Bacon Wrapped BBQ Meatloaf

Could that name BE more irresistible?

I think not.

This meatloaf came from my adventures in Redeeming Comfort Food.  Meatloaf is one of those comfort foods that are just down right satisfying.  I think at times meatloaf gets a bad rap as though it were something mundane. But if you’ve ever known a really GOOD meatloaf, you’ll know that it’s much more.

Growing up, my mom’s meatloaf was a standard around our house and loved by all.  It was her mom’s recipe and it was fabulous.  But I’ve long sought after a meatloaf recipe that was “real food” approved that had the same satisfaction power as Mom’s. It just couldn’t be beat.

However, with my thyroid condition and an overall desire to eat healthier, I’ve adopted a style of eating where we try to keep ingredients like wheat and dairy at a minimum. So it became a necessity to find that magic recipe that could hold up to the family tradition. So after much experimentation and many failed attempts…

I found it. A great meatloaf recipe. One worthy of my family legacy. But I wasn’t done yet. Anything worth doing is worth doing right. So I got serious and reached for two of the best ingredients in the kitchen.

Bacon & BBQ Sauce. 

No need to look further, this is the one. The magic recipe is right here.


Note: I typically double this recipe and put half in the freezer for another day, but for the sake of clarity and form, I will give amounts for a single recipe of this meatloaf. (This recipe feeds our family of two adults and two young children with leftovers for meatloaf sandwiches.)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. (Or if you’re like me, cooking in a wood cook stove with a broken temperature gauge, make your best guess.)

Finely dice carrot, celery, onion and garlic.  (The garlic was late to arrive and missed the photo op here.) 


Saute veggies with a little oil, thyme & salt until veggies are translucent and the whole thing is deliciously fragrant.

Meanwhile, back at the counter top, mix meat (beef, elk, moose, caribou etc.–I used caribou this time) with the remaining ingredients and add sauted veggies.

I highly recommend you mix your meatloaf by hand, otherwise it can turn out tough instead of tender. If you’re squimish… as my mom would say, “Oh well!” In other words, suck it up. 

**If you’re doubling the recipe, divide and put away half in a gallon sized zip top bag (with as much air expressed as possible. Press it flat (for easy stacking in the freezer.)

Form the other half of your meat into a loaf shape, and put it into your choice of pan.

Criss-cross (lattice style) your bacon strips across the top of your meatloaf, and it’s ready to pop into the oven.


After baking for 45 minutes, remove the meatloaf from the oven. Now is the time for the crowning glory (as if bacon alone wasn’t enough.) 


Baste all that bacon-y goodness with your choice of BBQ sauce. For this meatloaf recipe I prefer to usemy own Raspberry Chipotle BBQ sauce (something smoky, sweet & slightly fruity.)

Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes longer and it should look something like this.


Serve with additional BBQ Sauce on the side.

Bacon Wrapped BBQ Meatloaf

  • Servings: 6
  • Print

  • 1 1/2 lb ground red meat
  • 1 carrot, grated then finely diced
  • 2-3 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 med onion, finely diced
  • 2 Tbl minced garlic
  • 2 Tbl Oil (I prefer Avocado oil) for vegetable saute
  • 1 Tbl fresh Thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce, Liquid Aminos or Coconut Aminos
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk (or nut milk)
  • 1 cup of my GF Flour Blend (equal parts Almond flour, Coconut flour & Ground Flax meal) OR Bread Crumbs if not health conscious or Gluten Free.

Top with:

  • 6-8 strips bacon (nitrate free if health conscious)

*Home cured bacon puts this recipe OVER THE TOP!

  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce (if you are going for a healthy version use homemade or find a brand with NO High Fructose Corn Syrup.

*If you cannot, or choose not to, use BBQ Sauce in this recipe you can brush the bacon with real maple syrup before baking instead.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. 

Saute carrots, celery, onion, garlic & thyme in oil for 5-7 minutes. Remove vegetable mixture from heat and cool slightly. 

Mix all remaining ingredients (excluding bacon and bbq sauce until well mixed.

Form meat into a loaf and criss-cross the bacon in a lattice pattern across the top of your meatloaf.

Bake for 45 minutes, remove from oven and smother with BBQ sauce.

Bake an additional 20-30 minutes until meat in the center is hot and no longer pink.

My family LOVES this recipe and I hope yours does to!



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Taco Night!

Being raised in Southwest Colorado (with Eastern New Mexico roots) I am a bit spoiled when it comes to Authentic Mexican cuisine.

