Meatballs vs. Meatloaf

This is the meal where I learned my lesson about meatballs vs. meatloaf. Did you know, there’s a difference, and it matters, even if the recipe is exactly the same?? It’s true. Kids (and husbands) will eat meatballs far more readily than they’ll eat meatloaf. Over on ibreatheimhungry she often comments that she’ll turn almost any protein into a meatball. And now I know why. I had the bright idea to turn her meatballs into a meatloaf, because, hey, that could be a family meal. Nope. Epic Meal Fail. The next day, the same flavors were offered in a different shape (meatball, not meatloaf) with sauce on top. The kids loved them. So it’s not just veggies and ham that taste better shaped like flowers. Meatballs trump meatloaf every time.

Honestly, the meatballs are so easy to freeze and then reheat individually for lunches and snacks, I doubt I’ll ever push meatloaf again.

The hated meatloaf with mozzarella on top:

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The much loved meatballs cooking in the pan:

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And finishing in the oven:

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We then laid them on a cookie sheet, placed them in a the freezer until they were frozen, then in Ziploc baggies for easy reheating. I get them out for snacks, lunches, dinner, everything. And I’m asked “are these the meatballs you made?” Me: “yes” Them: “Yay!”

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Christmas Dinner

So we went off the Paleo / low carb / grain free rails here. But it was good. And shareable. We decided we were full of turkey, and didn’t really want ham, and so settled on Beef Wellington for Christmas Diner. Enter the obvious problems. I’m trying to be grain free, and I’ll be preparing this with a 4 and 6 year old underfoot. Enter Cooks’ Country and their Open Faced Beef Wellington. We’ve made this before, and it was originally one of their recipe card inserts in the magazine! These are 30 minute or less recipes. (It was in their February / March 2011 issue, if you keep the magazines.)

The kids loved this recipe. Even the mushrooms and the “yucky looking sauce that tastes yummy when you eat it.” Which led me to wonder: is the “Child Who Won’t Eat” really picky, or does she just have good taste? She also likes lobster, crab, and a not pretty, but super yummy, balsamic tilapia recipe I recently found. The jury is still out. But she hates chicken nuggets, and loves Beef Wellington… I’m leaning toward she just has good taste. 🙂

Here is the grownup version:

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And the kid version (oops, I forgot to use the Christmas plates):

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They requested leftovers for lunch the next day (yes, it was loved that much), so I remedied the plate error, and added cauliflower, just because I could! Hey, any excuse to double the veggies….

IMG_1274If you want a delicious, gourmet, kid friendly, easy to prepare holiday meal, this one is fantastic! It’s just not paleo, low carb, or grain free. But it was worth it. And if you’re an 80/20 paleo-er, then it totally fits.