Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bison Bolognese Makes Me "Happy Happy Happy"

This is not the blog to look to for TV or Movie advice. A good foodie doc, maybe. I've mentioned before that I don't watch much television. I turn it on for weather and traffic in the morning and again for weather and background noise in the evening. I don't like being restricted by "what's on TV" or being forced to watch 30 seconds of bull on how frozen dinners, Coke Zero or fat free butter alternatives will improve your life. It is for this same reason that I love my Apple TV because I can stream any show, movie or documentary I want, when I want, commercial free. Nothing makes me happier than seeing Food documentaries on sale and stocking up for a rainy Sunday afternoon. 

In addition to my foodie movie indulgences though, I do have a few guilty pleasures. I'm only human!  My biggie is The Newsroom (HBO - Hands Down Favorite Show on TV Now) and okay maybe the occasional KOTK (ugh).... but nothing and I mean nothing gets me going like a little Duck Dynasty (A&E). I had never heard of it up until a couple months ago. The men in my family do a lot of hunting and I relate to camouflage so I gave it a shot one day. The rest is history. No cast of characters makes me laugh quite like the Robertson clan! The two guys who I really get a kick out of though are Phil Robertson (father) and Si Robertson (uncle, brother to Phil). These two crack me UP! I don't know what it is but I sit there with a huge smile on my face the entire episode and their comments evoke belly laugh after belly laugh.

Yesterday was kind of a crappy Wednesday; I was feeling stressed and a little overwhelmed. I've been completely committed to managing my stress levels and working on some adrenal issues I've been dealing with. So, when I felt the stressors setting in I decided I would make two of my favorite stress reducing activities part of that evening's agenda: cooking a beautiful organic comfort meal & laughing my butt off (via Duck Dynasty). I called Jon and asked him to pick up some ingredients from the market - tonight we would be having possibly one of my favorite "comfort" foods: bolognese. But not just any bolognese - my organic grass-fed bison bolognese, served over locally picked organic spaghetti squash. My mouth waters just typing this. And since laughter has been scientifically proven to boost mood, increase blood flow, lower blood pressure, strengthen your abdominal muscles and reduce stress and stress hormones (which cause you to hold onto belly fat, FYI) in your body, a little helping of Uncle Si would be served for dessert!

Next time you're having a crappy day, I invite you to share in my recipe and treat yourself to a good laugh. I've included some funny "Uncle Si" clips for your enjoyment as well as the full recipe for Bison Bolognese + Spaghetti Squash below. 

A Moment with Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty

Organic Bison Bolognese  + Local Organic Spaghetti Squash
Bison might be my favorite meat. It is leaner, has a lot less calories and fat, and a much richer flavor than beef. In fact, it has less fat per serving than pork, chicken and salmon as well. It is loaded with iron, making it a great option especially for women who need more iron than men do. Another fantastic reason to eat bison is the lengths gone to by the National Bison Association to ensure that all bison are grass-fed and grazing and free of chemicals or hormones for their entire lives. As far as taste is concerned, I grew up eating gamey meats like venison, a taste for which many people just don't have. Bison's flavor is much different; it's deeply sweet and savory and pairs well with a lot of different flavors. One of my absolute favorite ways to prepare it is in my Organic Bison Bolognese and I'd like you to be able to enjoy it's rich flavor as well:

I made a large pot of it to use for lunches and freeze for future meals, something I strongly suggest doing to help you surround yourself with healthy satisfying options. Next time you're in a pinch, pull a jar out of the freezer to defrost and your have an instant organic meal.

  • 2 Pounds Ground Bison
  • 1 Tbsp Organic Coconut Oil
  • 1 28 oz. can Organic Whole Peeled Tomatoes, strained and pulverized
  • 1 small cal Organic Crushed Tomatoes, strained
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 small organic onion (local if possible)
  • 2 organic carrots, peeled, diced
  • 1 large celery rib, diced
  • 1/2 cup organic red wine
  • 1/2 cup organic low sodium chicken stock
  • fresh local / organic basil
  • fresh organic sage
  • 2 freshly minced organic garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flake
  • 1 medium - large local organic spaghetti squash, halved, seeds removed
  • Green Veggie Side (This time I steamed Organic Broccoli and tossed in some garlic, coconut oil and and lemon juice. I also like Sauteed Kale or Spinach or Steamed Local String Beans )

Some of the Ingredients I Used

  • Place large sauce pan over medium heat. Melt coconut oil and add the bison meat, celery, carrots, onion and garlic. Cook until meat it brown and veggies are getting soft.
  • Add red wine, let it reduce. Once reduced, add in the chicken stock, tomato paste and tomatoes. Stir until evenly distributed, breaking up the meat into chunks when necessary. Add in a little salt, pepper, red pepper flake, a few basil leaves, 2 sage leaves and let simmer for an hour.
  • While that simmers, heat your oven to 375 and place your squash halves face down in a baking dish with 1/2-3/4 cup water (enough to coat the bottom of your baking dish). Bake for 40 minutes. 
  • After 40 minutes I like to give the rind a poke with my fork. If it doesn't poke through easily, put them back in for another 12-15 minutes. If easily penetrated by a fork, remove from oven and let cool until you're able to handle comfortably. Once cooled, scraped inside with fork. You should get a large bowl of medium to long strands of pasta-like squash. 
  • After about an hour of simmering, I like to give the sauce a taste, hitting it with some S&P to taste and topping with a few fresh basil leaves.
  • Steam or Sauté your green veggie side.
  • Serve sauce over spaghetti squash with side and ENJOY!

I absolutely love this meal. So much so, I brought it for lunch today with some spinach! After dinner I indulged in a little Duck Dynasty with Jon and laughed my butt off for a good hour! I don't know if it was brining to life the bison bolognese or all the wisecracks from the Robertson clan, but my stress had lifted and I was feeling "Happy Happy Happy!" I hope this recipe is a success for you as well :)

"Happy Happy Happy"

If you have any questions about bison, stress or anything else you're curious about - please leave them in the comments section below or over on our Facebook Page.

What do you do to de-stress?

In addition to cooking and laughing, I like reading, jogging and yoga.

Keep it Real,


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