Tricounty News

Cooking out goes green, organic: Firecracker cheeseburgers

Cooking out goes green, organic

Family Features

Organic foods aren't hard-to-find, speciality items any more. As more people are looking for foods that help their body and the environment, they're able to find them easily in the grocery store. Shoppers want more than just organic produce - the demand for organic meat is growing, too. Families are becoming more aware of where their meat comes from and how it's produced, and are looking toward organic meats for health benefits, better quality and taste. With grilling season here, it's a great time to take advantage of the wide variety of organic foods available and to make some green choices at your next cookout.

Things you can do:

• Look for local and regional foods. Getting fresher foods and supporting local farmers, fossil fuel consumption is reduced, since the food doesn't have to travel as far.

• Choose organic meats and veggies. Organic farming methods help heal the earth by returning vitality and nutrients to the soil and keeping air and water safe from pollution caused by toxic pesticides and herbicides. Meats are produced by family farmers without antibiotics, synthetic hormones or pesticides.

• Check out your grill. Buying one sturdy and durable grill that will last for years is a better investment than a grill that needs to be replaced fairly often.

• Re-think your fuel. Propane gas and charcoal briquettes aren't the only options for grilling. Hardwood charcoal is made from pieces of wood recovered from the flooring and furniture industries. No trees are cut down to make it. It has no fillers, coal, nitrate or chemicals added. It lights quickly, burns cleanly and leaves no chemical aftertaste.

Firecracker

Cheeseburger

(4 servings)

1/2 c. Organic Valley Sour Cream

2 tblsp. horseradish (bottled variety, drained)

2 tblsp. sweet pickle relish

2 tsp. pickled jalapenos

4 Organic Prairie Ground Beef Patties

4 oz. Organic Valley Deli-Sliced Cheddar Cheese

Salt & pepper (to taste)

In small mixing bowl, combine sour cream with horseradish, sweet pickle relish and pickled jalapenos. Cover and chill. Grill patties on one side, flip and add sliced cheddar. Grill to perfection. Slice your favorite burger roll and brush with garlic butter. Toast or grill, as desired. Transfer grilled cheeseburger to the toasty garlic-butter roll (for a low carb alternative, try serving burger on a heap of seasonal greens and edible flowers). Top with the sour cream horseradish sauce, tomato slices and fresh leaf lettuce.

For more about organic farming and organic products, visit www.organicvalley.coop.