Category Archives: meat

turkey zucchini burgers with roasted red pepper ketchup

turkey burgerTurkey burgers can be very dry, and many of the recipes I’ve seen for them use shredded apple to add moisture.  This recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook (my current favorite and most dog-eared cookbook) uses that abundant summer vegetable, zucchini.  It’s ridiculously flavorful thanks to the mint/cilantro/cumin seasoning combination and has a little bit of a bite to it. Continue reading


Tequila marinated steak

“My favorite animal is steak” – Fran Leibowitz

Sometimes a girl just needs some meat.

My very occasional encounter with meat is usually of the burger variety (and even then, I’m quite satisfied with the leaner bison burger).  But now that grilling season is upon us, sometimes a girl also wants a steak. Continue reading

bison sloppy joes

I always thought when my children reached school-age, I’d have more free time to myself to do some things that I don’t get to do too often like…I don’t know…work.

Not so.  The responsibilities shift from diapers and play dates to science fair projects, hockey lessons and sleepovers.  The amount of taxiing, bake sale preparation, and field trip chaperoning can be overwhelming at times.  When new moms tell me they’re going to go back to work when their child starts kindergarten, I applaud them.  I really do.  Then, I remember the wise words of my oldest daughter’s childhood day care provider:  Don’t kid yourself.  They need you more when they’re older, just in a different way.


Enter freezer meals.  Like my turkey chili (which I thought I’d posted before, but apparently not.  Oooops!), this can be made ahead and frozen to thaw out on a moment’s notice between math tutoring and piano lessons.  The mushrooms give it an earthy flavor and you get to sneak in some carrots for those who are not inclined to eat vegetables straight up.

At 2.4 grams of fat per 3 1/2 ounce serving, bison has less fat than chicken.  It also contains more iron per serving than salmon or beef.

bison sloppy joes 

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 pound ground bison

8 ounces sliced baby portobello mushrooms

1 cup chopped yellow onion

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup tomato paste

1 tsp dried oregano

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp organic blackstrap molasses

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp hot sauce (optional)

4 whole wheat  hamburger buns or kaiser rolls, toasted

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil.  Add bison; cook for approximately 4-5 minutes or until browned, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks.

Place mushrooms in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Add mushrooms, onion, carrot and garlic to pan with bison.  Cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes.  Add tomato paste and next 5 ingredients to pan; continue to cook until mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes.  Stir in pepper and hot sauce (if using).

Divide mixture between 4 toasted buns (serving size is approximately 1 cup each).

beef tagine with butternut squash

I have never cut up a fresh squash.

In the past, I’ve always just purchased a tray of pre-cut butternut squash at the grocery store (God bless Trader Joe’s!). And why shouldn’t I?  It’s done and it always seems to be the amount I need-about 3 cups.  For the past three weeks, I’ve received a different squash each week in the CSA box and have placed them in a bowl on the dining room table.  As much as I appreciate my ready-made fall decoration, I realize it’s not practical and it’s time to make something wonderful with at least one of these.  Peeling a squash is no easy task.  The size makes it difficult to work with.  Also, it has curves-a bad thing for those of us who are cutlery challenged.   Regardless, I pressed on and got it done.  One butternut squash produced about three cups of cubed goodness.

When the weather turns cooler ( in reality, so far we have only had a couple of days that have dipped below 70), I yearn for one pot meals.  The kind of dish or soup that you combine on the stove and serve up with some crusty bread or a salad.

This recipe is adapted slightly from a Cooking Light recipe.  The cinnamon in this dish fills the house with a wonderful smell as it cooks.  Serve it up with some brown basmati rice or couscous, sauteed spinach, and a bold red wine.  It’s guaranteed to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

beef tagine with butternut squash

1 pound beef shoulder roast or petite tender roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes

3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1-inch pieces

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

fresh cilantro for garnishing (optional)

Combine paprika, cinnamon, salt, ginger, red pepper (if using), black pepper, and cloves in a medium bowl.  Add beef cubes and toss to coat.  Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat.  Add beef and onions; cook until browned, about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.  Stir in broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil.  Cook 5 minutes.  Add squash; cover, reduce heat,and simmer 15 minutes or until squash is tender.

You can stop right here and serve it up or, if it’s a little thin, you can add a thickener.  Place one tablespoon of flour in a coffee cup and slow add cold water while stirring until it’s creamy (but still thick).  Add to tagine while stirring.  Continue cooking 1-2 minutes while it thickens.

Serve with fresh cilantro.