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This month’s column consists of two recipes and make up, what I call, my Mediterranean Dinner. The first is an Italian Meat Loaf, and accompanying it is the recipe for a Greek Vegetable Medley called Briami (but who would remember that). These dishes are especially helpful for those suffering from cancer and can be made for sharing or giving to your neighbor or friend to help them through a difficult time. I have found that the cookbook “Cooking for Zita” contains so many nutritious recipes for all meals and use common ingredients and take little preparation. Even though we are retired, our time seems to slip away from us. Hope you enjoy these selections.

Italian Meat Loaf

(About 10 servings)

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground chuck

1 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed

1 yellow onion, chopped

5 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups seasoned breadcrumbs

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons mixed oregano, thyme and basil

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup V-8 juice

1/2 cup dry red wine

2 cups fresh basil, chopped

4 to 6 oz. oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained

16 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded or thinly sliced

Hot tomato or spaghetti sauce for top

Method:

  1. Mix the first 8 ingredients in a bowl. Add the eggs, V-8 and wine; mix well.
  2. Cover a cookie sheet (12 x 15) with waxed paper and spread the meat mixture on the paper.
  3. Arrange the chopped basil over the surface. Sprinkle the sun-dried tomatoes and ¾ cup of the cheese on top.
  4. Roll up as for a jellyroll from a short end, using the paper as an aid and peeling back as you roll.
  5. Place the meat seam side down on a foil-lined cookie sheet.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and bake for another 10 minutes so the cheese will melt.
  8. Cut into slices and serve with the topping sauce.

Briami (Greek Baked Vegetable Medley)

Ingredients:

6 small zucchini, sliced

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes

1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

4 garlic cloves, sliced

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1 green bell pepper, cleaned, quartered and thinly sliced

1 handful parsley, chopped

½ cup olive oil

½ cup hot water

Oregano to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to mix.
  2. Place in a large baking dish.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees for 1-1/2 hours or until the vegetables are tender, stirring frequently.