There was a time, not long ago, when Atkin’s and other low-carbohydrate diets were all the rage. Fortunately, that time has now faded as many people learned that those diets were neither easy nor healthy for long-term adherents. Too many people on low-carbohydrate diets were eating too much saturated fat and too few fresh fruits and vegetables.
At least one reason for that has nothing to do with the diets themselves. Conventional, sedentary, corn-fed livestock are fatty animals laced with antibiotics and synthetic hormones. That, combined with the issues of treatment and sanitation, make for an unhealthy and unappetizing food. It’s not meat that is the problem; it’s mass-produced meat as we have come to know it in the 21st century.
That’s why many people have switched to wild game and free-range, grass-fed, local animals. In our case, we have developed a relationship with a local bison rancher who keeps about 22 bison on his property at any one time. The bison roam wild, within their fenced range, and are slaughtered with a minimum of pain and suffering. They are never treated with antibiotics or hormones. As a result, we end up with a very lean and very healthy meat that would make low-carbohydrate diets a whole lot better.
Consider this comparison: whereas a 100-gram (3.5-ounce) trimmed beef ribeye steak has 274 calories, including 22.1 grams of fat (9 of which are saturated) and 68 mg of cholesterol, the same bison steak has 116 calories, including 2.4 grams of fat (0.9 of which are saturated) and 62 mg of cholesterol. The ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids is also much better in the bison. That makes bison even healthier than turkey or chicken breast.
Cooking bison is not much different than cooking beef, except that it should never be cooked beyond medium-rare. That’s because the low fat content makes the bison tough when it is overcooked. Think leather and you get the idea. As our bison rancher likes to say, “There is no such thing as tough bison; there is only poorly cooked bison.”
If you want a well-cooked piece of bison to be tender, then it needs to be stewed for at least six hours in a slow-cooking crock pot. Here’s a simple recipe that I can put together in less than 20 minutes. Set it at the start of the day, forget it throughout the day, and enjoy a great, low-fat, low-sodium, treat for dinner with plenty of leftovers that only get better in the refrigerator.
Ingredients (ideally organic):
Bison Stew Meat (1 lb)
Onion (1 large)
Garlic (6 cloves)
Crushed Black Pepper (1/2 tsp)
Canned Crushed Tomatoes (28 oz / 800 g, no salt added)
Fresh Turnips and / or Rutabagas (3)
Fresh Beets with Leaves (3)
Fresh Carrots (3)
Fresh Celery Stalks with Leaves (3)
Bay Leaves (6)
Vegit All-Purpose Seasoning (1/3 cup)
Chop onion and crush garlic. Put in frying pan with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Steam until almost soft. Add bison stew meat, cut into large cubes, and crushed black pepper. Cook on medium heat until brown and water is beginning to disappear. Turn off fire. While the meat is frying, pour crushed tomatoes into 3-quart crock pot and set to high heat. Peal and chip turnips, rutabagas, and beets. Wash and chop carrots, celery stalks with leaves, and beet leaves. Add to crock pot together with bay leaves and Vegit All-Purpose Seasoning Click. Add meat with onion to the crock pot and let cook on high for one hour. Stir. Add filtered water until just below the rim of the crock pot. Turn down to low heat and let simmer for the rest of the day. Enjoy!
This entire crock pot of bison stew, all three quarts, has about 1,100 calories including 10 grams of fat, 118 grams of protein, and 130 grams of carbohydrate including 33 grams of fiber.. That’s less than 2 Big Macs at McDonalds or 1 Monster Thick Burger at Hardee’s, for an enormous volume of food that is both filling and nutritious. So eat as much of this stew as you want • there’s no easy way to gain weight on this one and it tastes great. The slow-cooked bison comes out tender every time.
Coaching Inquiries: Where can you purchase free-range, grass-fed, locally-raised meat? Does bison sound like a good alternative to beef or other meats? Are there food co-ops or whole food stores that could make this easier for you? What other ways could you decrease your consumption of conventional meats?
If you have a recipe you want to share, please use our online Feedback Form. To learn more about our Wellness Coaching programs and to arrange for a complimentary wellness coaching session, use our Contact Form or Email Bob.
May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC
LifeTrek Coaching International
121 Will Scarlet Lane
Williamsburg, VA 23185-5043
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