Cacao Roasted Grass-fed Bison + Watermelon Gazpacho

Lately I have been absolutely GIDDY over all the local melons in my CSA share. Have you ever heard of a Korean melon?? Me neither until it appeared in my share last week. I love all the surprises that come with being a part of a CSA. I have learned so much about fruit and veggie varieties that I never knew existed. On top of that it forces me to eat seasonally and locally.

Cacao Roasted Grass-fed Bison + Watermelon Gazpacho

Seasonal eating means eating the most nutrient dense and flavor-full foods available. Just compare a dark red, vine-ripened tomato still warm from the summer sun with a winter hothouse tomato that’s barely red, somewhat mealy, and lacking in taste complexity. Eating locally means no transportation of crops, they must be harvested early and refrigerated so they don’t rot during transportation. And they are not going to ripen as effectively as they would in their natural environment meaning they do not develop their full flavor potential (who wants flavorless food?!).  You see nature know’s exactly what our bodies need dependent on the season and climate. That is why watermelon is in season in the summer. It is made up of 90% water to help our bodies stay hydrated and replenish the liquid we are losing in the hot summer months when sweating. Read on to get replenishing and sign up for a CSA share here.

APPETIZER: Gazpacho Ingredients:

  • 6 cups melon, cubed and seeded ( I used 2 small organic watermelons and 3 small organic korean melons)
  • 2 organic heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 organic cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 1 organic serrano pepper, minced (if you can handle the heat)
  • juice of 1 organic lime
  •  1/4 cup organic cilantro finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup organic basil finely chopped
  • 1 TBSP coconut sugar
  • pinch of pink himalayan sea salt

1. Blend melon in food processor until pureed consistency and set aside. Do the same with cucumber and tomatoes.

2. Stir together processed melon, cucumber and tomatoes. Then put mixture through a sieve to remove the extra pulp.

3. Next add serrano peppers, lime juice, cilantro, basil, coconut sugar and salt to mixture. Let chill in the fridge for 30 min.

4. Last SERVE and ENJOY with some remaining watermelon chunks and garnish with cilantro. This makes a great summer appetizer or a side to your main dish.

Who says you can’t eat a roast in the summer??? Grass-fed bison meat, like grass-fed beef is high in Omega 3s and CLAs (the essential fatty acids found primarily  in grass-fed animals). But bison contains a great amount more of protein than any other grass-fed meats. While it is lean, low in fat and calories, it contains about 34 grams of protein for every 1 lb of ground. This makes grass-fed bison one of the best sources of protein you can consume. Get local, grass-fed bison here.

The cacao in this recipe gives the meat a nutty and smokey flavor with a little kick from the cayenne. What is cacao? Cacao is the raw form of cocoa meaning it is unprocessed with no additives so all the nutrients are still intact. The meat flavors pair perfectly with some roasted red potatoes, a simple arugula salad and the sweet, refreshing gazpacho above.

MAIN DISH: Cacao Oven Roasted Bison Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lb Grass-Fed Bison London Broil Roast (any bison roast cut will work-chuck, tri-tip, round, eye of round, rump, hump)
  • 1 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cacoa powder
  • 1  1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1  1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Will need a pan with a rack to roast meat in.

2. While the oven is heating mix dry ingredients together in bowl with a whisk.

3. Cover roast with melted coconut oil then rub with mixed spices.

4. Next place in the oven and set timer for 30 min. and begin to dry-roast your meat. This will begin to caramelize and cook the outside. After 30 min lower the oven to 350 degrees and cook until meat thermometer reads 140-150 degrees, medium rare. You want the meat to be pink inside to ensure tenderness and flavor. It is extremely EASY to overcook bison because of how lean it is so check the temperature frequently.

5. ENJOY all the goodness. Farmtoforkfoods.com

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