Food: How to be a health-conscious carnivore |

Food: How to be a health-conscious carnivore

Angela Shelf Medearis and Gina Harlow
Bison meat is growing in availability at grocery stories.
The Kitchen Diva |



2 (8 ounce) bison skirt steaks, with all visible fat removed

2 tablespoon lemon grass, minced

2 Serrano Chile peppers, minced with seeds

2 shallots, minced

1 bunch green onions, sliced

1/2 tablespoon fish sauce for marinade

Juice from 1 1/2 limes for marinade

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

Juice of 1/2 lime for salad

1 teaspoon fish sauce for salad

1/2 teaspoon honey, agave syrup, or sugar

4 cups red cabbage, shredded

1 large orange, peeled and white pith removed, and slices separated into segments

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic, granulated

For Marinade:

Combine lemon grass, chilies, shallots, green onions, fish sauce, lime juice, cilantro and mint. Add thinly sliced bison. Toss to coat. Note: Marinade can be prepared up to one day ahead, or while steaks are resting.

For Salad:

In a large bowl, combine lime juice, fish sauce, honey, agave syrup or sugar until well-combined. Add in cabbage and orange slices, and toss well to coat in lime-juice mixture. Place in refrigerator to keep cool while you are preparing skirt steaks.

For Bison Steak:

1. Preheat grill to high for 5-10 minutes, or on stovetop heat a cast-iron grill pan on high.

2. Coat steaks with olive oil and season liberally on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic.

3. Cook over a charcoal or gas grill, or in grill pan on the stovetop for 5 minutes on first side, and 3 minutes on reverse side. Let steaks rest 10 minutes, then slice thinly against the grain of the meat.

4. Drain cabbage, place on platter and top with marinated bison steak.

It’s difficult these days to give a dinner party, or even to plan a holiday meal for the family. Uncle Dan has high cholesterol, while sister Jane is gluten intolerant. Then there is niece Ashley, who is a newly proclaimed vegan.

When we consider what to eat, it’s overwhelming. It’s important to understand allergies and medically diagnosed illnesses, and how food contributes to them. But beyond that, we find ourselves wondering, “What should I eat?” “Should I buy organic?” “Should I even eat meat?” “What does ‘local and sustainable’ mean?”

Shopping at a farmers’ market is part of the local and sustainable movement, but what does it mean to you? For starters, small and organic farmers use techniques that allow for the long-term fertility of their farmland. When you buy food that is grown locally, there is a shorter distance and less cost for transport, which is good for consumers, but also is thought to be good for our planet.

For those of us who include meat and fish in our diets, it’s just as important to understand what to buy. Overfishing and the high energy involved in traditional ranching now are things to consider. Lately, new proteins are becoming available at the market that are good for us and for the environment. Along with many game meats, bison is becoming available at many local grocery stores. Bison is nutrient dense, has less fat and calories and more iron than chicken or salmon. And when it comes to Mother Earth, bison is good for her, too. Commercially farmed bison spend their lives on the range, with grazing patterns that have little effect on the land.

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook. Read Gina Harlow’s blog about food and gardening at Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.

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