The best meatballs are made with bison, which has more than 30 grams of muscle-building protein per serving.
North American bison are truly massive mammals, with mature males weighing around a whopping 2,000 pounds. But the bison meat you eat comes from smaller animals raised on farms.
Their meat tends to be leaner, too: Four ounces of cooked, ground grass-fed bison contains 203 calories, 29 grams of protein, and 10 grams of fat . The same amount of beef has 272 calories, 28 grams of protein, and 16 grams of fat.
When you go grocery shopping, look for ground bison labeled 90/10. That means it contains a blend of 90 percent meat and 10 percent fat, which is exactly the ratio you want for meatballs that hold their shape and wont turn your sauce (or face) greasy.
The recipe that follows uses a Dutch oven, not a Crock-Pot or InstantPot. That's because sear-and-simmer meatballs are better than slow-cookermeatballs because of the browned bits left behind after searing. A little wine will unlock the flavor of the bits and infuse your sauce with more meatiness.
Bison Meatballs in Spicy Tomato Sauce
What You'll Need: 2 lb ground bison 1/4 onion, minced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 egg 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs 1/2 cup grated Parmesan 1/4 cup parsley, minced 1/4 cup basil, minced; plus 1 sprig 1 Tbsp olive oil 1/4 cup red win 2 (28 oz) cans whole tomatoes, crushed by hand 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
How to Make It: 1. In a bowl, combine the first eight ingredients and threebig pinches each of salt and pepper. With your hands, mix and shape into golf-ball-sized orbs. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. In a pot over medium high, heat the oil. Add as many meatballs as can fit in one layer. (Work in batches if necessary.) Sear all over, about 15 minutes total. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
3. Add the wine to the pot, using a wooden spatula to scrape up any browned bits. Lower the heat to medium low. Return the meatballs to the pot along with the tomatoes, red-pepper flakes, and basil sprig. Season the sauce; put a lid on the pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with sauce. Feeds 5
Per serving: 588 calories, 42g protein, 20g carbs (4g fiber), 35g fat
Bonus: Add a High-Fiber Side!
Pick one of the below to serve with your meatballs in order to hit your 10-gram fiber goal for a meal.
Artichokes with Lemon-Herb Dipping Sauce
Fill a pot with an inch of water and bring it to a simmer. Add 2 globe artichokes (outer leaves removed), put a lid on the pot, and steam for 20 minutes. In a bowl, mix the juice of 1 lemon, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and 1 Tbsp each minced chives and oregano. Season. Dip the tender part of each leaf in the sauce and eat. Feeds 2
Per serving: 131 calories, 4g protein, 15g carbs (7g fiber), 7g fat
Charred Green Beans with Roasted and Hot Peppers
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a cast-iron pan over medium high. Add 3/4 lb green beans and saute till charred, 5 to 7 minutes. Put on a plate and top with 1 sliced roasted red pepper, 6 sliced Peppadews, 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, salt, and pepper. Serve hot or cold. Feeds 2
Per serving: 304 calories, 5g protein, 17g carbs (6g fiber), 26g fat