Bacon Bourbon Blue cheese Bison Burgers….BOOM!

Hello!

Can you believe it’s already Thursday?!

it's thursday

Can you believe I’m giving you two, count them – TWO!, food posts in one week?!

I know, right?!

It even amazes me. I’m darn near rendered speechless over here.

Well, that would make for an awkward blog post, now wouldn’t it?

Just imagine it.

charles-barsotti-man-at-bar-thinks-chapter-one-with-large-blank-space-following-new-yorker-cartoon

Anywho, I had a major craving for a burger this weekend but I didn’t want a standard old burger.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I make a pretty mean burger, if I do say so myself!

But, I decided to up my game.

And, be alliterative in the process.

Because alliteration is FUN!

(For those of you that weren’t paying attention or were out sick that day in English class, alliteration is “the use of words that begin with the same sound near one another. But, I’m sure that’s none of you. And yes, I’m a grammar nerd.) 😉

So, I started with the bison that I had and went from there.

Bacon? duh. Blue cheese? Totally awesome on a burger. Bourbon? Why the heck not?!

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I threw in some McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning because it’s the bomb. If you don’t have any, you can use your own preferred seasoning. Remember that the blue cheese is already salty so don’t overdo it with that seasoning.

Basically, I mixed the ground bison with about 1/4 cup of Montreal Steak Seasoning, a couple of tablespoons of Bowman Brother’s Bourbon (more alliteration!), and a couple of tablespoons of blue cheese.

I probably could have added more blue cheese but I didn’t want to overdo it. I love blue cheese but I knew I wasn’t going to be the only person eating. If you are making these for blue cheese lovers, add more.

Feel free to add in fresh chopped onion and garlic, if you desire. That would be YUM!

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And, out onto the grill they went! I tossed some red onion slices on there, too. And fresh-picked corn on the cob.

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Now, depending on how you like your burgers, they’ll be on the grill for anywhere between 9-13 minutes.

You generally want to get a good sear on one side and that will take about 5-6 minutes before you flip.

Once you flip, the rest is up to you. Less time for rare, more time for well-done.

We prefer ours medium.

Now, you’re probably wondering where the bacon is.

I ate it all!

Just kidding. 😉

I debated putting the bacon IN the burger but I think bacon goes best ON a burger.

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The combination of the salty, crispy bacon on top of a burger made with salty blue cheese and sweet bourbon was just amaze-balls. The red onion added a nice smokey sweetness to it, too.

Have you ever grilled a red onion? So good!

Bacon Bourbon Blue cheese Bison Burgers
makes 4 burgers

1 pound ground bison (will work with ground beef, too)
1/4 cup Montreal Steak Seasoning or burger seasoning of choice
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 tablespoons blue cheese (or more, if desired)
8 slices bacon (I prefer Smithfield All Natural)

Mix bison, seasoning, bourbon, and blue cheese with hands. Form into four patties. Grill according to preferred doneness. Place burger on bun, top with bacon and additional condiments as desired. EAT!

Talk to me: Do you have a favorite burger joint? What’s the most unusual burger you’ve ever eaten?

When we lived in Florida, this bar and grill we liked to go to made a burger with Jamaican Jerk BBQ sauce, jerk seasoning, and grilled pineapple. Oh my goodness, it was SO good!!

– jennifer

Skinny Shepherd’s Pie

Hello!

Happy Wednesday!

smi11

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I have to admit – I am absolutely LOVING my new Clean Eating cookbook.

I’ve been making things out of there like crazy!

It’s all so delicious and it feels really good to use real, natural ingredients all the time. 🙂

My most recent was shepherd’s pie.

Who doesn’t love shepherd’s pie?!

Well, most dietitians don’t because it’s usually packed with fat and excessive, unnecessary carbs.

Hey, that’s what usually makes it taste so good, right?!

Um, yeah but the regret and potential tummy ache isn’t worth it.

So…make this one instead!

Bison is packed with nutrition – protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and iron. If you can’t find it, you can certainly use grass-fed beef if you can’t find bison, but don’t let the fact that it’s bison scare you away. Bison and beef are practically the same in flavor.

Adding cauliflower to the mashed potatoes ups the nutrition content and helps eliminate excess carbs. And, the cauliflower has a rich flavor when mashed and baked – you’ll never miss all the butter!

I promise!

Comfort food without the guilt.  Sounds like heaven to me. 🙂

dinner

Skinny Shepherd’s Pie
makes 8 servings

2 Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed well and quartered
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 teaspoon each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup skim milk
Olive oil cooking spray
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground bison
1 cup sliced carrots (peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced into half-moons)
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon low-sodium Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 cup frozen peas

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

taters n cauliflower

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil on high heat. Add potatoes and cook for 8 minutes. Add cauliflower and cook for an additional 7 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain and transfer to a large bowl; add salt, pepper, and milk and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Set aside.

3. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add onion, garlic, bison, and carrots and cook for 8 minutes or until no pink remains, stirring often and using a wooden spoon to break up bison.

bison

4. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat oil on medium. Sprinkle in flour and whisk until no lumps remain, about 1 minute. Gradually add broth, whisking constantly, until mixture is smooth and begins to thicken. Add Worchestershire sauce and thyme, whisking to combine.

broth

5. In a 10×15-inch casserole dish, add bison mixture, broth mixture and peas; stir to combine.

bison mixture

Spread mixture in an even layer, then top with potato-cauliflower mixture in an even layer. Run a fork over the top in a crosshatch pattern or use the back of a spatula or spoon to create a swirl texture.

ready for the oven

Mist top with cooking spray, transfer to oven and bake until filling is bubbling and top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

all done

Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

serve it up

6. OM NOM NOM!!

Nutritional information per 1-cup serving:
Calories 191; Total Fat 5g, Saturated 1g; Carbohydrates 19g; Fiber 3g; Sugars 3.5g; Protein 16g; Sodium 332mg; Cholesterol 41mg

Talk to me: What’s your favorite comfort food dish?

– jennifer