Yesterday I was wondering what to do with the ground beef I’d taken out of the freezer for dinner, when I decided I might as well just make meatloaf. I didn’t want to make just plain old boring meatloaf, and I had a butternut squash sitting on the counter as well, so I Googled “meatloaf butternut squash recipes.”
You cannot begin to imagine how tickled I was to find a recipe for meatloaf cupcakes topped with mashed butternut squash. I’d never heard of such a thing, but figured it couldn’t be just this one recipe, so I Googled “meatloaf cupcakes” – only to find there are about a gajillion recipes out there. They are apparently quite popular these days, and I can see why; the very thought just made me giddy.
So I took the idea, ran with it, and made it my own.
Something else that makes me quite giddy is the new recipe format I’ve implemented on the blog. I’ve installed a plugin called “Easy Recipe” that not only formats the recipes for me, but automatically generates a printable version without me having to generate a PDF from my recipe software, upload said PDF and link to it, etc.; click the little “Print” icon in the upper right hand corner of the recipe and a new window/tab will open up with a plain text format of the recipe – just print it using the print function in your browser window. It also allows you, the reader, to rate the recipe from the comments section of the post.
The plugin also formats the meta data of the recipe in such a manner that it will be indexed much more easily by Google Recipes, which makes me very happy, but I’d like your feedback on the appearance of the new format, as well as the rating function – please let me know what you think. If you prefer the old and PDF printable versions of the recipes better, I’ll certainly reinstate them.
As for the recipe, you can use your favorite meatloaf and mashed potato recipes and it will work just fine. I just threw together a basic meatloaf and topped it with my Vanilla Mashed Sweet Potatoes. As written, the recipe is not Whole30 complaint, but if you omit the glaze and dairy it will be.
And think how much fun it will be to tell your kids you’re making cupcakes for dinner.
- 2 pounds ground beef, preferably grass-fed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 small red or yellow bell pepper, diced
- 2 tablespoons lard or butter
- 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Mrs. Dash steak seasoning
- 1/2 cup homemade chili sauce or ketchup
- 1 large sweet potato
- 2 tablespoons bacon fat or butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk mixed with 2 tablespoons water OR 1/4 cup half and half
- salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Melt the lard or butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the onion and bell pepper until the soft and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, eggs, onion/pepper mixture, salt, pepper and steak seasoning, mixing well with your hands. Divide the meat into 8 equal portions about the size of a baseball; place each portion in the cup of a standard-size muffin tin. Thinly spread 1 tablespoon of the chili sauce over the top of each cupcake.
- Place the muffin tin on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet; bake the cupcakes for 35 to 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Carefully remove each cupcake to a paper towel-lined plate.
- While the cupcakes are baking, bring two quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Peel and cube the sweet potato and drop into the boiling water; reduce the heat slightly and continue to boil until the potato is tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Drain the potato and return to the saucepan; place over medium-high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the moisture has evaporated. Remove from heat and add the bacon fat or butter, coconut milk or half and half; mash with a potato masher until smooth and creamy, but still thick, adding more coconut milk or half and half if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
- Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a large round or star tip, with the mashed sweet potatoes and pipe onto the tops of the meatloaf cupcakes. Sprinkle with a little finely chopped parsley, if desired, and serve.
- Nutrition (per serving): 427 calories, 31.9g total fat, 137.7mg cholesterol, 732.4mg sodium, 479.8mg potassium, 10.8g carbohydrates, 1.4g fiber, 6.7g sugar, 22.5g protein.