Wish Upon A Dish: Extreme Budget, Day Seven - Meatloaf and Roasted Mashed Cauliflower

November 23, 2012

Extreme Budget, Day Seven - Meatloaf and Roasted Mashed Cauliflower

I hate when you shop in a warehouse store and there are no prices on packages of meats or even a shelf label. Who can you ask? I never see clerks walking around or even those "check your item here" machines that I love in Walmart. I can't ask The Nudge because he is always looking for the prices under the items when they are actually over the item, therefore making him think that 36 rolls of toilet paper are on sale for $11.99 when they actually cost $24.99.

Since I only have room in my budget for 2-3 pounds of chopped chuck, I ended up buying a meatloaf mix.
Those mixes are great for meatloaf and meatballs, but I could not convince The Nudge he would like a meatball mix hamburger. Off the menu it came. I will be making three bean chili next week.

So all I have to do now is make one 2 lb meatloaf.
Since I bought a large head of cauliflower I decided to use 1/3 in my Thanksgiving side dish, 1/3 for the Recipe Redux challenge this month and 1/3 for faux mashed potatoes.

Have you ever had the roasted cauliflower mash? I have made mine many times and The Nudge actually asks me to make it, it is that good. This dish was developed years ago when the No Carb Diet was big time and now there is a whole new generation of cooks, looking for healthier sides. This is as healthy as it gets, It's no carb, diabetics will embrace it and it just darn tastes good. You will NOT miss the potato, trust me.

Caramelized Cauliflower Puree
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1/2 pound cauliflower, sliced 1/2-inch thick
* 3/4 cup fat-free evaporated milk 
* Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Roast chopped up cauliflower for 45 minutes at 350F.
In saute pan add cauliflower, cream, butter and salt & pepper. Simmer until cream is thick. Process till smooth, adjust seasonings and serve.

Meatloaf & Meatball Mix 
makes 1 meatloaf or 12 large meatballs
* 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
* 1/4 cup chopped onion
* 1 large clove or 2 small cloves garlic, minced
* 1/4 cup ketchup
* 1 teaspoon brown mustard
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried leaves (not ground)
* 1 egg, beaten
* 1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
* 1-2 tablespoons water
* 1/4 cup grated hard cheese (your choice Parmesan or Romano)

1. Mix everything together, gently but evenly.Using a loaf pan, pack the pan with the meat mixture and turn it upside down into a baking pan. Remove loaf pan and let it come to room temp while the oven reheats.

2. Preheat oven to 350° and bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes.

1. Use a large ice scream scoop to measure amount of meat mixture and then roll them in your hands to make a round ball.

Cost per meal: $4.30 (3 meatloaf/cauliflower puree servings)
Cauliflower - $ .83
Meatloaf Meat - $3.20
Egg - $ .27

Running total for 7 days: $18.75

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