Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Meatloaf Muffins, Mmmmm

Recently, I've been experimenting with meatloaf. It used to be on my banned food list due to its egg content, but after making this egg-free turkey meatloaf, I started to wonder just how important eggs really were in traditional meatloaf. I figured eggs acted as a binding agent and perhaps enhanced overall texture, but were they absolutely necessary? After all, do hamburgers (arguably a flat form of meatloaf) require eggs? Would the taste, structure, or texture really suffer that much if I simply omitted eggs from the recipe? I decided to test this out on a favorite meatloaf recipe from my family's pre-food-allergy days.

The recipe is one for meatloaf muffins consisting primarily of ground beef, chopped vegetables, and crushed saltine crackers. Since I knew I would be omitting the two eggs called for in the recipe, I rounded up a bit on moisture-contributing ingredients, specifically, the vegetables and ketchup. After all was said and done, I'm quite happy to report that the egg-free end product did not stray too far from the original version. It still tasted good and kept its shape well. Perhaps this was a result of them being small muffin shapes versus a larger loaf which might have just crumbled and fallen apart. Whatever the case may be, I'm just glad that I can enjoy a once-favorite dish again and add another dairy-free, egg-free meatloaf recipe to the family meal rotation.

RECIPE for Diner Meatloaf Muffins by Cooking Light

Recipe Notes:

  • Omit eggs to make this egg-free.

  • If you find you have slightly more chopped vegetables than called for (i.e. rounded cup vs level cup measurements), go ahead and include it to boost the overall moisture content of the meatloaf. An extra 1-2 tablespoons of ketchup will also help in this regard.

  • I found that this recipe also works fine without Worcestershire sauce if you don't have it on hand or are avoiding seafood ingredients.

  • If your arteries can take it, consider making this with higher fat beef for even more flavor.


Anonymous said...

so glad I found you through the allergic living site! We go for nut-free, egg-free, fish-free around here :) I think I'll be trying this out for supper tomorrow.

Note - it is possible to get fish/seafood free worceshire sauce!

Anonymous said...

oops sorry, I forgot to leave my name ... Andie

christina said...

Hi Andie, you may have noticed that this site is actually seafood-free right now as well. I figured I'd just highlight the other 3 big allergy items since seafood seems easier to avoid. Hope the meatloaf muffins worked out for you!

Sacred Stitch said...

Thanks for this recipe, and this site!
We have a few food allergies in my house(milk, eggs, nuts) and prefer to cook ONE meal that everyone (including the hubby) can eat and enjoy. Sometimes it helps to be able to find a little assistance in the kitchen on the days when I'm feeling uninspired.

dawn said...

Great recipe. Never thought about making meatloaf without eggs and as muffins before but it is great for child portions and freezing some for later!