Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Let stand at room temperature while oven preheats; bake until an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F, about 1 hour.
Tips: Look for hoisin sauce, a thick, dark brown, spicy-sweet sauce made from soybeans and a complex mix of spices, in the Asian section of most supermarkets. Try it in stir-fries and dipping sauces.
For perfectly cooked brown rice, use a pan with a tight-fitting lid, cook on your coolest (or simmer) burner and simmer the rice at the “lowest bubble.” One cup dry rice, cooked with 2 1/2 cups water, yields about 3 cups cooked rice. If you want to make a smaller batch (starting with less than 1 cup dry), we've found that smaller volumes of whole-grain rice are sometimes done in as little as 30 minutes and burn when cooked for the full recommended time of 50 minutes. Start checking a smaller batch after 30 minutes to make sure it doesn't burn.
Loaf Pan Variation: If you want a more uniform-shaped “loaf” you can bake your meatloaf in a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan instead of on a baking sheet. Coat the pan with cooking spray, pat the meatloaf mixture into the pan and cover with the topping. Bake for about 1 hour. Let stand for 10 minutes in the pan before slicing.
Easy cleanup: Recipes that require cooking spray can leave behind a sticky residue that can be hard to clean. To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you apply the cooking spray.
1 vegetable, 2 1/2 lean meat, 1/2 fat