Bison and Venison Meatballs with a Roasted Beet Salad Dressed with a Yuzu Poppy Agave Dressing

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One of my new years resolutions was to be more aware of where ALL of my food comes from. Over the past few years I have really begun to notice little things here and there that are just not quite right with the food that’s out there on grocery shelves. I have always been a label reader and have made conscious decisions about what I purchase but even then I find myself surprised in the results of companies that are clearly being deceitful. For instance the other day I decided I would boil some eggs to have as a snack for last week with lunch… When boiling them, my “brown” (supposedly cage free) eggs starting peeling off this brown paint like film- it was then apparent that these eggs have been bleached and then dyed brown to look more natural… REALLY?!? Is that what the consumer is paying about $1.50-$2.00 extra for? WOW…

There are so many mis-labled food items out there whether it be “Organic” (theres are so many variations of ‘Organic’), “All Vegetarian Diet” (Lot’s of GMO corn counts), “Free-Range” (free to roam in there 5×5 pen with other chickens), “Fat Free” (may as well replace that term with 50+ ingredients, 40 of which you cannot even give a definition for), and my all time favorite “All Natural” this is the biggest crock of shit term ever coined whether it’s on human food or animal food! I recently bought some “All Natural” dog ย jerky treats that I come to find out were made in China and are killing dogs due to the way the process the chicken… I could go on and on. The best thing you can do is educate yourself and make educated purchases when it comes to you and your families food.

So I have decided the best way to be aware of what I eat is by shopping local as much as possible and staying away from processed food items when at all possible. In Austin we are lucky to have so many great Farmer’s Markets at our dispense selling everything under the sun. I used to do workshare for Johnson’s Backyard Farm last year where I’d work for 5 hours and then get a large share of veggies. I really liked being a part of where the food I eat comes from! So now that I’ve moved to Lago Vista I just went ahead and became a member of the farm so I can pick up my produce on weekends! It’s really good to eat seasonally and locally – it tastes better, you know where your food was grown, and you support your community.

Click here to join the Johnson’s Backyard Farm

I’m going to share a recipe with you that uses nothing but fresh organic food and humanely processed meats. I hope you enjoy!

Prep: 20

Cook Time: 1 hr 30 min

Serves: 4

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb venison sausage, ground (Thanks Liz and Kyle, I love you and your love for good food).
  • 1/2 lb bison, ground
  • 2 C. whole wheat bread crumbs ( I made my own bread, served the rest with dinner and took the neighbors a loaf).
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 TBS. fresh parsley
  • 5 large spinach leaves, chiffonade
  • 1 green onion, chopped (the whole the green and scallion).
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 farm fresh egg
  • 1 TBS butter
As a side note….Fennel would go great in these meatballs as well, I always do sausage and fennel so I wanted to do something different this time.

Instructions:

  1. Pre-Heat Oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix everything from above together minus the butter. Form into 10-12 balls.
  3. Heat large skillet with butter on medium high, cook for 2 min on each side, browning the balls on most sides. 5-8 min
  4. Transfer to oven for 10-15 min or until cooked through.

Roasted Beet Salad with Poppy Yuzu Agave Dressing Ingredients:

  • 3 Large beets with leaves on top, cleaned and peeled and chopped into medium bite sized pieces.
  • Beet leaves, washed and vein trimmed out. (Don’t throw these out, these are so good, they taste like a denser, sweeter spinach!)
  • 1 Large shallot, sliced.
  • 4 Garlic cloves, leave whole

Dressing

  • 2 TBS Yuzu juice (this is one of my newest cooking “MUST HAVES”).
  • 1 TBS clementine juice
  • 1 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 TBS agave nectar
  • 1 TBS shallot, minced
  • 2 TBS apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 2 TBS. Olive oil
  • Mix all of the above and chill while beets cook.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 375 F.
  2. Place beets, shallots, and garlic into a glass baking dish. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Just until coated evenly. Bake for 40-50 min or until soft and starting to turn golden.
  3. Cool for 30 min or so.
  4. Place beets on greens and toss with dressing.

Serve with warm bread and butter.

Coming soon: My BEST pizza to date: ย Brussel Spout, Bacon, and Shallot Pizza with homemade dough!

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28 responses »

  1. Three cheers for you for supporting local agriculture — the food really does taste better and you get all kinds of things to play with — I’m seeing the romanesco in the center of the photo (just posted a recipe for that). I’d eat that beet salad. Only now I’m going to have to look up “yuzo.”

    • Thanks! It really does taste so much better! I will check out your recipe now ๐Ÿ™‚ Yuzu juice is great, you can get it at Marx Foods. I have really been enjoying adding it to dressing, marinades, and even drinks.

    • I love venison too, I never understood how some people think it’s “gamey”… I guess I just don’t notice it ๐Ÿ™‚ I will have a garden in the near future, I cannot wait for that day!

  2. Whoa, what a combo – My father would adore these… well, I’d love them too, but him especially. He’s got a real thing for venison. Fabulous looking meal – I bet it was a treat to eat ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks! It was a great combo, I’m so glad I did it, it was my first time to mix the two. The pizza is coming very very soon, and I must say it was the best pizza I’ve ever made and MAYBE just maybe that I’ve ever had…

  3. I’m with you in changing awareness of where our food source originates, and I, too, am more invested in eating locally. I really do enjoy reading about what that means in different localities. I hope you’ll keep sharing what you find in your farmer’s markets. I’ll stay tuned! ๐Ÿ™‚ Debra

  4. Oh my.. love all the veggies. They look so fresh and amazing. And I also love these bison and venison meatballs.. they just look so scrumptious. I can’t wait to see the pizza recipe. You definitely have wonderful recipes

  5. I agree whoelheartedly with what you say (and wish I could send you a dozen of my lovely free range eggs!). Gorgeous recipes, and as for that bison/venison mix…wow! But I can only dream as thatยดs not something weยดd get here sadly.

  6. There’s no food taste better than the food that fresh from the farm. All the process and the days the food spent at groceries eliminate the taste.
    Pizzaaaa… I love it. I’ll wait for the recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Have you seen the movie Food Inc.? Disturbing, but definitely makes you think about where your food comes from. These meatballs sound fabulous!! Uhh and don’t even get me started on that pizza. ๐Ÿ™‚

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