Arminda's Famous Meatloaf

Meatloaf was probably one of the first successful meals I was ever able to make, way back when I was a young new bride... I was always known for my baking skills from a pretty young age, but cooking was a new thing to me when I first moved out of my parents' house and got married. I was only 18 years old, and I was just excited to be out on my own and have the freedom of doing things myself. Until I realized, I had to do things myself... Therein lied the problem. The thing I was most excited about, very quickly became the thing I dreaded most. I found out very quickly that I didn't know everything at 18, just like my parents kept telling me... Imagine that. But I digress. I remember the first thing I made for dinner, the first night officially on our own, in our new apartment. I attempted to make chicken in this sort of creamy type sauce, that I guess I had envisioned turning into this amazing gourmet meal... Ha! Oh was I ever so wrong... It ended up turning into more of a watery type, gross soup. My husband and I took one bite, and both looked at each other. He struggled to choke back a spoonful of the stuff, tears welling up in his eyes, trying not to let his gag reflexes get the best of him, and managed to grunt out, "Good". Well, I knew better, as I too was trying not to gag... Mixing dirt in would have been an upgrade. So like any good wife, I walked over to the trash can, opened it up, dropped the 'sludge' in the garbage and said, "Let's just order a pizza". The look on his face reminded me of a dog at the pound, finally getting adopted. I'm pretty sure he knocked over a few chairs and took out a couple lamps as he cleared the dinner table like a hurtle to grab the phone. After that disaster and a few others, it was ramen noodles and Hamburger Helper for us for a few months... And I even managed to mess that up a few times. One day I was talking to my mom, and broke down and admitted that I had no clue WHAT I was doing, and that I'd never be the wonderful cook she was. I didn't know what was wrong with me, I must have missed the cooking gene. Then she laughed at me and told me of the first dinner she made for my dad when they first got married. She made my dad's favorite; fried chicken... Unfortunately, she burned it so bad, it was unrecognizable; but my dad ate it anyway, being the awesome husband he is. She didn't attempt to make fried chicken for years after that, but she got better at cooking, and eventually tried again, and now my dad complains that she doesn't make it enough. So my mom gave me a few recipes, one being her meatloaf, which was one of my favorite meals. In fact, her's was the only meatloaf I had ever liked. So I took the recipe home with me that night and made it. Success! My husband was shocked. I think he thought I really ordered it from somewhere. After that my skills got better through the years, and I now like to think of myself as an awesome cook. I've even went so far as to amaze my mom on occasions, and have made things she claims she never could. And thus, this recipe has been a hit through the generations, and now my own kids beg for my meat loaf. Unfortunately that recipe doesn't really comply with the paleo guidelines, so I've adjusted it to do just that. It's not exact, but it's close enough that my boyfriend ate it the first time I made it paleo, and while eating it, said, "Wait, what about your diet?", so I guess that's a good sign. I hope your family enjoy it as much as we do.

Prep time: 10 mins      Cook time: 50 mins + 10 mins
Servings: 6

- 1 lb Grass-fed, organic beef
- 4 Tbls Paleo onion soup mix
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 Cup Almond meal/flour
- 1/2 Tbls Raw coconut aminos
- 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
For the sauce:
- 1/2 Cup Organic or homemade ketchup
- 1 Tbls Raw organic honey

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F
2. In medium bowl, mix all ingredients, except for sauce ingredients, until thoroughly mixed.
3. Take beef mixture in hands, and mold it into the shape of a loaf. (if loaf is too sticky, add more almond meal) Drop in a 5x8 baking dish.
4. Place loaf in oven, bake for 50 minutes.
5. 5 minutes before loaf is done baking, combine sauce ingredients in a small dish, mix well.
6. When loaf reaches 50 minutes, take out and top with sauce.
7. Bake an additional 10 minutes.
8. Slice, serve and enjoy!

*Another fun option for kids is making this in a mini-loaf pan, or muffin pan.