Nothing says "comfort food" more than a delicious meatloaf served with mashed potatoes. Trader Joe's makes it easy and affordable with their Traditional Meatloaf and frozen Mashed Potatoes. I added their fresh organic green beans to nutritionally balance the meal.
The beef meatloaf is a perfect balance of meat, seasonings and breadcrumbs resulting in a tender and flavorful main dish. The tomato sauce that is on top of the meatloaf is just enough to delight those who enjoy a tomato sauce. For those who prefer a brown gravy, you can easily remove enough of the tomato sauce and add your own brown gravy without jeopardizing the integrity of the meatloaf.
Ready made mashed potatoes are numerous, but I have never found one good enough that could justify the time saving aspect verses the great tasting aspect to make me give up making mine from scratch. Now I have found one. The frozen mashed potatoes from Trader Joe's come in frozen medallions of mashed potato. Picture making mashed potatoes, then filling each compartment of a mini muffin tin with the mashers, freezing them and then popping them out and storing in the freezer for later use. They are great as is, or add some butter, cream, milk, garlic or your favorite spice to jazz them up.
This meal can be prepared in as little as 6 minutes if you slice off a portion of the meatloaf and microwave it for 45 seconds and use the microwave to heat the potatoes. The directions indicate heating the entire meatloaf in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or in the microwave for 6 to 7 minutes. I have heated the meatloaf both ways, with equally good results, but I enjoy the aroma of the meatloaf heating that lingers in the kitchen when using the oven method. The mashers are ready in about 5 minutes for 2 servings using the microwave. I prefer to heat the potatoes on the stove top because it gives me the opportunity to easily add butter, milk or cream and garlic to the potatoes as they heat, and of course, taste them often. Yum! A fresh vegetable can be steamed on the stove top while everything else is microwaving or microwaving while everything else in on the stove or in the oven. Your choice!
The cost of this meal is very reasonable at $13.47 for at least 5 servings. The meatloaf costs $7.99 and offers 5, 5 oz. servings. It has a shelf life in the fridge of about one week to ten days and can be found in the refrigerated ready-made meal section of Trader Joe's. Although there isn't anything on the meatloaf box indicating it can be frozen, I have frozen it before (for a couple of weeks) and it came out just as good after I defrosted it in the microwave and followed the heating instructions. The potatoes, which cost $2.49 for 7 servings, are kept frozen and have a long shelf life. The bag I bought in June has a sell by date of 18 months in the future. They are in the frozen vegetable section at Trader Joe's. I added fresh organic green beans at a price of $2.99 for a 1 lb. bag which I also purchased at Trader Joe's.
So, if you need a comfort food fix and find yourself short on time, give these Trader Joe's items a try. The total cost to serve 5 is less expensive than what it would cost to serve 5 from a fast food chain. Enjoy!
Your Shopping List:
- Trader Joe's Traditional Meatloaf in a classic tomato sauce
- Trader Joe's Mashed Potatoes 28 oz bag
- Organic Green Beans or fresh vegetable of your choice