August 24, 2016

Mini Meatloaf Pepper Rings

I love a good meatloaf but have never, ever been able to make a fantastic traditional, full-size meatloaf. It never cooks completely in the center, the edges are crispy, or something just isn't right with it. Thus, my love for the mini meatloaf. I mean, isn't most food better in smaller, pre-portioned sizes?

These mini meatloaf pepper rings are awesome for several reasons.
- They meet my cute mini pre-portioned criteria.
- Because of the smaller size, it doesn't take as long to cook as a large meatloaf.
- The flavor from the bell pepper ring cooks into the meatloaf.
- It makes such a colorful meal!
- And best of all, clean up is a cinch using the pepper ring instead of a muffin pan like most mini meatloaf recipes. Can I get an amen for not having to soak a muffin pan?!
I combined a few recipes and tailored for our needs. Since my Little Guy has several food allergies, Gluten Free and Vegan ingredient options are provided in parenthesis.
Let me know what you think and if you have any other creative ideas for this recipe!

2 lbs ground beef
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz can tomato puree
1 egg (or 1 Tbsp The Perfect Egg Vegan Substitute)
1/2 cup quick oats (or Bob's Red Mill GF Quick Oats)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 black pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
4 medium to large bell peppers (red, yellow, orange, or green)
1 1/2 Tbsp grapeseed oil

1. Cut off tops and bottom of peppers. Reserve for later. Remove ribs and seeds from peppers. Slice peppers into 2 - 3 rings each. Line a pan with parchment paper and place pepper rings on it. Dice the reserved pieces of peppers.
2. Combine ground beef, onion, garlic 1/2 cup tomato puree, egg, oats, salt, pepper, and oregano. Go ahead and mix that up with your hands. Nothing works better than hands to mix meatloaf.
3. Now, stuff the pepper rings with meatloaf mixture.
4. Heat 1 Tbsp in large cast iron skillet and transfer stuffed pepper rings from pan.
5.  Brown the stuffed pepper rings for about 5 minutes on each side. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may have to do a couple batches. If you aren't using an oven safe dish, transfer to a casserole dish at this time.
6. Once browned, spoon remaining tomato puree over the stuffed pepper rings.
7. Bake at 375 for 25-35 minutes.
8. While stuffed pepper rings are baking, heat the remaining 1/2 Tbsp oil in a small pan. Saute the reserved, diced peppers.
9. Top each stuffed pepper ring with sautéed diced peppers.

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