Thursday, May 29, 2008


Meatloaf gest a bad rap sometimes. It can be horribly dry and/or horribly bland. You can imagine the challenge of trying to make a tasty low sodium meatloaf. Impossible? Not quite. But it takes some work.

I actually find meatloaf is a great thing to make. I can get dinners and sandwiches from it for several days. Usually I freeze half of it for future quick meals. One of the Cooking Forum members cooks her meatloaf in a square baking pan. Ever since I saw her pictures, I've been doing the same. The addition of lots of chopped vegetables helps the meatloaf stay moist and makes it pretty tasty.

Here's the recipe I use:

Low Sodium Meatloaf
(Printable Recipe)

1-1/2 to 2 lbs. ground meat (I usually use part beef and part ground pork)
1 8-oz. can NSA tomato sauce (Sometimes I use Trader Joe's no-salt-added marinara sauce or salsa)
1 c. oatmeal
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely grated
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp. Low Sodium Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. ground pepper

1/2 c. no-salt-added ketchup
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. horseradish
1 tbsp. prepared mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute vegetables in olive oil. In large bowl, combine meat, tomato sauce, oatmeal, egg, vegetable mixture, Worcestershire Sauce, thyme, and pepper. Mix thoroughly and press into square casserole. Combine glaze ingredients and pour on meatloaf. Bake for about 1 hour. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Notes: If I use Trader Joe's no-salt-added marinara sauce as the liquid, I'll also use it as the glaze. And I'll use 2 tsp. of Italian herbs instead of just thyme. If I use Trader Joe's no-salt-added salsa, I'll also use it as the glaze. And I'll add some chopped fresh cilantro to the meatloaf mix and substitute 1/2 tsp. cumin and 1 tsp. chili powder for the thyme.


OhioMom said...

I love "cold" meatloaf sandwiches :) One thing I think is important for cooks to learn is no/low salt doesn't necessarily mean "no taste".

Dan said...

when making a low sodium dietj for a heat patient, remember to keep the potassium low as well.

Making meatloaf, put in passover matzah, (the one that is unsalted) like Yahuda which is only 1.7 mg of sodium.

shambo said...

Dan, you're so right. Matzo -- either whole or in crumb form -- are a perfect solution. Most of them are either no sodium or very, very low sodium. So they are a good substitute for bread crumbs in meatloaf, meatballs, breading for crispy chicken or fish, etc.

Mary Burchett said...

I like the idea of leaving the ketchup out of the meatloaf. Not only is ketchup high in salt, but very high in potassium. My husband is a dialysis patient and needs lots of protein, but very little salt or potassium. I'm going to try this today.

shambo said...

Mary, you've hit upon a true conundrum when it comes to ketchup. The regular stuff is salty, as you mentioned. But the no salt Heinz (which is usually available at most grocery stores) is seasoned with a potassium chloride salt substitute. So it's not acceptable for those with kidney problems. And often, those suffering with kidney difficulties are also on salt restricted diets.

Hunt's no salt ketchup does not have any potassium chloride in it, so it would work. But it's difficult to find in my area. It can be ordered, however, from Healthy Heart Market. They're a good source for low sodium products, but the shipping costs can be a problem for some.