Tag Archives: meatloaf

Meal Planning – Week 1

I am a big believer in meal planning and follow it regularly.  I recommend meal planning for several reasons:

  • Eliminates last minute meal planning – that’s when you leave work with no idea what’s for dinner and, suddenly, as you pass a supermarket with a deli or prepared food section or a fast food outlet and, well, you know the story – that becomes dinner.
  • Saves money and reduces food waste – have a plan in mind for using leftover meat such as ham, turkey, or roast beef. For example, use the leftover meat in sandwiches, casseroles, and/or soups. These are great ways to stretch the food dollar and eliminate food waste.
  • Healthier way to eat – You will eat less pre-packaged foods that often have way too many preservatives, additives, and other unhealthy ingredients. Meal planning means you are in control, to the extent possible, of what is in your food.
  • Less stress – Once you have a plan in place for meals for the week, you don’t have to stress each day over what to make for meals.

The keys to good meal planning are:

  • Make meals with ingredients you know your family will like – doesn’t have to be fancy, new, or creative. Sometimes, the old faithful comfort foods are the best.
  • Make the meal plan on the weekend and formulate the shopping list BEFORE you go to the supermarket and then stick to the plan, avoiding distractions of already-prepared or frozen entrées that supermarkets display to tempt shoppers.
  • Make your To-Do list for the meal preparation for the week – for example, if you are making baked beans on Saturday, get those beans soaking overnight on Friday evening.
  • Read each recipe carefully to ensure you will have all the ingredients and that the method is easy to understand and do-able in the time in which you have to do the food preparation.
  • Watch the supermarket sales flyers. Know your favorite dishes and buy ingredients for them when they are on sale. You’ll be more likely to stick to a meal plan if you already have most or all of the ingredients for a recipe on hand.
  • Plan around what’s in season. One of my favorite soups is cream of cauliflower which freezes well (provided whole milk, not fat-reduced, is used). I make several batches of this soup each fall when the locally-grown cauliflower is in season. I would not make it, however, in January with imported cauliflower that has traveled thousands of miles for days and is highly priced. Good meal planning needs to take place, on an ongoing basis, throughout the year.

Here is my suggested meal plan for the upcoming week, focusing primarily on dinners with some suggestions for a couple of lunches making the most of a boiled picnic ham. I’ve provided a list of the main ingredients that, for the most part, would probably involve a shopping trip to the supermarket for most. However, as always, read each recipe thoroughly and carefully to create your own shopping list as I have not listed what I consider to be “staple” items like milk, butter, eggs, spices, etc.  Click on the green hotlinks to access the recipes.


Blueberry Muffins – These are great breakfast or coffee break muffins and they freeze very well.  Nice treat to start off the week!
Shopping List: Blueberries (fresh or frozen), orange juice, orange rind

Blueberry Muffins
Blueberry Muffins

Dinner:  Meatloaf
Serve with mashed or riced potatoes and your favorite side of veggies. Homemade mustard pickles go great with meatloaf!

Shopping List: Ground beef, onion, prepared mustard, tomato soup, dry onion soup mix, graham wafer crumbs, fine bread crumbs, garlic powder, vegetables of choice

Meatloaf with Riced Potatoes and Mixed Vegetables
Meatloaf with Riced Potatoes and Mixed Vegetables

Dessert:  Gingerbread
At least once every winter, I have to have a dose of this yummy comfort food! Drizzle with brown sugar sauce for an extra-special treat!
Shopping List: Applesauce, molasses, coffee

Gingerbread with Whipped Cream and Brown Sugar Sauce


Homemade White Bread – This is always such a treat!  This bread will be super good with the ham sandwiches this week!
Shopping List: All-purpose flour, dry yeast, milk, butter/shortening

White Bread
Homemade White Bread

Dinner:  Old-fashioned Boiled Ham Dinner – This is truly dinner-in-a-pot and is my definition of “comfort food”!  The meat and vegetables are all cooked in the same broth in the same pot. Make sure you cook enough veggies for Wednesday night as this always tastes even better the second day. Easy to heat the vegetables in the microwave and, poof, you have two nights’ meals prepared in one effort. You’ll want those mustard pickles or mustard beans with this dinner!
Shopping List: Smoked pork picnic shoulder (ham), parsnips, carrots, rutabaga (turnip), potatoes

Boiled Ham Dinner
Boiled Ham DInner

Dessert:  Blueberry Grunt
This is such an incredibly yummy dessert – serve it with your favorite vanilla ice cream!
Shopping List: Blueberries (fresh or frozen) and lemon rind, vanilla ice cream

Blueberry Grunt
Blueberry Grunt


Lunch:  Ham Sandwiches made with homemade white bread!  Don’t forget the mustard!

