Easy Home Style Meatloaf


Servings - 10  Serving Size - 1/10th of recipe   Points Plus per Serving - 5 Points+
Calories - 200.1,   Total Fat - 7.7g,   Carb. - 9.6g,   Protein - 21.9g,   Fiber - 1g

2 lbs. lean ground beef (93% lean)
3 slices of reduced calorie whole wheat bread
1 cup Birdseye® Recipe Ready® chopped green peppers and onions*
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup 1% milk
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt and fresh ground black pepper, to your liking
few dashes of hot sauce (optional)

for the topping:
1/4 cup ketchup
few dashes of hot sauce

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lift the top off of a broiler pan and line the bottom of the pan with foil. (for easy clean up)  Replace grated top, and spray with cooking spray.  (if using the lean ground beef, there will be little drippings, but this way of cooking it, assures no fat stays around the meat loaf.  I stole this tip from Pioneer Woman, and have been using it ever since I discovered it!) 
2.  In food processor, grind up the bread to make bread crumbs.  You can also just tear the bread into small pieces.  This works fine.  Using a food processor makes the bread crumbs smaller and more even, giving the meatloaf a more homogenous appearance. I prefer to put them in the food processor.  Pour the bread crumbs into a large mixing bowl.  
3.  On top of the bread crumbs, add the milk and let it soak in for a few minutes.  
4.  Add the ground beef, frozen vegetables* (if using fresh vegetables, be sure to saute them and allow them to cool before adding to the meat) , garlic, 1/2 cup ketchup, eggs, thyme and salt and pepper and hot sauce, if using to the milk/bread crumbs mixture.  Mix just until combined.  (I use my hands)  DO NOT OVER MIX.  (over mixing makes a tough meatloaf)
5.  Form into loaf on prepared broiler pan.  Combine the 1/4 cup ketchup and hot sauce.  Spread on top and sides of meatloaf.  ( I don't mind doing this at the beginning, some may want to wait to do this topping step when the meatloaf is almost done.  Your choice.)  
6.  Bake in 350 degree F oven for about an hour and 10 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.  Allow the meatloaf to "rest" loosely covered in foil for about 10-15 minutes before slicing it.