Bison Meatball Penne

Okay, so this is a new recipe that I found that both Rusty and I LOVE! It’s great to add to a bowl of yummy tomato basil pasta and it’s full of great nutrition.

So as a woman and especially as an athlete I have learned how easy it is to get iron deficient. If you ever have had anemia, it is NOT fun. I struggled with it a lot in college because of the lack of meat I ate. I studied nutrition, but I also was obsessed about my weight and cut a lot of foods out-meat was one of them (at least red meat) and because of the lack of grilled chicken we had in our caf, I ate meat maybe 2x a week. No I did not eat lots of beans and high protein grains. It was very easy for me to become iron deficient. I was sleepy all the time and fatigue set in. It was awful! Just running 3 miles was getting hard and I got TICKED. I won’t  forget the day I went on a run with Rusty. We went for 3 miles, nice and slow and at the end I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I literally sat on the ground and cried. I was so frustrated. Most of this simply because I wasn’t eating properly-I wasn’t eating enough meat or foods high in iron.

Sometimes I look back and I roll my eyes. I can’t believe how caught up I was in being skinny. But it was a trap that I could not just crawl out of. But now I have found so much freedom in eating real food! Even good meats. Buffalo is ranked one of the best meats on the market. Organic, free range buffalo is load with great protein and full of iron. White meat is great for you, but remember red meat is packed with more iron and if you’re a very active individual red meat can be really beneficial for you! Don’t dwell on all the stereotypes, you can eat red meat, just watch who often and make sure it’s all natural and grass fed with no antibiotics.

But here’s the recipe! It’s loaded with kale and other healthy ingredients. Run Fast Eat Slow is a great cookbook! This is one of their recipes; however, I wish I could take credit for such a tasty meal.


  • 1 Cup of minced Kale, stems removed (use a food processor if you have one-it makes it much quicker)
  • 3 cloves of Garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup almond meal/flour
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds (yum)
  • 3/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound of organic bison or ground beef (not lean)
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil for pan
  • Jar of organic natural marinara sauce or homemade
  • basil leaves for topping
  • 12 ounces of whole wheat bowtie or penne pasta

Makes about 4 servings.


  1. Combine kale, garlic, egg, almond meal, parmesan, oregano, fennel, sea salt, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl.
  2. Combine bison with the mixture, using your hands to fully mix the bison and seasonings.
  3. Roll the meatballs-it should make 12-24 meatballs depending on how big you like them. I lean towards smaller ones-they cook a little more quickly and are easier to make sure they are fully cooked.
  4. Add the meatballs to a deep dish pan with the olive oil. Cook them on a medium heat making sure none of the meat balls touch. You will need to roll them around to make sure they cook on all sides.
  5. While the meatballs are cooking pop on the pasta cook for approximately 15 minutes or until “al dente”.
  6. Once the meatballs are done about 5 minutes, add the sauce to the pan and let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
  7. Serve the pasta into 4 bowls, distribute the meatballs and sauce easily, top with some fresh parmesan and basil! And ENJOY!!
Recipes, Main MealsJo Butler