Give Your Summertime Grilling a Healthy Twist: Here’s How

Image: VIBRANT: A Groundbreaking Program to Get Energized, Reverse Aging, and Glow

Are you planning a cookout for the Fourth? If so, are you opting for the standbys — the Dogs and burgers?

If so here is a way to enjoy the captivating aroma of red meat sizzling over hot coals but without the guilt. Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson (aka, “The VibrantDoc”) has come up with some  summer recipes that are not only delicious but healthy.

The key to these alternative summer show stoppers is that they trade on bison, not beef.

Pound for pound, bison is a healthier choice if you’re looking to reduce your caloric and/or fat intake. It is leaner than beef, provides nearly 25% fewer calories, and is lower in saturated fat. Due to its reduced fat content, moreover, bison has finer fat marbling, yielding more tender meat.

The two recipes that follow are from Dr. Stephenson’s new self-care book “VIBRANT: A Groundbreaking Program to Get Energized, Reverse Aging, and Glow.”

Grilled Bison Ribeye


  • 2 Tbsp avocado or grapeseed oil 

  • 4 Tbsp garlic powder 

  • 1 tsp sea salt 

  • 1 tsp pepper

  • 1 Tbsp tamari

  • 4 10-ounce bison ribeyes

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (white or baby bella)

  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced into rings


  1. In a large shallow pan that will accommodate all four steaks, whisk together the oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and tamari. Add the steaks and flip to coat. Cover and set aside to marinate on the counter until the meat comes to room temperature, about 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. Preheat the grill on high until it reaches 400 degrees with the lid on.
  3. Put the steaks on the grill and cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side (depending on thickness) for medium. Remove the steaks from the heat and put them on a plate. Cover and let them rest for ten minutes.
  4. While the steak is resting, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add the mushrooms in a single layer and cook until browned on one side. Flip and cook until browned on the other side. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  6. Without wiping the skillet, add the onions and sauté until they are soft, about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms during the last minute, mixing it all together.
  7. Serve the steaks topped with the mushrooms and onions, or if you prefer serve the mushrooms and onions on the side.

Note: You could also use a grass-fed beef strip steak if you prefer a lower-fat cut of meat. 

Yield: 4 to 8 servings

Image: VIBRANT: A Groundbreaking Program to Get Energized, Reverse Aging, and Glow

Bison Sliders with Avocado Aïoli in Lettuce Wraps 

  • 2 lbs ground bison
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

For the Avocado Aïoli

  • 2 avocados, mashed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cilantro, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the wraps

  • 12 large leaves from 1 to 2 heads of Boston lettuce
  • 2 to 3 Roma tomatoes, sliced (for a total of 16 slices)


  1. Put the ground bison in a bowl with the garlic, garlic powder, sea salt, onion powder, pepper, and paprika. Mix with your hands until fully combined, then set aside to come to room temperature, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Make the avocado aïoli: Combine the avocadoes, garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Preheat the grill on high to 400 degrees with the lid on.
  4. Form 16 small patties from the ground meat mixture. Put the patties on the grill and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until desired doneness.
  5. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a platter and put a slider on each leaf. Top with a tomato, avocado aioli, and/or any preferred condiments.

Optional: Burger condiments of choice (ketchup, mustard, pickle relish, and so on) may be added.

Yield: 8 to 16 servings