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Michael Chernow’s Lean Bison Meatballs With Paleo Veggie Pasta

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Michael Chernow is a well-known restaurateur, television personality, and author. He first gained fame as the co-founder of the successful restaurant chain, The Meatball Shop, which he launched in New York City in 2010 with his childhood friend, Daniel Holzman.  The Meatball Shop QUICKLY gained a loyal following and became an iconic must-visit spot in NYC.   The restaurant is known for its innovative take on classic meatballs, which are served in a variety of ways, including on sandwiches, sliders, and as a topping for spaghetti or salads.

Michael turned that fame into a cookbook called The Meatball Shop Cookbook, which features recipes from his restaurant, and he quickly became a household name, appearing on popular shows like The Today Show, The Rachael Ray Show, and The Chew, and even a recurring guest judge on the Food Network series Chopped and Vice’s Munchies.

All this to say, dude KNOWS meatballs and he quickly gave me a masterclass in meatball making and I’m a better cook for it!  Enjoy this bangin’ recipe!


Recipe 1


Prep 10min
Cook 15min
Total 25min

Ingredients for 18 meatballs

1 serving = 3 meatballs
  • Meatballs
    • 2lb lean ground bison (or lean meat of your choice)
    • 1/2 cup cooked and cooled jasmine or brown rice
    • 1/3 cup roasted almonds, crushed
    • 1/4 cup (golden) raisins
    • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
    • pinch of sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 2 cups low-sodium marinara sauce (store-bought)
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • garnish
    • parsley
    • crushed almonds


Step 1

Set oven to 450F/232C.

Step 2

In a mixing bowl, add the ingredients for the meatballs and gently toss together using your hands and ensure it is well mixed. Form meatballs of about 1.5oz size using an ice cream scoop or spoon.

Step 3

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place the meatballs on the tray and ENSURE they are touching each other. Doing this ensure the juices stay in the meatballs and do not run out, resulting in a dry meatball. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until your desired doneness.

Step 4

While the meatballs are baking, add marinara to a deep skillet placed on medium heat. Use the back of your knife to gently beat the rosemary sprig on a cutting board – doing so will release the oils and make it more fragrant. Add the whole sprig to the marinara and let it cook on low until the meatballs are finished baking.

Step 5

Add the meatballs to the marinara and serve with your choice of pasta! Garnish with parsley and more crushed almonds.

Recipe 2

3 Color Paleo Veggie Pasta

Prep 10min
Cook 2min
Total 12min

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 3 large zucchini (or 5 medium zucchini)
  • 4 large yellow squash (or 6 medium yellow squash)
  • 3 large carrots

Utensils needed: julienne peeler (or spiralizer) 


Step 1

Use a julienne peeler to create long strands of “pasta” from each veggie.

Step 2

Once the zucchini and squash have been julienned, place them on a baking tray and sprinkle a pinch of salt over both. This will help wilt them and draw out the moisture and water.

Step 3

For the carrots, place them in a microwave safe bowl with a few tablespoons of water. Cover the bowl and cook for 1 – 2 minutes on medium heat. The steam will help soften the carrots. Then place them on a baking tray to cool.

Step 4

Toss together and enjoy with a meal that requires pasta!

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Prep 20min
Cook 17min
Total 37min
About Kevin - author


Hey, I'm Kevin

My name is Kevin. My life changed when I realized that healthy living is a lifelong journey, mainly won by having a well-balanced diet and maintaining an active lifestyle.

By experimenting in the kitchen and sharing my meals on Tumblr, I learned healthy eating is not boring! By making a few adjustments to my favorite foods, I could design a diet that could help me achieve my wellness goals while satisfying my desire for BANGIN food! 😅 Now I try to help people around the world realize that same level of freedom in eating regardless of budget. Welcome, let's #DemocratizeWellness together!