crock-pot italian zucchini meatloaf – guest post

February 4, 2014  |  Main Course

Here’s a healthy recipe for crock-pot meatloaf with an Italian twist from guest blogger Olena of iFOODreal.com. She shredded zucchini to help to lighten-up this slow-cooker meatloaf recipe which means it’s gluten-free and low-carb.

crockpot Italian zucchini meatloaf recipe | Healthy Seasonal Recipes

My guest blogger this month is Olena from iFOODreal. I have been checking in on her blog regularly and I really love what she is doing. She has great clean and simple recipes, photos and a lot of super helpful tips for food bloggers that are not to be missed! She recently worked her tail off and published her very first e-cookbook! I am so in awe of her and really want to know where she finds all her energy! Please help me welcome Olena and be sure to follow her on social media. Twitter | Facebook | G+ | Pinterest

Olena of iFOODreal ~ Guest Post

Hi, guys. I’m so excited to be here and share my “different” recipe with you today. Just wait, I promise it works!

About me: I’m Olena, an author of iFOODreal - clean and simple recipes blog. I’m a mom to 2 little boys, wife and an avid fitness enthusiast. My life is busy or, to be perfectly honest, it’s crazy. If you are a mom and wife, I’m sure you can relate. As I like to say, I refuse to be unhealthy and support pharmaceutical companies. Therefore, I cook a lot. And it’s all clean and simple food. Today I will share one recipe with you – Crock Pot Italian Zucchini Meatloaf.
When Katie offered me to do a guest post at Healthy Seasonal Recipes, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I stumbled across Katie’s blog last year. I was blown away with her amazing healthy recipes and mouthwatering photography. The fact that she is a contributor to an Eating Well magazine, I mean a National magazine I read every month, and she is real and talking to me?! Whoa. It was pretty cool to meet you, Katie!:)

Anyways, back to the recipe. First of all, I never thought myself it is possible to make a meatloaf in a slow cooker. So, I understand how you might feel. Turns out it’s easier than you think. The key is to line the bottom of your crock pot with double or triple aluminum foil strips. This step ensures an easy meatloaf removal after it’s cooked.

Despite the most recent turkey trend, my meat choice was extra lean ground beef. Also lately, I have been cooking  with ground bison and venison a lot. Any game meat like elk, moose or deer will work. Yes, you can use ground turkey in place of red meat. The meatloaf will be more delicate, so be careful when handling. Not that it will fall apart, just saying. And another note, I always buy organic or local and humanely raised meat. Better for you and the environment.

Recently, I discovered the power of shredded zucchini using as a binder and moisturizer in place of breadcrumbs. I know, who would think?! Just make sure to squeeze the liquid really well with your hands. Works like a magic in meatloaf and meatballs recipes. It makes the meat moist and holds it together, without adding extra calories. And your kids won’t even know they are eating vegetables. Even if it’s a little bit, I’ll take that.

To give the meatloaf an Italian flare, I used simple seasonings that you most likely have in your pantry/fridge – dried herbs, balsamic vinegar and fresh Parmiggiano Reggiano (or simply Parmesan cheese). The topping is optional but truly makes this meatloaf exceptional. Skip it to further reduce the amount of calories. I personally do not mind a tiny bit of organic ketchup once in a while.:)

I hope you enjoy this Crock Pot Italian Zucchini Meatloaf and let me or Katie know how it turns out. This recipe comes from my new 30 Clean Quick Dinner Recipes eBook that contains plenty of crock pot, vegetarian and gluten free recipes. It is also 20% off for a limited time.

30 Clean Dinner Recipes eBook by Olena Osipov

crockpot italian zucchini meatloaf – guest post

Makes: 10 servings

Serving Size: 1/10 meatloaf, 1 slice

Calories per serving: 214

Fat per serving: 12.4

crockpot italian zucchini meatloaf – guest post

Healthy and simple CrockPot Italian Meatloaf recipe with shredded zucchini in it, gluten-free, low carb and grain free.

Ingredients

    For Meatloaf:
  • 2 lbs ground beef or bison, extra lean
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1 cup zucchini, shredded and liquid squeezed out (with hands)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp oregano, dry
  • 2 tbsp minced dry onion or onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking coconut oil spray
  • For Topping:
  • 1/4 cup ketchup, low sodium (organic)
  • 1/4 cup Mozzarella cheese, low fat
  • 2 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped

Instructions

    Prepare Meatloaf:
  1. In a large bowl, add all ingredients for meatloaf and mix thoroughly with your hands to combine.
  2. Line the bottom of a large slow cooker with double folded aluminum foil, criss cross. Make sure to make the flaps, so it will be easy for you to lift the meatloaf once it's ready. Spray the bottom with cooking spray.
  3. Place the mixture in crockpot and using your hands shape it into meatloaf. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours.
  4. Top Meatloaf:
  5. Spread ketchup on top of meatloaf and sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove meatloaf from the slow cooker, garnish with parsley, cut into 10 slices and serve warm with whole wheat spaghetti or quinoa. Any whole grain side would work.

Notes

Storage Instructions: Refrigerate covered for up to 3 days or freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month. • Cholesterol: 97.5 mg • Sodium: 310.9 mg • Total Carbs: 3.4 g • Dietary Fiber: 0.1 g • Protein: 20.7 g • WW Points+: 5

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This recipe and images were published with the permission of and belong to Olena Osipov of iFOODreal, www.ifoodreal.com. Copyrighted and all rights reserved. Please do not republish any content on this post without the permission of the author.


11 Comments


  1. Such a delicious, easy recipe! Thanks for sharing – awesome guest post!
    Shashi recently posted…Black Lentil SoupMy Profile

  2. I love the idea of using zucchini instead of bread crumbs. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Now that I sat down after making 2 cauliflower crust pizzas (not a walk in the park, at all) I realize it must be huge LOVE for cooking. And besides that lots of coffee, workout and beauty sleep from 10PM. Thanks for hosting me and my “crazy” recipe, Katie!:)
    Olena recently posted…Crock Pot Italian Zucchini Meatloaf & 20% OFF my eBookMy Profile

  4. looks awesome, I love zucchini!
    Christine recently posted…Shaved Brussels Sprouts & Prosciutto FusilliMy Profile

  5. What a wonderful meatloaf. Looks tasty! Great post Katie & Olena.

  6. It is really a delicious recipe! And I will try it. I like the idea of zucchini instead of bread crumbs too.
    Wendy William recently posted…3 Reasons to Say no to Junk FoodsMy Profile

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