Whenever someone mentions organic food, what's the first thing that comes to your mind? You're probably not picturing big, juicy steaks or burgers sizzling on the grill, are you? Well, your friends at 4th Generation Organic Market have some great news for you – Organic food is not JUST for vegetarians anymore!
Organic meat is one of the fastest growing segments of the organic revolution, and for good reason! It's better for the environment, better for the animal, and better for you. Animals raised organically are free of synthetic growth hormones and antibiotics, and are treated much more humanely than industrially farmed animals. Certified organic meats are also much less likely to be carriers of pesticide residues, salmonella, E. coli or other dangerous contaminants.
Not only do organic meats contain less of the chemicals and hormones that are bad for you, studies show that they also contain more of the essential fats and nutrients that your body needs. Grass-fed, organically raised beef and poultry both contain higher amounts of the same heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids found in many fish. Yet another good reason to go organic for your next barbecue!
To help you make the most of 4th Generation's selection of organic meat and produce for your Labor Day cookout, we've developed a couple of perfect recipes for the grill. Try them out and let us know what you think!
Spicy Caribbean Jerk Burgers (Serves 6)
1 ½ pound organic beef or turkey
1 ½ tsp. dried bread crumbs
3 tbsp. fresh orange zest
Juice of ½ an orange
1 piece fresh ginger, peeled, about ½ inch long
3 jalapeno chiles, stemmed and seeded (or to taste)
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp. allspice
1 dash each nutmeg and cinnamon
½ tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ tsp. soy sauce
1 ½ tsp. olive oil
Combine the orange zest, juice, ginger, chiles, garlic, scallions, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, thyme, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce in a food processor and blend into a coarse paste.
In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef or turkey, bread crumbs and spice paste. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour to allow the flavors to blend. Divide the meat mixture into six equal portions and shape into patties.
Blend together the soy sauce and olive oil in a small bowl and brush this on the patties. Grill over medium-high heat until cooked to your liking, serve with your favorite burger condiments and enjoy!
Garlic-Lime Chicken with Fresh Mango Salsa (Serves 8)
For the chicken:
8 boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts
Juice of 2 large limes
8 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil
Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil and garlic. Place the chicken in a large dish or resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Turn the chicken to coat and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
For the salsa:
4 ripe mangoes, peeled and chopped
6 vine-ripe roma tomatoes, chopped
2 sweet bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 serrano chile, seeded and diced (or to taste)
4 scallions, sliced
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 2 limes
2-4 tbsp. sugar (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine the first 7 salsa ingredients (through the lime juice) in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Set the salsa aside to allow the flavors to blend while the chicken is grilling.
Meanwhile, remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and discard the marinade. Grill the chicken over medium heat until it is cooked through and the juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Serve the chicken with a generous helping of salsa on the side and enjoy!