Iron. It plays an essential role in our bodily functions to maintain good health- did you know that? In the human body, iron is an essential component of the proteins that engage in oxygen transport as well as regulation of cell growth and differentiation. There are two ways to obtain iron from the diet, through plants and animal foods, respectively known as non-heme and heme sources. Absorption of iron from biological sources such as animal proteins (fish, poultry, red meat) is more efficient compared to plant sources (lentils and beans). Absorption of non-heme iron can be improved with dietary animal sources as well as vitamin-C.
A deficiency of iron limits oxygen delivery to cells, resulting in fatigue, poor work performance, and decreased immunity. For example, different populations are at risk of being iron deficient. Women who have strong menstrual periods experiencing an extreme loss of blood or have had a recent pregnancy may be at risk of iron deficiency are recommended to consume sources such as bison, beef, and chicken to help regulate iron levels. This is why women are mad about bison! Others that are at risk for iron deficiency include: frequent donators of blood, long distance runners or endurance athletes, those gastrointestinal problems experiencing food absorption difficulty, and vegetarians, as well as young infants over the age of 6 months and children if dietary sources are deficient of necessary iron. Bison contains a greater source of iron when compared to its animal counterparts (chicken, salmon, beef).
The following recipe can be made with or without bison – luckily there are also beans in this recipe! Double whammy – iron from this dish can be obtained from both heme and non-heme sources!
Squash Mix Ingredients:
- 1 small yellow squash, diced
- 1 small green zucchini; diced
- 1/2 c red pepper, diced
- 1/2 c yellow onions, minced
- 1 c white kidney beans (if canned, strain twice to removed added liquid/sodium)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Optional: A few pinches of paprika and Cajun seasoning
- In a medium-sized wok heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Toss in all the vegetables and stir (about 7-10 minutes).
- Top the vegetables with the spices then mix and allow for some caramelization.
- Remove from heat and set two equal portions into serving dishes.
Garlic Peppered Bison:
- 8-ounces of 95% lean ground bison(divide into two servings of 4-ounces)
- Olive oil spray (to coat pan)
- Optional: Garlic powder, garlic salt, and ground black pepper (you are in control of HOW much seasoning is added – I recommend covering the meat lightly with all three)
- In a small frying pan, evenly spray olive oil on the surface, and heat over medium heat.
- Prior to putting the meat into the pan – cover the two surfaces with the desired amounts of seasoning.
- Toss in the bison – allow each side to sear for about 1-minute.
- Cook each side for about 5-6 minutes. Check the inside to see whether it is cooked completely or use a meat thermometer (should be about 155 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Set the portioned bison atop of the squash mix.
- Viola – enjoy!!!
***Side note: This is the first meal that I have cooked in Chicago!!! Many more to come since I am officially settled and starting to get used to my new schedule, surroundings, and job!
xxx – Sarah