Paleo Bacon-Wrapped Spinach Mini Meatloaf (Gorgonzola-Stuffed)
This morning, my stupid alarm did its stupid harp stupid sound at four-stupid-forty-stupid-five. I went out in the stupid rain to the gym where I sucked at stupid squat cleans. I came home, made my husband his breakfast (yes, I am awesome; yes, he knows), got in the shower, and ran downstairs to start my own. I was just going to saute some onions and bacon, throw in some fresh spinach and eat it with a cracked egg.
My hair had other plans.
You see, it looked like this:
So I spent at least 15 minutes trying to tame it into something decent enough to go out in public with. WHILE I LEFT THE BACON ON THE STOVE.
Ok, so let’s recap: awake before Eric Northman goes to bed, dreary rainy cold November day, unruly hair, and the cherry on the crap-cake? BURNED BACON.
I should have just called out of work and gone back to bed, seriously. When you burn your bacon, there is no hope for the day.
Still starving, I shoved a banana and peanut butter down my gullet in two bites and headed to the coffee shop to work because the only thing that was going to make the day bearable at this point would be copious amounts of caffeine poured directly into my gaping maw.
I made it through the rest of the day mostly unscathed, picked the kids up, and stared at the pound of meat I had set aside for dinner for the night. We had planned on regular Farmer’s Market Meatloaf (even though the Caramelized-Onion-Stuffed BBQ one is my personal favorite) but I guess the morning’s rainy-hair-burned-bacon-singed-spinach debacle was still fresh in my mind, so I decided to improvise on the meatloaf.
I chopped and cooked and drained fresh spinach because it’s what I had. This would work with frozen too, but just make sure you defrost it and squeeze out any extra moisture. I made four mini-loaves instead of one big loaf because I thought it made better use of the bacon and quite frankly, looked cute (and cooks faster).
I cooked these on a rack in a roasting pan coated with foil so that the bacon grease would drain off and crisp up. Otherwise, you get soggy bacon and moist meatloaf, kind of like this:
I stuffed these with around 1-2 tbsp of Gorgonzola cheese because I love how spinach, bacon, and Gorgonzola taste together, but if you’re dairy-free, simply omit the cheese. I find it easier to lay the bacon on the rack (three pieces for each loaf), make the loaf in your hand and dig out a little crater, scoop the cheese in, close up the loaf, place on top of the bacon and then wrap it around. You can use toothpicks to secure it if you like.
And you know what, guys? I pulled stupid Tuesday up by its britches and made it my bitch, these were that good. When you can turn a bad-bacon day into a good-bacon day, you’ve officially won the day.
Recipe: Paleo Bacon-Wrapped Mini Spinach Meatloaf
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 c cooked spinach, chopped & drained (if frozen, defrost and strain)
- 1 c. shredded carrot
- 1/2 c. yellow onion, diced
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. garlic salt (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. salt)
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp stone-ground (or spicy) mustard
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 3/4 c. binder of choice (I used walnut meal)
- 12 strips bacon (around 3/4 lb)
- 6 tbsp crumbled Gorgonzola (optional)
- Add all ingredients except bacon and cheese to large mixing bowl and combine thoroughly.
- Line a baking dish with foil and place a wire rack on top.
- Lay three piece of bacon down alongside each other.
- Grab 1/4 of the meat mixture and make a small loaf in the palm of your hand.
- If stuffing with cheese, create a little crater in the load, put the cheese in and bring sides up around to close.
- Place loaf in center of bacon and bring sides up around.
- Use toothpicks to secure if necessary.
- Repeat for each loaf (makes four).
- Bake at 400 for 35-45 minutes or until internal temp reaches 160F and bacon outside is crispy.