Okay, I have a slight confession to make … I have only had meatloaf once in my life. Yes, I did grow up in the U.S., meatloaf just wasn’t an entrée in my mother’s repertoire, and thus it never entered onto my radar. But wait, it gets worse. As I thought long and hard, I realized that I had never actually eaten spaghetti and meatballs. It is true, spaghetti has been a staple throughout my life, and perhaps a few times I have sampled cocktail meatballs, but the two had never before merged onto my plate for one gloriously simple entrée.
Since my husband already proclaimed himself meatloaf averse, I thought this was a good time to give spaghetti and meatballs a try. With a very full package of Gluten-Free Essentials Meatloaf Starter Mix in hand, I certainly had no fear, it contained all of the spices and breading needed to whip up tasty little meatballs. With a Rachael Ray recipe from the Internet I was ready to begin. Realistically, all I needed was an egg, and ¼ cup of mix for my half pound of (turkey) meat. I marveled at what a small dent I made in the package. I couldn’t help but think, “I sure hope this mix is good,” as it would obviously be around to serve many more meals. Within minutes I had patted out a dozen or so meatballs ready for the skillet. It was actually quite fun making them to my pleasant surprise! Oh yes, there were many oven recipes, but the skillet one was very tempting (a.k.a. quick).
I put a pot of water on to boil, to prepare my angel hair rice noodles (this is a gluten-free dish after all!), and within 20 minutes, I had my first rendition of spaghetti and meatballs. While the mix didn’t provide an overwhelming amount of flavor, they were tasty little meatballs. My husband and I devoured the entire meal, leaving not a single meatball behind. On the one hand, I could see them benefiting from a bit more spice, but on the other, it was a nice backdrop to work with.
On my next batch, just a few short days later, I decided to make some mini-meatballs to go with my newfound discovery of Trader Joe’s, mini-gnocchi. This time, I topped the ground turkey with a few dashes of Worcester sauce (a trick my husband taught me to make the turkey more “meaty”) and let it sit for a few minutes to absorb. Then, rather than an egg, I used 1 teaspoon of chia seeds and three teaspoons of water in place of the egg. Of course, I couldn’t resist throwing in some chopped garlic. The chia seeds gelled up nicely and provided the same taste and “glue” as the egg once cooked, definitely a good substitute.
Once again, perfect meatballs resulted in a matter of minutes! I think I preferred these mini-meatballs, which turned out a bit firmer than my first batch.
Considering the size of the package (I literally have ¾ or more left) this is an excellent short cut for the gluten-free consumer. My one complaint, though there may be few of us who lack our own, it would be great if Gluten-Free Essentials would include a meatloaf recipe on their package.
My Extra Notes & Tips:
An interesting little secret I discovered, 1/3 cup of this mix has 13% of your daily calcium. Otherwise, t is fairly low in calories, fat, sugars, and other nutrients and vitamins.
Where to Purchase: All GF Essentials baking mixes can be purchased directly on the Gluten-Free Essentials Website.