iron + buffalo sliders with caramelized onions and apple fennel slaw

I had to get a blood test done for my new job. Eeek new job! Blood test, not so much. But I found out that my red blood cell count is slightly low. That means I have an iron deficiency and am slightly anemic. Gulp. Iron deficiency is a common problem, especially among athletes if they are not getting adequate iron through their diet. When iron is low, people tend to feel tired and fatigued and have a hard time with extreme temperatures. Thankfully I don’t suspect my intolerance of the heat has anything to do with my iron levels. I’m sorry but 95* in September is just not acceptable. But it’s time to take action!

Iron in food exists in two forms: heme + non-heme. The former is most easily used by the body and is found in animal + fish meats. The latter is not very easily absorbed and is found in plants such as spinach and beans. Vitamin C also helps to absorb iron. An excuse to eat more orange soda cake? I think so.

So where did I get my iron this weekend? Buffalo. You heard me right. Ground, grass fed buffalo burger. And it was dang good.

Buffalo meat is actually very nutritious. It’s a great source of iron – 3 ounces has 15% of your PDV (Percent Daily Value), and it is never higher than 10% fat. Grass-fed buffalo is also high in omega-3 fatty acids – those good ones you also find in fish. You have to get the grass fed kind though. Grain feed is what makes all those omega-3s turn into omega-6s (the not so good kind).

And it tastes just like ground beef…I swear… my brother and Dad ate these voraciously <–GRE word! Anyone else studying for the GRE?

Ok, back to business.

Buffalo Sliders + Caramelized Onions
Makes ~15 sliders. You can find ground buffalo at any Sprouts, Whole Foods, health/specialty grocery.
2 pounds ground buffalo
3 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T olive oil
2-3 t chile powder
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t oregano
salt + pepper
1/2 red onion cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
14 dinner roll sized rolls (I used potato rolls)
red leaf lettuce, ketchup + mustard for serving

Combine Worcestershire, olive oil, and spices. With your hands mix in ground beef until just combined. Over handling the meat will cause it to become tough. Form slider sized patties. Cook on grill or skillet covered on medium-low heat for ~7-10 min, flipping half-way through. Buffalo is best cooked on low heat to keep it from toughening.

For caramelized onions saute onion with 1 T oil on medium heat until they start browning. Cover and turn heat to low. Keep on low heat to sweat, stirring occasionally ~5-10 min.

Apple-Fennel Slaw
2 apples thinly sliced
2 bulbs fennel thinly sliced + blanched
1 cup greek yogurt
2 T apple-cider vinegar
juice from 1 lemon
salt + pepper

Blanch fennel for ~1 min. Immediately rinse in cold water and let cool. Chop apples + fennel into thin bite sized slivers. Combine all ingredients. Serve chilled.
Seriously delicious eaten crammed in with your burger(s).

Don’t forget the most important condiment… beer :)

I ate a total of six of these guys this weekend. Iron-eating champ.



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