It’s week 2 of the Fall Soup Series! Last week I shared a delicious and warming Tuscan Bean Soup. This week I’m beefing it up with a super simple, crazy fast meatball soup.
Eating a clean, wholesome and nutritious diet is not just about loading your plate up with heaps of vegetables. Don’t get me wrong you should still do that! But, if you are a carnivore it’s REALLY important to eat clean meat. Here are a few reasons why:
1) CAFO’s: Also called Concentrate Feeding Operations, CAFO’s are where animals are kept and raised in confined situations. Feed is brought to the animals rather than the animals grazing or otherwise seeking feed in pastures, fields, or on rangeland – their natural habitat. Much of the meat we consume in the U.S. comes from animals raised in CAFO’s.
2) Stress and Inflammation: Animals living in CAFO’s are understandably stressed causing their stress hormones like cortisol to be very high. These stress hormones are very inflammatory for the animals and us when we consume their meat.
3) Antibiotics: 80% of the antibiotics that drug companies sold in 2011 was used on animals. We are starting to see a strong connection between this high use of drugs on animals and humans suffering from antibiotic resistant infections.
Recent studies have shown that grass fed meat is higher in omega 3 fatty acids – important anti-inflammatory fats that are cardio protective than meat raised in stressful, nutritionally poor conditions.
Reading labels for meat can get a bit confusing. Ideally, you want to buy meat that is “grass fed.” Stores are carrying more and more organic and grass fed meats. However, when you look closely those meats are shipped in from another country whose organic and grass fed farming practices may not be what we imagine. Visiting the farmers market and talking to your local farmers is the surest way to get meat from happy, disease and antibiotic free animals. For more information on meat labeling check out the Environmental Working Groups Meat Eaters Guide (http://www.ewg.org/meateatersguide/).
Meatball Soup with Fried Garlic and Greens
5 cups of stock (if buying, choose organic vegetable stock from Pacific Naturals)
1 pound grass fed beef (you can substitute with turkey)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
4-5 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon tamari
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2-3 handfuls of spinach or 1 bunch of Swiss chard, ribs removed and roughly chopped
2 green onions, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
- Put stock in a pot over high heat so it can come to a boil.
- Meanwhile, place beef in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
- In a large sauté pan heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced garlic and fry until it just starts to turn golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and place garlic on a paper towel to absorb some of the oil.
- Once the stock comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium-high so it continues a strong simmer. Use a small spoon to scoop out little meatballs from the beef, about two tablespoons at a time, and drop them into the boiling stock. You can lightly form them by pushing the spoon up against the side of the bowl. They don’t have to be perfectly round, just make sure they are all generally the same size. The meatballs should cook for about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the tamari and fish sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Shortly before serving add the spinach or Swiss chard and garnish with green onion. Enjoy!