When I work with Parsley Health members, I often find that one of the best ways to optimize their nutrition is to diversify their food choices. It’s natural to stick to comfortable, go-to favorites in the kitchen, but including a wide variety of high quality proteins, healthy fats , and colorful vegetables is the true key to a healthier diet. That’s why this recipe takes a standard American menu item, the burger, and makes it into a more nutrient dense recipe that can be an easy add-in for a backyard summer barbecue or for another typical dinner meal at home. For tonight’s dinner: a bison meat burger!
Most bison meat you’ll find comes from grass-fed bison, as it’s not traditionally a factory farmed animal. Bison cattle commonly live freely in the wild and unlike cows bred for beef are not confined to small feedlots or tightly packed indoor areas. They’re also never given antibiotics or hormones as it’s illegal to use them in these animals, which is a huge win for your health.
Many conventional beef are predominantly grain-fed and often given antibiotics, steroids, or hormones. This is actually linked to an unfavorable ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats in their meat, which can cause increased inflammation in humans. Bison, however, has one of the best omega-3/omega-6 ratios of any red meat, found research in Nutrition Journal .
Bison meat also has great micronutrient content, with higher levels of B vitamins, copper, potassium, and zinc than most other red meat. This helps support energy levels, mood, and cognitive function. These micronutrients are also critical for proper immune system and cellular function helping to form new tissue, hair, and skin cells.
Because bison roam free, they help to preserve the grasslands of North America and produce overall low carbon emissions. Rather than eating the grasses in one place, they graze in a wide area, naturally removing excessive growth and allowing more room for healthy plants and grasses to grow.
Enter the perfect burger: Pairing this nutrient dense meat choice with butter lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, and onions helps to complement the protein and healthy fat with proper fiber for digestion.
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine bison, garlic, dijon mustard, onion, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.
(Note to the chef: Because bison meat is so lean, it cooks quickly and becomes tough if you overwork it or cook it too long or at too high a temperature)
2. Heat your grill to medium-high heat.
3. Divide meat mixture into 4 equal parts. With your hands, create four patties, about one inch thick.
4. Place freshly formed burger patties on the grill and close the lid. Grill patties for 6-7 minutes on one side.
5. After 6-7 minutes, flip the bison burgers and close the lid again to let the other side cook.
6. Remove the bison burgers from the grill once cooked to desired readiness.
7. Place each burger on a lettuce leaf, then top with additional onions (as desired), fresh tomatoes, and avocado slices. Complete the burger with another butter lettuce leaf on top and serve!
Kelly Johnston is a registered Dietitian Nutritionist with six years of experience in the health and wellness field, four of which have been spent right here at Parsley Health supporting members with everything from gut issues and autoimmune disease to cardiometabolic health concerns and fertility. She holds a Master's of Science in Nutrition from one of the leading science-based natural medicine schools in the country, Bastyr University, and completed her dietetic internship at Sea Mar Community Health Center in Seattle, WA.