Asian Meatballs featuring Crystal Blin of Crystal Cattle

Asian Meatballs featuring Crystal Blin of Crystal Cattle

For those of you who don’t know Crystal, you are missing out! Over at Crystal Cattle, Crystal blogs about, of course, cattle but also loves makeup, cooking, and one of my personal favorites, Turquoise Thursday! Crystal always has a great beef recipe to share, like her Baked Tacos, which are a hit at the Rohrich household. So I knew Crystal would be in to share all about her life and beef. I decided to share a recipe with Crystal this time with these Asian Meatballs. I found these meatballs using ground chicken or turkey… But since today is all about beef, I subbed ground beef. These meatballs are the perfect amount of sweet and spicy! But first, let me introduce Crystal! 

Crystal Blin
Northeast, Iowa

crystal cattle blog

Personal History

  • When did you start farming? What brought you into farming?

I grew up on a farm in Alberta, Canada where my family and I had purebred Simmental cattle. Agriculture brought me to the U.S., where I ended up at Kansas State University. After graduation I worked for the American Angus Association and now VitaFerm, an animal nutrition company. It wasn’t until I met my husband that I was able to get back in the daily hands on aspect of raising cattle. Today we own JJB Cattle Co.

  • Who farms with you and what are their roles? 

It is me and my husband Jon. 


  • What has been the hardest part of farming for you?

There is definitely no lack of passion and love for our cattle between my husband and I. The hard part is finding the time and money to put all of our plans into action. We both work off farm in other agribusiness positions. There are only so many hours outside of 8-5 and on weekends. There can be big profits in farming, but there are huge input costs. We bought our farm a year ago, and ultimately we’ll need to purchase some more land to grow our herd to the size we desire. Between a farm payment, hay and feed costs, building improvements, vet bills, etc there are a lot of check wrote each month. The checks coming in usually cover the bills, but they come in less frequently. Therefore we have to watch our cash flow very carefully.

What does purebred cow mean

  • What crops (or animals) do you grow and why?

We raise purebred Hereford cattle, grow corn and soybeans, and have a small freezer beef business. Since our cattle are purebred they are primarily used for breeding purposes, to read more check out this post! Each year we also sell a select group of heifer (girl) calves that kids will use as show heifers and exhibit them at 4-H, FFA or open livestock shows. Those cattle that are not high enough quality are moved over to our freezer beef program. Each year we sell the beef from 5-10 steers to people in our community.

I have had a passion for cattle I’m pretty sure ever since I was born! I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to farm and raise livestock. This job comes with a huge responsibility, as we are part of the small percentage of people raising this countries food. Careful consideration is always put into our handle our cattle, health protocols and what we are going to feed them.


  • What is your favorite thing to do with a food crop you grow? 

We eat a crazy amount of beef in our house. It is probably served at least 7 times a week or more. What I love about beef is its flexibility. A steak doesn’t require all the sauces and extra calories that a lot of other proteins need to make it taste great. We eat a ton of hamburger too. I love its flexibility from baked tacoscasseroles, soups and pastas.

For more information about What Cattle Eat as well as what health protocols farmers like Crystal use on their cattle, you can check out the links below from Facts about Beef:

 To find more of Crystal, you can check out her blog at Crystal Cattle, you can follow her Facebook page, Tweet with her on Twitter, or you can follow all her fabulous photos on Instagram

Asian Meatballs

 As I said above, these Asian Meatballs were originally made with ground poultry. I changed it up and used beef. Feel free to use whatever works for you! 

Asian Meatballs
Serves 4
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
  1. 1 lb. ground beef
  2. 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  3. 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  4. 3 green onions, chopped
  5. 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  6. 1/4 cup almond flour
  7. 1 egg
  8. 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  1. 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  2. 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  3. 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  4. 1/3 cup water
  5. 3 tablespoons honey
  6. 1 teaspoon corn starch
  7. 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  8. 4-5 small dried red chiles, seeded and chopped
  1. Combine all of the meatball ingredients and mix thoroughly. Form into 12 balls and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. While the meatballs are cooking, start the sauce.
  1. Combine the sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauce, water, honey, and corn starch in a small saucepan and whisk until combined. Add the scallions and chili pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer for ten minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  2. Add the cooked meatballs to the thickened sauce and stir to coat. Serve over white rice. Enjoy!
Adapted from I Breathe I'm Hungry
Prairie Californian

This post is part of my Thirty Days of Food series where I am writing about food and farming for the entire month of November, to find out more about it all or how to follow along, visit my Thirty Days of Food page or click the photo below to find more great recipes with farmer features! 



  1. November 11, 2014 / 11:22 am

    Thank so much for featuring me! I can’t wait to try this recipe as we have a freezer full of ground beef. Do you think your could substitute the almond flour for regular flour?
    Crystal Cattle recently posted…Green Chile Hamburger Crescent Roll RecipeMy Profile

    • November 11, 2014 / 11:24 am

      Thank you!!! And yes, I would absolutely say so!