Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Game Meats for Beginners

The Health Benefits of Game Meats
By: Chef Cristian Feher

In this day and age, more and more people are adopting healthy lifestyles. And as part of a healthy lifestyle, we’re always in search for new and better ways to eat.

For some people, the mere mention of healthy food can have a negative connotation. They sneer, berate and avoid. They turn the idea down, like a child refusing a piece of broccoli. And although I feel that eating habits during childhood are an important factor, that would be better addressed in a different article.
We simply get bored. And healthy food can be boring. But since variety seems to be the spice of life, I would like to suggest some ways to make healthy eating adventurous and exciting again.

As a health-conscious eater, you’ve probably tried every vegetable, fruit, grain, and variety of rice out there. You’ve been there, eaten bean thread noodles, and done that. But I bet your protein sources have not changed much. You’ve probably gone on safari through the jungles of fruit and vegetables with the same ol’ trusty companions - chicken, beef, pork and fish. It might be time to get new friends.

To avoid a lengthy dissertation - this is my philosophy on food: you’re at the top of the food chain. Anything under you is fair game (pun intended). Game meats offer us a whole new world of healthy protein to explore.

Game animals like deer (venison), elk, buffalo, bison, quail, emu, ostrich, pheasant, rabbit, and several others are more readily available than you might think. You can purchase them online through e-retailers such as www.exoticmeatmarket.com. They may also be available locally at specialty stores and even your local grocery store (my grocery store carries venison and ground buffalo throughout the year).

What’s so healthy about game? For one, most game meat comes from the wild, or are farmed without growth hormones, antibiotics, and synthetic chemicals. Since they live more active lifestyles than domesticated animals, game tends to have less fat. And their natural diet produces meat that is more nutritious with higher levels of minerals and good amino acids.

In the mood for chili? Ground buffalo meat is lean, flavorful and satisfying. Cook it with onions, peppers, carrots, garlic, chipotle peppers, canned tomato and kidney beans for a healthier version of the every-day beef chili. I like to top it off with a scoop of fat free yogurt and eat it with warm naan bread (Indian flat bread similar to pita).

Alligator has become one of my favorite white meats since moving to Florida. It’s low in fat, has excellent texture (it’s between chicken and pork) and is most often organic. I like to grill it, stew it, and I even make my kid alligator salad sandwiches - a quick way to make friends at school, “Woah! You’re eating alligator? Cool!”

Impress yourself with easy alligator curry by cooking the alligator with onions, garlic, carrots, celery, potato, chickpeas, a little chicken bullion and curry powder. Add coconut milk when the onions are mushy, and simmer until the potatoes are soft. Serve over warm basmati rice. I guarantee you’ll go back for seconds.

In the mood for a BBQ this weekend? Why not invite your friends over for a “safari on the grill”?
Thanks to fast shipping, and large variety of game meats available on the internet (www.exoticmeatmarket.com) you can grill up some yak burgers, antelope sausages, ostrich fillets and alligator ribs. Your friends and family will be astounded at how delicious, and healthy, game meats can be. And best of all, it’s just plain fun to try new, exotic foods.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring. You can expand your meat repertoire and add some excitement back into dinner time. Give game a try.

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