Eat More Kale (Meatloaf)

Are you familiar with the Vermont sensation (now worldwide…) that is EAT MORE KALE? About ten years ago, a small family farm in Vermont had a local t-shirt company design a shirt for them to wear at the farmers market … all it said was Eat More Kale. The first order was for two shirts – no intention of this shirt going “viral” so to speak… But it did. And, just because corporate America truly stinks sometimes (and yet another reason not to eat at Chik-Fil-A), this past year Chik-Fil-A sued and issued a cease and desist order to stop making these fabulous t-shirts. Do you know any awesome people from Vermont? If so, you can imagine just what this lawsuit did to t-shirt sales…

Down here in North Carolina, it is certainly time to Eat More Kale. Kale is wildly abundant at the farmers markets right now and it is a great crop to grow in your own winter garden. There are so many varieties and they are all good. Using kale in recipes is a great way to keep little hands busy in the kitchen – give them a bunch of kale leaves and allow them to help out by stripping the leaves from the stems. Early in the season, the kale stems are generally thin and not so bitter, but as the weather gets colder, the stems can get a little bit woodier and more bitter so you probably want to compost them or feed them to your dogs for an afternoon snack. (Yup. Even my dogs love kale.)

Taste testing…

I don’t think that I had made a meatloaf in over a year. We generally eat meat in much smaller doses, but when my friend told me she had made a kale meatloaf, I was intrigued. Why not put a bunch of kale in a meatloaf?! Yum. This meatloaf was super easy to make and all the kids loved it.

Ingredients: 

1 lb ground beef
1 lb pork sausage
2 eggs
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup almond meal (or breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup grated parmesan
2 handfuls (or more) kale, cut into small strips
Salt and pepper

Directions: 

Combine all ingredients including salt and pepper, but not the kale, in a large bowl. I usually mix this with my hands. Add in the kale after all the other ingredients have been combined well. Divide the meatloaf mix and put into loaf pans. I like to generously sprinkle some coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper over the top of my meatloaf before I put it in the oven. Cook at 350 degrees for about an hour. Enjoy!!

2 meatloaves … ready to be baked!

Notes about the meat … We don’t eat a lot of meat, but when we do it’s good … our ground beef is pasture raised, hormone and antibiotic free from Gilcrest Natural Farm and our ground sausage is super delicious from Charlene’s Garden out in Polk County. Buy good meat, it’s better for you and you will notice a difference in taste, I promise! 

Notes about freezing meatloaf… Although this recipe makes enough for two large meatloaves or a bunch of smaller ones, I realize that all of you are not trying to feed 6 or 7 people at one meal. Meatloaf is great for freezing! Meatloaf can be frozen baked or unbaked. If unbaked, you can cook it right out of the freezer for 90 minutes at 350 degrees. You will want to reheat a baked meatloaf also at 350 degrees but only for an hour. When my twins were little, I would freeze about 4 or 5 small bread pans at a time with meat loaf and have the sitter cook them up as needed.

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