Before I’ll start posting crazy Halloween recipes, I want to give you quickly two extremely easy recipes for good old meatloaf in a mug. The first variation of these one-pot one-serving wonders is simple and tasty, and the second variation is really exciting! Have you ever thought pumpkin meatloaf with exotic, warm spices? Believe me, it’s a success! Pumpkin also makes the meatloaf juicy and moist. Both variations are egg-free, and the pumpkin meatloaf is also dairy-free.
Salsa Meatloaf in a Mug (Egg-Free)
|In Total (recipe makes 1 serving)
Spicy Pumpkin Meatloaf in a Mug (Egg-Free, Dairy-Free)
|In Total (recipe makes 1 serving)
My meatloaf in a mug experiments
My microwave usage is virtually non-existent. We do have a combination microwave oven, and I’ve used the microwave mainly for sterilizing stuff. When my husband still consumed considerable amounts of commercial frozen pizzas, he used the machine for heating those. It does have a handy pizza program.
Lately, I’ve obviously become self-indulgent and even more busy since the microwave has been in more a frequent use for some cooking experiments. I still prefer to heat food on a stovetop but use microwave increasingly. I think I’ve always been a bit afraid of the radiation, but I guess there is really no reason for that in the end.
I’ve been craving for easy meals. Since I’m writing my cookbook, I want to include very easy meals in the book, but as I’m writing, I also need to prepare easy and quick meals for my family. Meatloaf in a mug is perfect, single-serving dish which I can quickly whip up any time.
My first meatloaf in a mug (…why do I always write “meatload” by accident…) experiments were pretty dry. After some forays I tried if salsa gives moistness so that I don’t have to add any eggs. Salsa indeed worked very well. After I came to the idea to add shredded cheese, the result was perfect, both tastewise and texturewise.
I don’t remember how and why I was thinking of pumpkin in meatloaf. Maybe it was because salsa was working so well and made the meatloaf nicely juicy. I might have thought that maybe pumpkin gives similar juiciness.
Last year my garden gave some 13 st (a bit over 80 kg) pumpkin. My freezer was filled with pumpkin. This spring, I planted several different varieties but I didn’t get a single pumpkin! The plants were just blossoming and blossoming (they still do even it’s late fall), but there are no pumpkins! Knowing that my gardening skills are close to zero that’s nothing new, but I just wonder why I managed to grow so much pumpkin last year. Well, the exception obviously proves the rule, what comes to my gardening skills.
I still had canned pumpkin and decided to use the leftovers in my meatloaf experiment. I was pondering which spices to use with pumpkin. In sweet creations pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon would have been natural choices, but I didn’t want to get too experimental with my meatloaf. Nevertheless, I thought some exotic, warm spices would go well with pumpkin. Since I had great-quality garam masala in my pantry, I wanted to give it a try. It suited so well that I didn’t want to try anything else. Garam masala just was a perfect spice with a savory pumpkin dish.
When I used the microwave, I first was using high heat. The meatloaf experiments were spilling over and after getting fed up with cleaning the spills, I decided to try out how lower heat and less power works. That turned out to be a good decision: there were no spillings and the meatloaf experiments were juicy and tender.
Well, if my garden didn’t give any pumpkins but just pumpkin flowers, at least I got some nice nature photos.