Tag Archives: Roasting

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


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 ┬ájerky 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.


  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


  • 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.


  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:  Brussel Spout, Bacon, and Shallot Pizza with homemade dough!

Cornish Game Hens with Roasted Carrots and Taters served with an Arugula Salad with Prosciutto and Citrus Dressing


My favorite part of this whole dish is the salad, I could eat a enormous bowl of it, it’s so delicious… refreshing and savory!

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 1-1.5 hours depending on size and if you stuff the hens.

Serves: 2


  • 2 Game hens, cleaned and innards removed
  • 4-6 Carrots cut however you’d like
  • 6 New potatoes, quartered
  • 4 C. Arugula
  • 2 Slices of prosciutto
  • 1/4 C. Parma Reggiano (good stuff NOT Digiorno).
  • 1 TBS Butter
  • 1/2 TBS Zestbeandog Fine Herb Blend, or you can make your own herb blend with things like dried parsley, sage, etc…
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
Dressing for Salad
  • 1 TBS Lemon juice
  • 1 TBS Grapefruit juice
  • 6 Grapefruit segments, remove the pith part, see how to do it here
  • 2 TBS Red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBS Olive oil
  • 1/2 TBS Zestybeandog Fine Herb Blend
  • 1 pinch of fresh ground pepper
  • 1 Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of honey or agave nectar ( you can sub some quality sugar if you don’t have these but add about a TBS).
I usually put the ingredients in a tupperware container that seals well and shake it up to mix well…


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare veggies and set aside.
  3. Get a medium to large casserole dish and place hens side by side, if you are going to stuff them do so now ( I make a breadcrumb stuffing with some old freezer bread if I have it, celery, shallots, chicken stock, and maybe some bacon…). Next you will season your birds: Melt butter and then mix lemon juice with it, baste birds evenly and sprinkle ZBD fine herb blend, salt, and pepper on birds. You can do this again mid way through cooking if you’d like just melt some more butter and add lemon like you did before cooking.
  4. Place carrots and potatoes into casserole surrounding hens. Toss midway through cooking. Cook for 1-1.15 hrs depending on weight and if you stuffed, stuffed things usually take about 10-15 additional min.
  5. While hens and veggies cook, prep you salad and dressing.
  6. For the salad toppings… the crispy prosciutto and reggiano: Place two slices of prosciutto into the oven for about 20 min or until browed and crispy then break into pieces. For the cheese spread the 1/4 C. of reggiano onto a microwave safe plate (spread evenly and thinly) and microwave for 45-1 min let cool and peel of plate and place onto a paper towel, let it sit and then once hardened it should also break up nicely…if not it needs to bee cooked longer or you need a better quality cheese, some can be too oily and that makes it hard to work with for this purpose. These go on top of dressed salads as garnish (a delicious garnish at that)!
  7. Take salad dressing and toss the arugula and citrus in it and top with garnishes.
  8. Check hens and make sure they are done, juices should run yellowish or clear, not pink, you can always cut into one to make sure (when I first started cooking with chicken… if I was unsure, I do this and keep the one I cut for myself, it took me a long time to get comfortable with not cutting into them…). Try not to overcook…
  9. Once everything is in order then you can plate your masterpiece and enjoy!