Tomato Basil Meatloaf

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2016/04/16 by nikkiledford

Today marks a very special anniversary. It’s been 6 YEARS since I began my journey down the “paleo” road. In the spring of 2009 I stumbled upon Mark’s Daily Apple and began reading his daily articles. I found the logic of ancestral eating very intriguing and proceeded to pre-order his new book, The Primal Blueprint. Once received, I spent a week reading the whole thing and decided to go ahead and try a month of purely Primal eating. The basic guidelines being this:

  • no grains
  • no legumes
  • no sugar
  • no “bad” fats (trans-fats, industrial oils)

I added in “no dairy” because I was already aware of my dairy-intolerance from a younger age. Even though Mark advocated for a little red wine now and then, I tended to be pretty conservative with my drinking so I kept the alcohol out as well.

In addition to the food changes, the Primal Blueprint also addresses some lifestyle factors like sleep, stress, and exercise. I stopped running all the time opting for lots of walks, yoga, and commuting to work on my bike. I stood while browsing on my computer instead of sitting in chairs or on the couch. I added in some sprinting. I decided to integrate more fun activities like volleyball, rowing, and tossing around the frisbee.

The results were incredible to me. After having a lifetime of difficulty with my digestion and losing weight, I found myself with a happier gut and looser pants. SOLD!

I never looked back, and even though my personal “paleo” diet has evolved to suit my body’s particular needs over the past 6 years, I continue to wholeheartedly recommend this eating strategy for anyone. It’s safe, nutrient-dense, avoid many of the common pitfalls of typical “dieting”.  It was so simple and straightforward. I almost cringe now when I see how many iterations of paleo/primal/ancestral diets are marketed to anyone and everyone all over magazines and the internet. It would be much harder to sort through the information as a real-food newbie these days.  Remember, eating real food can be very simple. There really isn’t any need for the average person to count macros, stress over organic vs. non-organic (at least in the beginning), or buy all the “paleo” products and kitchen gadgets.

Check out what Mark is up to and use his “search” function for any and all questions. I promise you, he has an answer for EVERYTHING.

Speaking of simple, this recipe is a great addition to your weekly meal prep. Just make a big loaf and heat as needed throughout your week! If desired, serve with some marinara sauce or bruschetta for an extra fresh and light veggie taste.

Tomato Basil Meatloaf

Tomato Basil Meatloaf

1 1/4 lb. ground turkey or chicken (dark meat is cheaper and will make a more moist loaf)
2 c. cauliflower rice, uncooked
1 c. almond meal
2 eggs
1/2 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp.
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

2 small heirloom tomatoes, sliced
4-5 fresh basil leaves, sliced thinly
2-3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar to drizzle

  1. Preheat oven to 400 and grease your glass baking dish (8×8 size would work well.)
  2. In a bowl, using your hands, combine all ingredients except for tomatoes, basil leaves, and balsamic vinegar.
  3. Press meat mixture into the pan evenly.
  4. Top will basil leaves, tomato, and balsamic olive oil.
  5. Bake for 30-40 mins until center is set and reaches 150 degrees (it will continue to cook when you take it out of the oven.
  6. Let cool a bit and serve up over a bed of arugula or spinach, with a splash of bruschetta, or some shredded organic mozzarella (if you’re cool with some dairy)!
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PUMPKIN FIG OATS //Caught some morning light on my morning bowl of goodness. I made this last week and it was so good (and loved by my child) that I made another batch! I don't know if it's the figs or golden raisins, the coconut milk or the collagen, or maybe it's the banana and the pumpkin that make this bowl of oats absolutely satisfying for a day of leading, teaching, cooking, sweating, loving, and seeking. 
#sometimesibreakfast #sometimesidont #glutenfreeoats #notpaleo #dairyfreeoats INGREDIENTS // one of my favorite activities is going out for coffee. For me, the sights, sounds, and smells of a coffee shop signal rest and I enter into a state of slowing down, more observing and less doing. Lately, I haven't been out to coffee too often because 1. It's expensive and 2. I don't tolerate dairy and I'm not much of a black coffee drinker so at most shops I'm limited to their dairy-free options. While it's nice to have nut milks available, I have discovered that all the other ingredients in these alternative drinks do NOT do my body any good. 
A solution to would be to bring my own homemade milk, but I don't always have some ready or I forget to put a bit in a small container (which then gives me the fun task of toting around a dirty jar in my car all day). These smaller bottles of almond milk are perfect for adding to my coffee when I'm out as most dairy-free milks come in huge cartons and are inconvenient for a coffee outing.  @popandbottle only uses basic, real food ingredients for their almond milk. They even sweeten it with a bit of date! 
I like to think that I always have a choice about what I put in my body. Sometimes I'll have to settle for black coffee, but if I plan a bit, I can still enjoy my coffee outings without ultimately compromising on what is best for me in the long run. SNACKS // kept it really simple today during meal prep. This is a tasty bowl of yams, banana, almond butter, and coconut flakes. FAST FOOD// Roasted all these veggies last night for a tasty quick lunch. Added a new find from Whole Foods. @goodlovinfoods lemon garlic dip. If you like bitchen sauce, you'll like this (!! bonus, they don't use any soy ingredients either !!)

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