We are a long way from the Southwest now, but living in the remote interior of Alaska certainly isn’t going to keep us from our favorite foods.

One of our family favorites is, of course, the beloved Taco.


I mean, who doesn’t right?

Whether its corn tortillas, flour tortillas or jicama shells; ground beef, pulled pork, chicken or steak; pico de gallo, pickled onions, Asian slaw or taco sauce; no matter what you put them in, fill them up or what you top them with, Tacos are just about the best food there is.

While I love to try all kinds of variations of Tacos, the original, basic version of ground beef (actually Moose or Caribou in our case) and a corn tortilla is still probably my favorite. It feeds hungry hubby’s and kiddos in a jiffy and keeps everyone happy.

Whenever we have taco night, it is always made with my Homemade Taco Seasoning and Taco sauce.

In honor of Taco Tuesday, I wanted to share these SUPER easy recipes that will ensure you can have Taco night ANY night (not only when you’ve been to the store to buy Taco Seasoning and Taco Sauce.)

If you want to get the scoop on how enjoy Taco Tuesday (or any day) without packaged, processed ingredients look no further than these 3 links.

Easy Taco Sauce from Scratch

DIY Taco Seasoning Blend

Homemade, Traditional Refried Beans

DIY Taco Seasoning Blend

Taco Seasoning

Okay folks, this post is a super short one, no time to muddle around with a long winded explanation or story.  If you don’t already know about my love affair with Tacos, or why the super short post here, you can read the rest of my Taco Sauce recipe post here.

For now, I’m going to get right to business and share my homemade Taco Seasoning Blend recipe.

There is NO REASON to be wasting your money on those packages of Taco Seasoning from the grocery store again.  Seriously folks, keep your money, avoid the MSG and other processed ingredients and lets get back to basics.

I keep a jar of this seasoning mix on hand at all times.  It makes dinner such a cinch and I never have to worry about running to the grocery store.

Its also great to have on hand for Taco Soup when I need a REALLY fast meal.


So here you go.  Not much introduction or instruction needed.

Taco Seasoning Blend

  • 2 Tbl Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Tbl Garlic Powder or Granulated Garlic
  • 1/2 Tbl Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried pregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder or other thickener (cornstarch, flour, etc.)



Pork Fried Rice

Sometimes, the best things come from collaboration.  This recipe is one of those things.

My best friend and I rarely get to hang out and neither of us are “phone” people either so we end up going way too long without talking.  She only lives 45 minutes away but trying to overcome that distance and our schedules sometimes becomes nearly impossible.  So when we do have a day that we can make it work, we banish the kids to play in the other room, grab a cup of hot tea and debrief.

We never even make it to the couch, we just end up hovering over her kitchen island where spend the next 4 hours downloading all of our parenting struggles, crazy stories and random questions like “what have you been making for supper lately?’

This recipe came from one such conversation where we had both been making a fried rice style stir fry and I ended up combining the best of both versions to make something that my family LOVES.  It is an easy “go to” meal that really doesn’t even require a recipe or much thought at all but is a home run every time.

Pork Fried Rice4.jpg

First, begin by browning your choice of meat.  We typically use diced pork (because pork is something we tend to have a LOT of) but chicken works equally well.  This time were running a little low on pork chops to dice so I grabbed some pork sausage and it was fantastic.  Seriously people, use what you have on hand.  Don’t make an extra trip to the store.  This recipe has so many potential variations from the meat you can use to the vegetables that you choose.  Even your choice of garnishes are optional.  (Although the pistachios are pretty fantastic.)

Season your meat with a little salt and pepper and some granulated garlic, (but go easy on the salt, as you will be adding soy sauce or liquid aminos later.)

While your meat is browning, chop your vegetables, nuts and herbs.

Pork Fried Rice1

When the meat is done, remove from the pan and cook your veggies in that same pan (leave out the nuts and herbs.)  When the veggies are finished, add your meat back into the pan with rice and stir well.

*Note: I like to keep some extra, cooked brown rice in the freezer so that this recipe will come together easily. 

Add soy sauce or liquid aminos to taste and garnish each bowl with chopped pistachios and cilantro (or chives.)

Pork Fried Rice3

Pork Fried Rice

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 lbs Pork (diced or ground)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 4 oz mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cups zucchini, chopped small
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

Brown your meat and season your meat with salt and pepper and granulated garlic, (but go easy on the salt, as you will be adding soy sauce or liquid aminos later.)

While your meat is browning, chop your vegetables, nuts and herbs.

