A few years after college, I decided–for a variety of reasons–to go vegetarian. I was good about subbing legumes etc. for meat, so felt I was doing the right thing by my health. But, on the advice of an acupuncturist (go figure), I eventually parted with my vegetarian ways. I still remember how difficult it was to take the first bites of a pork chop after a few years off. It got easier somewhere along the line and I now very much enjoy animal proteins.
That said, I also try to eat lots of veggies, whole grains, etc. (And dessert–must save room for dessert.) So, I enjoy animal protein in relatively small quantities. Then there’s the source: After watching Food, Inc (sensationalistic for sure, but influenced my buying habits just the same), I stay away from meats sold by corporate farms. Our beef comes from a friend and I like to find chicken, pork, and the like at farmers’ markets. It costs more, but when you don’t eat much of it, it’s worth the splurge.
On a recent farmers’ market trip, I paid the big bucks for a one-pound package of ground bison. I’ve enjoyed this meat before as it’s leaner than beef and has (to me) a more interesting flavor. It went into our freezer and was there today when I asked my usual “what’s for dinner?” question.
I pulled the bison to thaw earlier in the day, then (gently) mixed it with a packaged seasoning along with a slug of red wine and Worcestershire sauce (love Worcestershire). I made six patties from the one-pound package–not quite fast food quarter-pounders. They grilled up spectacularly well with loads of flavor and not a lot of fat. My girls had no qualms eating bison and my husband is always happy to see red meat on the table.
As someone who has studied nutrition and loves all things food, I try to keep meals varied and healthy. It follows, then, that I should be doing more with vegetarian fare. And occasionally I do. But it was plenty fun to grill up bison tonight.