No Pasta? No Pizza? No Problem.

Methadone Meatloaf

A low-carb lifesaver for those of us craving pizza and spaghetti

I have never been more than a few pounds over weight, but after a year of marriage my pants were getting too tight and realized that I was eating a lot of starch in place of vegetables. A friend had lost several pounds on the Atkins diet and I became curious about the mechanisms of low-carb dieting. I figured I couldn't criticize something I hadn't read, so I started reading. I very shortly realized that Atkins was preaching exactly what my mother had told me all my life: natural fats won't hurt you; sugar and starch will. And eat your veggies.

Of course, hard-core low-carb dieting is pretty tough. So much of what holds our meals together is comprised of starches, and even I've been known to break down and binge on pizza occasionally. I'm always sorry afterwards, but it happens. So I made up this Italian-flavored meatloaf to curb the urge. It's quick, cheap, and gooooood.

Make the meat loaf

2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup (or more) finely chopped sweet bell peppers, any color
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, chopped fine
1/4 to 1 tsp each (according to taste) salt or seasoning salt, black pepper or seasoned pepper, basil, oregano, paprika, and/or an Italian herb blend
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats (Note: whole oats have some carb content but are fairly high in fiber and vegetable fat. If you are on a really strict low-carb diet, you can omit these and the additional liquid or tomato juice.)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
1/4 cuptomato juice or other liquid

In the last ten minutes of baking time: