Grass-fed or pastured meat patties are a staple in the Autoimmune Paleo world. Even given the severe restrictions of the diet, there are lots of options for seasoning and enhancing a meat patty. Herbs, veggies, non-nightshade and non-seed spices. So I found it frustrating when the first couple of recipes I followed didn’t turn out that great. Sure, I may have overcooked one batch a bit, but I am far from a perfectionist in the kitchen. Perfection is just never going to happen for me. Sometimes, the oven timer goes off and I don’t get there to take out whatever’s baking until half an hour later. Thank goodness my oven automatically shuts off when the time’s up, otherwise I probably would’ve burned the house down by now. But my point is, grass-fed ground beef is typically leaner and seems to be slightly more finicky than conventional meat, meaning a few minutes overdone yields a rock hard meat patty. But there is a very simple, and extremely nutritious solution… add tons of veggies! Finely diced onions, grated carrots and zucchini, minced garlic, chopped mushrooms, pureed squash or plantain… anything that has it’s own moisture will impart all that nutritious juicy-ness to the meat patty, whether it’s a hamburger, a breakfast sausage, or a meat loaf. This revelation led me to create my first original recipe. I guess it’s not TOTALLY original, because the foundation for the tomato sauce ingredients came from Against All Grain’s Tomato-less Meat Sauce Recipe. Once I figured out how to make a nightshade free “tomato” sauce, adding it to the meat patties along with a plantain “binder” (since I can’t use eggs or any type of breadcrumbs) to make it all taste like tomatoey meatloaf goodness was just intuitive. So, without further ado….
Autoimmune Paleo Friendly Meatloaf Patties (can also be made into muffins or an actual meatloaf, just increase cooking time)
1 small or 1/2 large beet
1 green plantain
4 cloves garlic
1 onion, chopped
1 pound of grass-fed ground beef
salt to taste
For the “tomato” sauce, add the beet, carrots, plantain, garlic, and salt to a vitamix or other high powered blender or food processor. Process at low speeds, using the tamper tool (or stopping to scrape down the sides often) to get all bits incorporated. Some small chunks are OK.
Mix the sauce with the ground beef and chopped onion. I use my hands. There’s just no easier way to get it all mixed in. The mixture should be very moist.
Form into 12 patties and place on a cookie sheet or muffin pan. Bake at 415 for 40 minutes. (or 350 for about an hour, or 400 for 40 minutes, or any of these temperatures and times and then just let them sit when the timer goes off until you can finish cleaning the pee off the floor from your potty training toddler and hopefully remember to wash your hands before removing your dinner from the oven). You could also easily cook them in a frying pan on the stovetop. No matter what you do, these patties will be moist and yummy!
Serve on a bed of mashed cauliflower with a side of broccoli, or on a bed of salad greens with a side of sweet potato fries… or for breakfast along with a green smoothie. Here it is on spring mix salad greens with rutabaga fries. This is my comfort food. Mmmmmmm.
If you don’t like beets, this is a great way to sneak them in. My husband hates beets. I don’t get it. They’re sweet and earthy and delicious. But I know they take some getting used to, and apparently some people, like my husband, don’t ever get used to them. But he gobbled up these meatloaf patties and wanted more. I don’t think he even realized there were beets in there. Beets are an AMAZINGLY nutritious vegetable and have LOADS of health benefits. Check out this link for reasons to work beets into your diet. Along with the carrots and plantain, these patties become extremely nutrient dense. And you don’t even feel like you’re eating a vegetable! Can’t beat that!