Dinner:  Leftover boiled ham dinner from Tuesday.

Dessert: Cherry Wink Cookies
Shopping List: Dates, cornflake crumbs, maraschino cherries

Cherry Wink Cookie
Cherry Wink Cookie


Homemade Tea Biscuits
Shopping list: Whole milk, whipping cream, unsalted butter

Tea Biscuits
Tea Biscuits

Lunch:  Ham Salad Sandwiches

Shopping List: Sweet pickle relish, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, celery, red pepper, mayonnaise, Havarti cheese

Dinner:  Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole – this is a great way to use up left-over cooked ham and stretch its use. Serve these with those tasty biscuits and perhaps a green salad!
Shopping List: Rice, cream of celery soup, sour cream, liquid chicken bouillon, broccoli, canned pineapple chunks, Parmesan cheese, fine bread crumbs, leftover cooked ham, and ingredients for a green salad and dressing

Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole
Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole

Dessert: Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares
Shopping List:  Chocolate chips and coconut

Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares
Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares


Dinner:  Mac ‘n Cheese with a green salad and homemade tea biscuits
Shopping List: Elbow macaroni, liquid chicken bouillon, cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, salad ingredients and dressing

Mac 'n Cheese
My Island Bistro Kitchen Macaroni and Cheese

Dessert: Cinnamon Sweet Bread
Shopping List: Staple baking ingredients

Cinnamon Sweet Bread
Cinnamon Sweet Bread


Dinner: Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts with Rice
An extra special weekend treat!
Shopping List: Boneless skinless chicken breasts, onion, fennel, orange juice, orange rind, chicken stock, maple syrup, orange marmalade, rice

Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken
Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken

Dessert: Coconut Cream Pie
One of the best pies going!
Shopping List:  9” pie shell, coconut milk, whole milk or cream, sweetened shredded coconut

Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Pie


Sunday Breakfast:  Pancakes


Dinner:  Bistro Burgers with Home Fries
Shopping List: Ground chuck, mayonnaise, maple syrup, ketchup, rhubarb relish, Dijon mustard, sour cream, onion salt, Parmesan cheese, Blueberry BBQ sauce, dry onion soup mix, bread crumbs, Cheddar cheese slices, red onion, tomato, prosciutto, fresh pineapple, bread and butter pickles, hamburger rolls, potatoes (for home fries)

"The Bistro Burger"
“The Bistro Burger”

Dessert: Leftover Coconut Cream Pie

Meal planning can be a challenge, especially with high food prices, ingredient availability (particularly in winter for fresh local ingredients) and, of course, for those who are busy and time-challenged.  However, with having a plan in place and establishing a routine for meal preparation, it is a way to eat better, save money, reduce food waste, and eliminate the stress of last-minute meal preparation that can sometimes result in unhealthy food choices. For those with children, it’s a good way to help them make good food choices and engage them in meal preparation by assigning them tasks to help with the work of making meals.

For my Week 2 Meal Plan, click here.
For my Week 3 Meal Plan, click here.
For my Week 4 Meal Plan, click here.
For my Week 5 Meal Plan, click here.
For my Week 6 Meal Plan, click here.


Meatloaf Monday!

Still continuing on with my “comfort food” theme in January, today’s dinner consists of old-fashioned meatloaf with fluffy riced potatoes and veggies.  Meatloaf is a great way to extend ground meat and also to give it a boost of flavour.

Meatloaf with Riced Potatoes and Mixed Vegetables
Meatloaf with Riced Potatoes and Mixed Vegetables

Meatloaf is usually made with ground beef although other ground meats, such as poultry, pork, or lamb, may also be used.  What gives it its name is obvious – it is meat that is shaped into a loaf pan.  The loaf shape makes it easy to get really nice, neat slices of the loaf for plating.  While meatloaf is generally baked in the regular oven, there are recipes for meatloaf prepared in slow cookers.

The ingredients in meatloaf can be very basic and simple or they can be relatively sophisticated.  My recipe is somewhere in between.  In addition to the meat, meatloaf will have one or more binding agents such as eggs, breadcrumbs, rolled oats, and/or graham wafer crumbs.  The trick to making a meatloaf really tasty is to add some good seasonings and a tasty sauce on top.

