John TurenneLast Thursday, John Turenne, President and Founder of Sustainable Food Systems stopped by the Hailey, ID Farmer’s Market to pick up a case of ground lamb.  Not that unusual in its own right, but what is different is the destination of the lamb.  Lava Lake Lamb is served in a number of fine restaurants here in the Wood River Valley, but now it is also being served at the hospital.  That’s right, no more jell-o salad.  The St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center is taking big steps toward creating a more sustainable, locally-based, and healthier menu for their patients and visitors.   This means less time filling out the weekly food service order form from one wholesale supplier and more time perusing the local and seasonal selection at the Farmer’ Market.logo[2]

St. Luke’s has hired John and Sustainable Food Systems to create a plan for transition to a more nutritious and locally based menu at the hospital. Through implementation of the plan St. Luke’s has:

  • eliminated non-desirable food ingredients;
  • become the first hospital in Idaho to sign the Healthy Food in Healthcare Pledge;
  • incorporated a cost effective means of serving local food;
  • eliminated the automatic use of disposable service ware by 75%,

The new program, Green Cuisine, is sure to be a hit with patients and visitors to St. Luke’s; especially with recipes like this:LavaLakeMeatball_(c)SaraSheehy

Photo by Sara Sheehy

Cider Glazed Lamb Meatballs

  • ¾ cup Soft bread crumbs (chopped coarse)
  • 1 sm. (7 oz) Yellow onions, very finely diced
  • 1 tsp Garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. Lava Lake Ground Lamb
  • 1 ea. Egg, beaten
  • 1 lb Turnip, peeled, steamed well and mashed fine
  • ¼ cup Dried Currents (or raisons or dried cranberries – chopped coarse), soaked in warm water to soften (about 30 min.) and then drained well
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Black Pepper, freshly cracked

For the Glaze:

  • 1 qt. Apple Cider

Recipe Method:

Simmer cider in a saucepan until reduced by 2/3. Thicken slightly with a very small amount of cornstarch and water mix if you prefer the glaze to be a little thicker.

Saute the onion in olive oil.

Combine all the ingredients (except cider) in a bowl and gently mix until it has an even consistency. Do not over mix!

Using a number 40 scoop (for one ounce meatballs), scoop mix onto baking pans. With wet hands, roll into round balls and place on parchment paper on baking pan allowing 1 inch between balls.

Bake in 375 degree conventional oven for 15 minutes.

When meatballs are cooked, toss in reduced cider to evenly coat (not to be swimming in sauce.

Serve w/ braised cabbage, mashed potatoes or squash, or roasted roots