Sauteed Mushroom Buffalo Cheeseburgers
I’ve always intended to buy an upright freezer and stock it with a portioned side of grass-fed beef and all the organic produce I can glean from a warm growing season. As it turns out, while I only have as far as the backyard to look for the produce, the grass-fed meat I have been looking for has been available to me in the freezer section of one of my local American owned grocery stores all along. It comes in the form of ground buffalo, or bison meat, and sells for around the same price as prime beef. But buffalo, being so much leaner than beef, higher in protein and omega 3 fatty acids, can be consumed on a daily basis, according to my husband’s cardiac diet guidelines. Nine ounces of beef per week is allowed, but why not eat the healthier, tastier version of ground meat that buffalo provides?
When we headed out west for a month-long, cross-country trip, before we had children, all I wanted to see was a real, live buffalo…and the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Las Vegas, Canada, California… Really, it was important to me that I see one of our country’s indigenous creatures. I looked and looked as we drove through the plains and badlands, past buttes and grazing land and saw none of the big, furry, brown creatures I had expected to see everywhere once we had reached Oklahoma.
Then one afternoon, after spending an hour or so wandering through an old 1880’s town in South Dakota, we headed back onto the interstate in the direction of the town in Montana in which my husband had been raised. And there he was, he or she, standing in a small fenced enclosure behind a little diner, I supposed, to be slaughtered and served to hungry customers at some point. A real, live buffalo. We didn’t stop, but I was happy.
I had heard from my husband, who had eaten buffalo meat frequently while growing up, that it is delicious and better than beef. I finally tried some a few years ago that I found in a local health food store, only vaguely aware that it was healthier than beef, and he was right. Delicious. It’s kind of like what beef should be but isn’t.
It didn’t occur to me then that buffalo are grass-fed. Well, that should have been a given, but since they are farmed these days after our early settlers nearly wiped them out altogether, I guess I assumed they would be grain fed as beef cattle are and full of just as many antibiotics and growth hormones. Not true, I am learning from my recent research on the subject. Because buffalo are grass fed grazers they are more resistant to diseases and do not need to be treated as beef cattle must be.
We have learned that our local butcher can order large amounts of game meat, very lean and allowed as daily protein intake on a cardiac diet, and buffalo. So, I guess it’s time to get serious about buying a freezer. In the meantime, I can buy buffalo by the one pound frozen package when we get a hankering for a cheeseburger.
These buffalo burgers I topped with one ounce of low-fat white cheddar cheese and sauteed onions and mushrooms, served on 100% whole wheat buns alongside pureed cauliflower. No ketchup, no mayo, no pickle, no salt, no French fries to go with them. Know what? We didn’t miss them. So nice to bite into a big burger after all of the fish and grains and turkey breast we have been eating for the last few weeks!
There is no recipe to go with this blog. You form patties from the ground buffalo and slap them on a hot surface until they are cooked through. 😉
I am happy to report that my husband is doing very well. He even did a one mile walk to benefit his cardiac. rehab. program last weekend. I didn’t even know he was allowed to walk that far yet, but apparently he’s been doing that for a couple of weeks. He says next year he will do the optional 5K for the event. I can’t wait to see it! He also got down and did push-ups twice the other day just to show me that they’ve been doing those at rehab., as well. I have to say that freaked me out a little. I’m still afraid he’s going to break right before my eyes. I still check to make sure he’s breathing the second I open my eyes in the morning. But I am settling down with him in this new life of ours, even getting a little excited about our future rather than being scared of it. And, apparently, I’m ready to start blogging again because here I am.