Traditionally, meatloaf is served with mashed potatoes and a favorite vegetable or two.  I find various ways of presenting potatoes work well with meatloaf — baked potatoes or scalloped potatoes, for example.  In the photos in this posting you will see that I used riced potatoes.  Are you familiar with a potato ricer?  It looks like this:

Potato Ricer
Potato Ricer

Seriously, this makes the fluffiest potatoes.  The potato ricer operates on the same premise as a garlic press.  Simply place hot cooked potatoes into the perforated basket of the ricer.  The top handle of the ricer is fitted with a flat metal plate.  Pressing the two handles of the ricer together forces the flat metal plate to put pressure on the potatoes, forcing the potatoes through the tiny holes in the ricer.  When the potatoes are pressed through a potato ricer, this is what they look like:

Oh, and of course, we can’t leave out the mustard pickles!  The sharpness of the pickle flavour compliments meatloaf particularly well.

Here is the recipe for my meatloaf.  My featured Island product in today’s recipe is Island beef from KJL Select Meats butcher shop co-located with Riverview Country Market in Charlottetown, PEI.

[Printable recipes follows at end of post]

Glazed Meatloaf

1½ lb lean or extra-lean ground beef
2-3 tbsp grated onion
2 tsp prepared mustard
½ – 284ml can tomato soup (reserve remaining half can of soup for topping)
⅓ cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten with fork
2 tbsp dry onion soup mix
½ cup graham wafer crumbs
½ cup fine bread crumbs
¼ tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste


½ – 284 ml can tomato soup
1½ tbsp prepared mustard
1½ tbsp brown sugar
½ tbsp molasses
1½ tbsp balsamic vinegar

Assemble ingredients.

Meatloaf Ingredients
Meatloaf Ingredients

Preheat oven to 350º.

Line 9”x5” loaf pan with tin foil.  Grease or spray with cooking oil.  Lining the pan with foil makes it easier to remove the meatloaf and slice it.  It also makes clean up a breeze.

In large bowl, combine the first 12 ingredients and mix well.

Mixing ground beef, grated onion, mustard, and tomato soup
Mixing ground beef, grated onion, mustard, and tomato soup
Adding milk, eggs, dry onion soup mix, and graham cracker crumbs
Adding milk, eggs, dry onion soup mix, and graham cracker crumbs
Adding bread crumbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper
Adding bread crumbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper

Mix thoroughly.

Mixing Meatloaf Ingredients
Mixing Meatloaf Ingredients

Press meat mixture into prepared loaf pan.

Shaping the Meatloaf
Shaping the Meatloaf

Bake for one-half hour before adding sauce to top of meatloaf.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by mixing all 5 ingredients together.  Stir until well-combined.

Sauce for Meatloaf
Sauce for Meatloaf

After one-half hour, remove meatloaf from oven and spread sauce over meatloaf.  (I am not sure why the sauce differs in color in each of the photographs below but the color of it spread over the entire loaf in the bottom right-hand photo is the true color.)

Spreading Sauce on Meatloaf
Spreading Sauce on Meatloaf

Return loaf to oven and bake for 1 additional hour.

Baked Meatloaf
Baked Meatloaf

Let meatloaf rest in pan on cooling rack for at least 15-20 minutes or more before removing and slicing.  If you slice it when it is too hot, the slices tend to break apart.

Serve warm with your favorite potatoes and side vegetable(s).

This meatloaf freezes very well and is a staple in my freezer.  To reheat, remove meatloaf slices from freezer and allow to thaw.  Re-heat in covered casserole in microwave for a few seconds per slice.

Glazed Meatloaf

This moist and delicious Glazed Meatloaf is an old-fashioned comfort food. With its sweet and tangy glaze, this meatloaf makes a tasty meal, especially when served with a side of mashed potatoes and a favorite vegetable.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword meatloaf
Servings 6
My Island Bistro Kitchen My Island Bistro Kitchen


  • lb lean or extra-lean ground beef
  • 2-3 tbsp grated onion
  • 2 tsp prepared mustard
  • ½ - 284 ml can tomato soup (reserve remaining half can for topping)
  • cup milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten with fork
  • 2 tbsp dry onion soup mix
  • ½ cup graham wafer crumbs
  • ½ cup fine bread crumbs
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Topping:
  • ½ - 284 ml can tomato soup
  • tbsp prepared mustard
  • tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tbsp molasses
  • tbsp balsamic vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Line 9”x5” loaf pan with tin foil. Grease.
  3. In large bowl, combine the first 12 ingredients and mix well. Press into prepared loaf pan.
  4. Bake for ½ hour then spread topping over meatloaf. Return loaf to oven and bake for 1 hour.
  5. Serve warm with mashed potatoes and your favourite vegetable(s).

Recipe Notes

Yield: Serves 4-6

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