Monday, February 7, 2011

The Monday Morsel - Bison

Weekly Monday Report:

Pounds Lost = 0 (damn Super Bowl)
Total pounds lost = 6
# of Diet Cokes Consumed = 2
# of Times Exercised = 3

Can you believe it?  Only 2 diet cokes!  I honestly don't care that much about not loosing any weight this week since I really did well, minus the Super Bowl feast.  I couldn't be happier with myself for not buying any diet cokes.  The only 2 I had were fountain diet cokes from a store.  It is like a glorious treat to me since I actually prefer fountain diet coke over cans or bottles.  The perfect way to still enjoy my non-healthy indulgence and keep my consumption in check.  Still drinking the tea as well so all is good on that front.

The North American Buffalo.  Otherwise known as bison.  Not the prettiest-looking animals, but definitely one of the tastiest.  And with a mighty fine nutritional profile.  Believe it or not, it can be the leanest meat out there, as long as you buy grass-fed bison.
 A lot of people say that bison has a richer flavor than beef, which I think tends to scare people off.  Richer tends to equate to "gamey-er", which is totally not where the taste is at.  It's actually a clean and sweeter version of beef.  One of those things you just have to try and then you'll understand. 

I have so much I want to share on the topic of buffalo, that I've decided to break it down into bullets (hopefully this doesn't remind you too much of a corporate presentation):
  • Indian Head Buffalo Nickels.  I've always had an affinity for buffalo nickels.  Not really sure why, but I do keep them should they cross my path.  Supposedly there are some 3-legged buffalo, circa 1937, coins out there, but I've heard they are quite rare.  I'm still on the lookout.
  • The buffalo of Catalina Island.  Another area of fascination for me, I've always found it intriguing that they are roaming bison on Santa Catalina Island, California.  Given that I've grown up in SoCal, I've visited these buffaloes a few times now.  I wouldn't think an animal so unattractive could be so majestic, but in person, they really are.  So how did bison end up on an island in the Pacific Ocean?  Pretty simple answer, actually.  They (14 in total) were brought there in 1924 for the filming of a silent movie, The Vanishing American.  The buffalo were allowed to remain and flourished.  Due to some in-breeding, they have introduced more buffalo to the existing herd and they now comprise an important role in the cultural fabric of the island. 
  • Bison Brew.  In my search for everything buffalo, I happened upon a brewery in Berkeley, CA that delivers a mighty fine product.  Luckily, we live in a craft beer mecca, and Mark was able to go out that same day and locate Bison Brew beer at our Best Damn Beer Shop in San Diego.  Bison Brewery concocts certified organic beer with tantalizing flavor profiles.  Honey Basil Ale?  Wow.  I actually think I saw a green tinge on the top layer when the sunlight hit it.  As I write this, I'm exciting my palate with their Imperial Brown Ale.  Many more I have to try...
Must move onto food now.
  • Turkish Pasta with Bison Sauce.  What a beautiful combination of flavors.  Between the aromatic spices such as coriander, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon, combined with pungent pomegranate juice and the sweetness of carrots, this sauce marries perfectly with our much-loved ground bison meat.  Stir in a full cup of chopped cilantro and top with Greek yogurt.  This is a great "beginner bison dish" since the flavor of the meat isn't as pronounced as it would be with a simple bison steak.
  • Bison steak.  True red meat bliss.  We've bought grass-fed bison steaks at Costco (2 per pack and not all too cheap, but big enough to split one for 2 people).  After sprinkling them with a bit of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, I sear the steak in a cast iron skillet, just until rare.  I really encourage you to try this meat on the rare side so you can enjoy it's full flavor.  The buffalo is naturally resistant to disease and grow faster than other animals so antibiotics and hormones aren't part of their regimen.  
I definitely have a passion for all things bison.  However, I have my limits, but if you have a daring palate and an adventurous spirit, you can check out GrubGrade's post on Bison Mountain Oysters. thanks...
 Moving on to Eat. Live. Be., the topic for this week is "Rut Rescue 101".  What do I do to pull myself out of a rut?  A few main things come to mind, but not as many as I hoped.  Please do share yours since I would like to add them to my repertoire! 

1.  Don't let an off day get me down.  For this reason (and this reason only), I love the mornings.  I like the focused feeling I have when I wake up to start a brand new day.  If I've had an over the top eating episode the day prior, I focus on getting back on track the following day.  The thought of a new day keeps me motivated on the goal at hand.

2.  I research healthy food options.  I like to eat and I won't deny that.  So if I am in a rut, I search out new healthy items to try.  Trade Joe's, Henry's, and Whole Foods are a good places for that.  In fact, in an upcoming post, I must share with you all the glorious snack bar, Larabar. :)

3.  My closet.  Honestly, this is quite a good tactic.  Don't we all have articles of clothing hanging in our closet that we either can't or won't wear right now due to how we look in it?  When I'm in a rut or down on my progress, I head into my closet for a look-see.  Oh look, that cute top that I've only worn ONCE because now I'm too heavy to wear it.  Oh and those jeans!  I can't seem to button them anymore, but I'm holding onto them since they are such great jeans!  Yep, that does it for me. 

Please join me and the other ELB bloggers on the journey to better health!

Sarah at Cucina Bella
Cate at Sweetnicks
Maris at In Good Taste
Chris at Mele Cotte
Faith at Bon Appetit
Kristen at Dine and Dish
Emily at The Anderson Crew
Joanne at Eats Well With Others
Casey at The Starnes Family
Patsy at Friends, Family and Food
Tri-Fit Mom at Tri-Fit Mom
Claire at Cooking is Medicine
Allison at Sweet Flours
Jen at NJ Epicurean
Jenna at Stop, Drop, and Blog
Rivki at Healthy Eating for Ordinary People
Sarah at Sarah’s Sweet Creations
Denise and Lenny at Chez Us


  1. I adore bison and knew it was healthier. But I had no idea how much better it was than chicken too! Try ground bison in sliders. It's awesome.

  2. I was amazed when I found out it was healthier than chicken. I'll definitely try some bison sliders - thanks for the suggestion!