I know it always surprises people when I post a recipe with meat in it. Although I mostly eat vegan and vegetarian meals, I still eat some meat occasionally, as long as it’s organic and grass-fed, meaning that the animals lived mostly outside in the fields, eating grass, instead of being confined to horrible conditions inside large operations, where they never see the light of day and are fed GMO corn and soy, which is totally unnatural for them to eat since they are herbivores (that’s why they have 2 stomachs, to digest the hard structure of grass fibres).
What happens when an herbivore eats something else other than grass, especially for long periods of time, is that the 2nd stomach continues producing acid to digest the grass, but there’s no grass to be digested, so it starts to get bloated, to the point where the acid is foaming and hurts their stomach, but also comes back up through the oesophagus and into the mouth, burning everything along the way, and sometimes killing them because they cannot breathe. You might think reading this is gross, but imagine them living through this. (Also, I’ve considerably shortened the explanation from Michael Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma) 😉
For this reason, these animals are suffering, and are given large amounts of antibiotics (which are totally unnecessary when the animals live outside, the way they should be). Sometimes, the vet even has to introduce a tube down the cow’s throat so that she can breathe! How disgusting, cruel, and unnecessary!
Oh, and in case that isn’t reason enough to make you want to switch to organic grass-fed meat (lol), you also need to know that beef/cows that are fed conventionally (GMO corn and soy) have a MUCH higher chance of developing super-resistant e. coli bacteria, the stuff that makes us sick. Little do we know that grass-fed animals carry a different type of e. coli, one that is benign and that naturally gets killed by our stomach acid without making us sick. Studies have shown that if conventional animal raising facilities would let the beef eat grass for the last 3 days of its life, that would reduce the chances of super-resistant e.coli by over 80%. Only 3 days!!! But even that is too much for the corporations, and instead, they prefer for US to take the risk. Well, NO THANK YOU! I am not an experiment! Plus, I do not want to contribute to animal cruelty, so either way, I choose to eat organic & grass-fed meat (also called pastured meat sometimes), and I also choose to eat a lot less than I used to (about once a week, or less). Make sure that you choose organic AND grass-fed as apparently Monsanto is now investing into GMO grass seeds!
Now that you understand the importance of eating organic & grass-fed beef/dairy, you should also know that pastured animals do not pollute the soil and water the way that CAFOs do, and the best part: it tastes much better, and is also healthier for you. Grass-fed beef contains healthy fatty acids and omegas, which corn-fed meat does not! Pretty crazy, huh? For more details and references, I highly recommend reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan (affiliate link), one of the most influential books I’ve read about food.
It’s not always about what you eat that makes a difference, but rather where it comes from, how it was made/raised. The quality of your food is what matters. Know where your food comes from, and know what your food ate too (if you eat animal products).
So, if you want delicious burgers this summer, why not make less (and less often), but enjoy them more, and feel good about what you’re eating!
You can easily make 4 hamburger patties with 1lb of lean grass-fed ground beef. If you want to stretch it even more, add chopped and grated veggies like onion, carrots, zucchini, garlic, etc.
Here is an easy recipe for some quick burgers, with roasted slices of zucchini on the BBQ. The picture isn’t great because it was starting to get dark outside by the time we were eating, but I wanted to share this delicious burger recipe before the weekend! 🙂
Classic Summer Grass-Fed Burger with Zucchini and Sauerkraut + Fries
A healthier take on the classic burger! Make sure to use grass-fed beef.
- 1 lb fresh organic & grass-fed ground beef split into 4 patties
- 1/2 tsp ground onion
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground garlic
- 1/2 tsp ground paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground cayenne
Condiments + Toppings
- 8 slices organic zucchini
- 8 slices organic tomatoes
- 4 slices organic cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup naturally fermented sauerkraut
- 4 pickles
- 1/4 cup organic ketchup
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup mustard
- 4 wholegrain buns of your choice
- Generously sprinkle all the spices on the 4 burger patties.
- Cook on BBQ until nicely roasted, or however you prefer your burger (but not charred!).
- Cook the zucchini slices on the BBQ for about 3-5 minutes each side.
- Add the cheese during the last few minutes of cooking so that the cheese melts over the burger patties.
- Toast the buns.
- Assemble your burgers, add a couple of slices of tomatoes and some sauerkraut on top, and serve with a pickle and homemade fries on the side. (Fries: Simply wash and cut potatoes, mix in a bowl with 2-3 Tbsp of olive oil, and bake at 425F for about 20-25 mins. Add a pinch of grey sea salt after they're cooked)
- Oh yum!
Note: I do not believe anyone should worry about counting calories, but here is the nutritional information for one serving
Calories: 546kcal | Fat: 33g | Saturated fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 1381mg | Potassium: 828mg | Carbohydrates: 32g | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Protein: 29g | Vitamin A: 1065% | Vitamin C: 20.7% | Calcium: 165% | Iron: 5.3%
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Delicious! I love your spicing suggestions!
Thank you! It really brings out the flavours!
This looks amazing! Perfect for summer grilling. Great explanation about the quality of the meat you buy. It’s all about the quality.
Thank you! It’s too bad the lighting was horrible. haha
Rose | The Clean Dish says
I’m all about burgers and sandwiches these days so yay to your classic burger recipe!
I am EXACTLY the same — I eat vegan/vegetarian most days but every now and then, I’ll eat some local, organic meat! Thanks for the explanation of why herbivores need to stick to their diet; I like how you put it in simple, easy to understand terms! There are still too many people unaware of this important subject.
I love your photos!! Excellent post 🙂
Thank you Rose! I agree, so many more people need to know about this simple switch in their buying habits that can have such a big impact! 🙂