When the meat is done, remove from the pan and cook your veggies in that same pan (leave out the nuts and herbs.)  When the veggies are finished, add your meat back into the pan with rice and Stir well.  Add soy sauce or liquid aminos to taste and garnish each bowl with chopped pistachios and cilantro (or chives.)

*Potential variations:

You can use pork, chicken, I’m sure that even shrimp would be fantastic.

In place of the peppers, mushrooms and zucchini you can use a combination of peas and carrots (or really any other combination of vegetables you like.)

Another fun addition to this dish is 1 egg, scrambled, to be added at the end.

Trust me, this is simple meal that won’t disappoint.  I would love to hear about your variations and how it turned out!

Irish Stew with Colcannon & Whipped Horseradish Cream

Irish Stew_Ad

 Colcannon.  A yummy concoction of mashed potatoes, bacon, cabbage and leeks. 

And not JUST Colcannon… but Irish Stew served OVER Colcannon. 

Irish Stew OVER Colcannon TOPPED with whipped horseradish cream.


Comfort food in it’s most glorious form.

I am here to share the glory with you today, and it goes something like this…


The easiest way to start any recipe is “mic en place” (or for us down home cooks, “get yer stuff together”.)  This recipe has many components and the best way to simplify is to get all of your ingredients chopped, sliced and ready to go. 

Start your stew…


Make your Colcannon while the stew is going.


Now the third (and most epic) feature of this recipe, the whipped horseradish cream.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  Well, maybe it’s not a secret but I didn’t catch on to this until about 2 years ago so it was big news to me.  So here goes… if you want a great punch of flavor from your horseradish you need to add… wait for it…

Sugar.  Sugar makes the flavor of horseradish really pop. 


So now you have all your components and all you have to do is pile it up!


Colcannon, Stew, Horseradish Cream.  It’s a beautiful thing.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day, or Tuesday, any day really will be a happy day when this is in your belly. 😉

Irish Stew with Colcannon & Whipped Horseradish Cream


  • 2 lbs Stew Meat of choice
  • 1 lg onion
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 oz fresh or frozen green beans
  • 6 lg carrots, chopped
  • 1 lg bottle (mine was 1 pint 6 oz) Guinness or other dark beer
  • 1 qt Beef Stock
  • 2 Tbl tomato paste
  • 4 sprigs fresh herbs or 2 Tbl dried (I prefer rosemary and thyme for this recipe)

Saute onions and garlic until translucent, remove from pan and brown stew meat in batches (careful to not overcrowd.)  Season meat with salt and pepper while browning.  After meat is browned, deglaze pan with dark beer, scraping up any bits from bottom of the pan.  Add beef stock & tomato paste and adjust salt to taste.

*Note- Browning the stew meat in smaller batches is important. You don’t want to over crowd your pan when browning meat. If you do, the meat will essentially steam rather than getting that nice dark sear that you are looking for. Give the meat some space and room to breathe.
After your meat is browned, remove the last batch and deglaze the pan with a bottle of Guinness or other dark beer, scraping the bits from the pan as you stir. Add in your beef stock, tomato paste and all of your meat and vegetables. You can tie your herbs into a bundle with kitchen twine or if you aren’t fancy like that, just place them on top and kind of “smoosh” them down beneath the level of the broth.
See the recipe below for cooking times & methods.

Crock Pot: Add all ingredients to crock pot and cook on low 8 hours.

Instant Pot: Add meat to broth and pressure for 25 minutes, quick release pressure and add vegetables, pressuring for another 5 minutes.

Stove Top: Add meat to pan and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, add vegetables and simmer for another 30 minutes or until carrots are tender.


  • 8 oz diced bacon
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage OR Kale
  • 1 cup thinly sliced leeks (green onions will also do in a pinch)
  • 4 medium potatoes, mashed and seasoned to taste

Crisp bacon in skillet.  Remove from pan and saute cabbage and leeks until tender.  Fold bacon and vegetables into mashed potatoes.

Whipped Horseradish Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2-4 Tbl grated horseradish (to taste)
  •  pinch sugar
  • freshly cracked pepper

Whip heavy cream in a stand mixer with a pinch of sugar and some freshly cracked pepper.  When the cream is whipped to stiff peaks, fold in your grated horseradish. (Freshly grated horseradish is light and folds in nicely here, but if you are using horseradish from a jar, I suggest adding the horseradish during the whipping process.)

To Serve:

Fill bottom of bowl with Colcannon, ladle stew over the colcannon and top with a dollop of the horseradish cream.

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