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I’m really happy today. I’m only 600 grams away from the target weight I set for myself only 2.5 weeks ago, which means I’ve lost 3 kilos (about 6 pounds)! That’s pretty amazing if you ask me. It hasn’t been particularly hard, apart from the one day I wanted sushi and could only have sashimi, and the evening The Mister and I went out for dinner and his plate of chips (French fries) was sitting under my nose while I was eating plain grilled chicken. Hopefully the next phase which for me will last just over a month, will be as easy. I think that’s where most people give in to temptation!

Last week I was feeling adventurous, and fancied something different for dinner. The Dukan book has a recipe for meatloaf in it, so that gave me the idea to try my own version of this classic dish. The book version seemed ok, but I wanted to add my required daily dose of oat bran to the mix, since meatloaf normally includes bread. I also wanted to make it in the slow cooker, as my oven is currently on holiday. Temperatures here these days are crazy high, or at least the feels-like factor is, so the heat from the slow cooker is about as much as I can handle. I looked up a few recipes, and in the end decided to follow this one from the Betty Crocker site as a guide but with a couple of changes.

The result made me very happy indeed! I really love it when I experiment and get good results, it makes me feel very creative. The meatloaf was just right, but because this is a light (diet) version it’s not overly moist. In terms of the Dukan Diet, this can be eaten in all phases. Just make sure you calculate how much extra oat bran you need to eat on that day, so you reach the required 1 ½ or 2 Tbs. This recipe uses 2 Tbs for the whole thing, so if you eat half of it, you’ll want another ½ or 1 Tbs depending on which phase you are on.

Before moving on to the recipe, I have to also mention the fab idea I got from Stephanie O’Dea’s website, in the comment section. A reader sent her an email suggesting she uses an upside-down aluminium pan with holes punched in, to put the meatloaf on inside the slow cooker so the fat drains away from the meat. I used throw away aluminium muffin cups, placed upside down! Even better than a pan, because they fit in the insert easier. I made some holes, but I think next time I won’t bother, as most of the fat will drain away down the sides of the cups.

I should also mention that The Mister ate this happily, with mashed potatoes (*sigh*) and gravy (which I made from granules – it can’t all be from scratch!). So it’s definitely good enough for non-dieters!

So, here is my
Light Slow Cooker Meatloaf aka Dukan Slow Cooker Meatloaf
Serves 2 hungry people, or 3 less so

What you need:
500g minced/ground beef (as lean as possible)
1 small onion, minced or finely chopped
1 egg
¾ Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs chopped parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1/3 tsp mustard powder
2 Tbs oat bran soaked in 3 Tbs milk (0% for Dukan dieters) for a couple of minutes

What you do:

  1. In a large bowl mix beef, onion, egg, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, mustard and oat bran (spooned out of milk). Knead with your hands until just incorporated. Don’t over knead because apparently this makes the meatloaf denser.
  2. Check how moist the mixture is. If it’s not too wet, add a tablespoon or 2 of the milk which had the oat bran in.
  3. Put a meatloaf insert or upside down aluminium muffin cups into the slow cooker.
  4. Shape the meat mixture into a loaf and place on top of the insert/muffin cups. You can pop it directly into the slow cooker but there will be fatty juices accumulating around it during cooking. If you’re on a diet I suggest you elevate the meat so it’s drier.
  5. Cook it on low for 6-8 hours. I cooked it for 1 hour on high then switched to low for another 5. The meat will brown a little but not too much; it won’t look like it does in the oven! Check doneness with a food thermometer, which should read at least 160F.
  6. Let it rest for about half an hour before slicing.

Note: Most recipes I came across have ketchup or BBQ sauce spread on top during cooking. This wouldn’t be Dukan friendly so I didn’t do it. If you try it I’d love to know how it works out!