a cookie sheet, about "11x13", lined with plastic wrap and press the protein across as evenly as possible, end to end.  Make sure the plastic wrap extends from one side for several inches. THIS WILL MAKE YOUR MEATLOAF EASIER TO ROLL.
Lay strips of cooked bacon lengthwise along the protein.
Spread the spinach across the meat mixture and bacon.
Set aside about 2 tbsp. of the cheese blend for garnish for your meatloaf. 
Finish with the cheese blend.
Press the ingredients down slightly.
Starting from the side with extra plastic wrap, begin pulling it towards you and curving the meatloaf onto itself.  Begin rolling and pulling the plastic wrap off at the same time, as not to roll it into the meat roll.
Once rolled, place in baking vessel or on cookie sheet seam side down.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165*F and golden.
Add reserved cheese, more if desired and continue until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 3 minutes.
Let rest for several minutes before cutting.
Makes 10-12 serving sized slices.

For Betterthaneverians swap outs:
Use 1 tbsp. liquid aminos and 1 tsp. onion powder in place of onion soup mix.
Use reduced sodium ranch recipe mix.
Blend low fat sour cream, chopped chives, parsley, garlic powder and dill in place of ranch seasoning.
Use reduced fat cheese blend instead of full fat cheese.
Use lean ground chicken or turkey in place of ground chuck.






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Smokinhotchef
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