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  I had a dinner party and a friend brought me a present of fresh basil and fresh thyme (which you can see as garnish on top of the meat loaf).  This was amazing and could become a family favorite as far as tasty, flavorful and healthy meat loaves go.

You will notice that I use coconut flour for binding my meat loaf as well as eggs.  My ground beef is incredibly lean.  If yours is less so, you can double the coconut flour.  So, you can see breadcrumbs are not necessary.

I have to say I enjoyed making this meat loaf as it was so different to anything I have made before.  Look at those lovely basil leaves.  Ha!  I felt like a gourmet cook (I am so not!).  Ironically, had my youngest son shown more interest in continuing to cook, he was more of a gourmet-style cook.  His work writing science fiction makes it impossible for him to find the time, plus cooking is not his passion.  That makes the difference.  If one has passion for one's work, it will feel less like work and more like fun half the time.  Jonathan has a maid who does the cooking most of the time, and the other times, his wife does the cooking and baking, but, again, it is not her passion.

This is a very flexible meat loaf, as you can add your own filling or stuffing and roll it up, and bake!  Spinach leaves are another idea instead of basil leaves.

Don't be tempted to skip the Marinara Sauce.  This sauce adds a ton of flavor and is what makes this meat loaf so special, too.

More Meat Loaf Recipes to enjoy:

Meat Loaf with Apple and Mild Curry

Meat Loaf with Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Curried Meat Loaf Casserole - Bobotie

Double Bacon Cheddar Meat Loaf

French Onion Mozzarella-Stuffed Meat Loaf


2 tbsp olive oil (30 mL)

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 tsp minced garlic (5 mL)

2 lbs lean ground beef (0.9 kg)

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (60 mL)

2 tbsp tomato paste (30 mL)

1 tbsp coconut flour (15 mL)

2 eggs

11/2 tsp salt (7 mL)

1 tsp Italian seasoning (5 mL)

1/4 tsp black pepper (1 mL)

8 slices bacon, cooked soft

20 fresh basil leaves

11/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese (375 mL)

Marinara Sauce:

28 oz diced canned tomatoes (0.8 kg)

4 oz tomato paste (125 g)

1/2 cup water (125 mL)

Liquid sweetener to equal 2 tsp sugar (10 mL)

1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)

1/2 tsp dried basil (2 mL)

1/2 tsp dried oregano (2 mL)

1/2 tsp dried thyme (2 mL)

1/8 tsp black pepper (0.5 mL)


Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). 


In large frying pan, in olive oil and over medium heat, cook red pepper until soft.  Add garlic and cook 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow it to cool.


In large mixing bowl, mix ground beef, vegetable mixture, Parmesan cheese, tomato paste and coconut flour. In small bowl, beat eggs with salt, Italian seasoning and black pepper.  Add egg mixture to the meat and mix well.


Place large piece of parchment paper on countertop.  Pat meat mixture on parchment into a 9 x 15 inch (23 x 38 cm) rectangle. Top with bacon cut into pieces, basil leaves and then Mozzarella cheese.  Leave a 1-inch (2.5 cm) border all around.  Starting at the short end, roll jelly-roll style using the parchment paper to help.  Press top part to seal and press ends closed as well. 


Place meat loaf on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake 1 hour.  Let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.  Top with cooked marinara sauce.


Marinara Sauce:  In frying pan in olive oil, cook tomatoes, tomato paste, water, liquid sweetener, salt, basil, oregano, thyme and pepper. Simmer gently about 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened. Cool slightly. 

Yield:  10 servings

1 serving

377.3 calories

29.4 g protein

24.6 g fat

2.0 g fiber

7.6 g net carbs

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