All thanks to three beautiful women -- Janet & Greta Podleski and my wife Francine.
Francine, who had never made meatloaf before, decided to try the meatloaf recipe from Janet & Greta's third cookbook "Eat, Shrink & Be Merry! :Great tasting food that won't go from your lips to your hips.
This book follows their first book Looneyspoons: Low-Fat Food Made Fun and their second Crazy Plates: Low-Fat Food So Good, You'll Swear It's Bad For You -- as the subtitles reveal, all of their cookbooks are healthy recipes that are presented in a zany and entertaining fashion. Not only are the recipe titles and descriptions funny, but there are accompanying cartoons (by Ted Martin), quotes, quizzes, trivial tidbits and intriguing sidebar articles that help make the reading of the cookbook just as much fun as actually trying and tasting the recipes.
In fact, I've never had so much fun reading a cookbook cover to cover. In all honestly, the only cookbooks that I've EVER read cover to cover are the three by these brilliant ladies.
But back to the meatloaf.
The recipe, which appears on page 136 of Eat, Shrink & Be Merry! is called "All You Need Is Loaf (easy weekday meat loaf with barbecue sauce)" and the following description:
Loaf, loaf, loaf. Tired of the same ol' song and dance for dinner Eight Days a Week? Don't worry, We Can Work It Out. Here's some Help!: A recipe you just can't Beatle -- especially after A Hard Day's Night. Sure to Please Please everyone.
Anyone who knows my fondness for quoting from song lyrics and bad puns would recognize why I would want to read a cookbook cover to cover. But the rest of the recipe (which I won't quote here - sorry, you're going to have to buy the book, check out their website or check out their new television program) is simple and straightforward and is something even I could follow.
And, as I said, was simply the best meatloaf I've ever tasted. Evidence for that is the fact I didn't use a single drop of ketchup while eating the meatloaf. (Yes, another tell for anyone who knows me -- I eat ketchup with pretty much ANYTHING -- not to mask the taste, but because I'm a bit of a sauce fiend. My food has GOT to have sauce on it.) But when I first tasted the meatloaf, it was moist and delicious, and the barbecue sauce flavour in it was perfect -- so I ate it plain and loved it.
For more sampling of the fun and interesting reading provided by these two marvelous ladies, you can check out their blog. Their website does also include some sample recipes.
Of course, I not only admire these ladies for the products they have produced and the fun they inject into healthy cooking, but the story of how they achieved their success, the ultimate risks and incredible uphill climb against all odds when they decided they were going to self-publish their "Low-Fat Food Made Fun" cookbook that not a single publisher thought would go anywhere is truly inspiring. And you can read the full story (told much better through their own words) on their website here.