Seasonal Chef: What’s for Dinner?


What’s for dinner? I ask myself that question frequently, as I am sure you do too. When I get to Wednesday it’s pretty much time for take-out. Facing a mid-week “blah” in front the stove at 7:00 in the evening can be a chore for all of us.

Lets face it, eating out every night doesn’t make sense either. There is something very primal about cooking your own meal  even if it’s a quick one. Putting together something in under an hour, while enjoying a glass of wine, can be simply perfect.

Seasonal Chef Maria Reina meatloaf filling

With that in mind, I thought I would devote the first Wednesday of the month in my blog to a series called: What’s for Dinner? My parameters will be as follows: 1) something that can be cooked in about an hour; 2) using minimal ingredients, 3) and the possibility of leftovers for another night a big plus. This particular recipe uses leftover ingredients. (I am always trying to repurpose things in the fridge.) It’s tasty and dramatic when it’s all said and done.

Click this link to: read more about my inspiration for this dish and how to make it.

Buon appetito!

One year ago: Mixed Grains with Butternut Squash
Two years ago: Cooking Dry Beans
Three years ago: Halibut with a Thai Twist

Seasonal Chef Maria Reina Meatloaf with a Twist

Easy Mid-week Meatloaf
Serves 4

1 lb. of good quality ground meat
1 beaten egg
2 tablespoons of chimichurri spice blend
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
2 cups sautéed spinach or another green vegetable
3 hard boiled eggs, left whole or sliced
4 cups of marinara sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Place a piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board and set aside.
2. Gently combine the meat, egg, spice blend and teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Press out flat on the plastic wrap in a rectangle, about 1” thick.
3. Spread out the spinach over the meat. You can line up the eggs whole, or slice them, which ever you prefer. Using the plastic roll the meat into a log and pinch the seam and sides closed.
4. Roll the log on to a foil or parchment lined baking sheet and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the meat registers 160. Remove and cover with foil for a few minutes. (See note.)
5. Cool slightly and slice. Serve with a warm marinara.

Cooks Note: Carry over cooking will bring the meat to 165.


About Author

Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She's an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmer's markets, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook (Bella Cucina Maria), Twitter (Bellacucinam), Instagram (Bellacucinam) and Pinterest (Bellacucinam).

1 Comment

  1. Hi Maria: this seems very much like my cookbook recipe for stuffed meatloaf, which was my grandmother’s.

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