My inspiration for this recipe was the sad news that the Ringling Barnum & Bailey Circus is shutting down for good after 146 years! Their last show is next Sunday and it's going to be on Facebook Live. The downfall of the Ringling Barnum & Bailey Circus was their treatment of the animals that performed in the circus, most notably the elephants. When they stopped using elephants in the circus, ticket sales declined drastically. Due to their numerous complaints by animal activist groups, I've decided to be a bit cheeky and make this meatloaf vegan, so no animals were harmed in the making of this meatloaf.
It's sad to think that when future generations of think of the word "circus", they'll think of Washington politics and not actual family-friendly entertainment that was wholesome.
I remembered going to the circus when I was 7, but it wasn't the one that's closing down next weekend, it was some smaller promotion. Still, I recall sitting on the ground in the front row of the gym at a local junior high school seeing actual elephants and eating animal crackers. I also leaving the show early since the clowns freaked me out(they still do to this day and if Kaboom cereal was still made, I would've used it in this meatloaf).
Another fond memory I have of the circus is the Kidsongs VHS tape called "A Day at the Circus" that I watched as a kid(and like all the other old Kidsongs shows, is on YouTube for your viewing pleasure today). It's sad that the circus in the sense in that video is soon to be obsolete.
Like all my other videos, I've learned something- in this case that cotton candy and vegan franks are disgusting.
I went to a friend's birthday party when I was 9 and I recall them having a cotton candy machine, but not being allowed to eat cotton candy by my mom because of its zero nutritional value. Well my mom was right and I didn't miss much by not eating cotton candy for all these years- it's like eating a sweet pillow, which is an extremely off-putting texture to me when it comes to food. I(like most human beings) don't eat pillows, therefore I don't eat cotton candy.
As for the vegan franks, they tasted too artificial, to the point where they tasted too much like a meat-based frankfurter and it was almost like eating a basketball(which most humans don't eat either). It didn't help the franks were rubbery in texture too.
Apart from the disgusting "franks", which I chucked after the meatloaf was done cooking, this meatloaf has a lot of filler from the pretzels, chips, and crackers in it. But the ketchup and mustard made this meatloaf delicious!
My dad liked the meatloaf, even though he couldn't put his finger on what he was tasting.
You will need:
For the cooking equipment:
A large bowl
A loaf pan
Nonstick cooking spray
A baking tray(optional)
For the meatloaf:
2/3 tbsp. onion powder
2/3 cups applesauce
1/4 cup peanuts
1 funnel cake(or caramel rice cake, if you're lazy like me- they're pretty much the same circular shape), crumbled into small pieces
1 cup popcorn
1 soft pretzel, crumbled into small pieces
1 oz. cotton candy, broken into smaller pieces
Pinch of garlic powder
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup's worth of crushed vegan nacho tortilla chips
1/2 cup's worth of crushed animal crackers
12 oz. vegan ground beef
2-3 vegan franks(optional)
1. Put all the ingredients except the vegan franks into a large bowl. Mix all the ingredients up until you get a firm meatloaf mixture.
2. Spray the inside of a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Put half the meatloaf mixture into the loaf pan. Top that meatloaf mixture with the vegan franks and top the franks with the rest of the meatloaf mixture.
4. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place onto a baking tray(optional). Bake the meatloaf in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 60-65 minutes.
5. Bon appetit!