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Easy, Tasty, Spicy Meatloaf and Meatballs

This basic meat recipe can be used for both meatloaf and meatballs. The trick to making sure you don't serve a dry dish is to make sure you don't overprocess the meat and allow it to rest before cutting into it.

1-1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 large egg
1/2 cup tomato paste [for meatloaf]
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder [not salted]
1/2 tablespoon onion powder [not salted]
1/2 tablespoon oregano
1/2 tablespoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

Allow meat to thaw. In a mixing bowl, add meat and crumble gently with your hands being very careful not to mix it too long or press it too hard.

Crack open an egg and add to meat. Pour in oatmeal and all spices. Again, mix it very lightly with your hands. Don't handle the meat too long!

Cover meat with plastic and let sit overnight.

For meatloaf:

Preheat oven to 350. Put meat into a bread pan or meatloaf dish and shape. Put in oven and let cook for 45 minutes. Top it with 1/2 cup tomato paste and put back in oven for 5 minutes. Let sit for up to 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

For meatballs:

In a frying pan, grease liberally with a light oil and put heat on medium high. Shape meat into balls and place into the hot frying pan. Let the bottom brown and turn over. Add just enough water to barely cover the bottom surface of the pan and put a lid on it. Let it simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes and remove from heat. It is now ready to add to your recipes, eat alone, or let it cool so they can be frozen up to 3 weeks.

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