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Nancy's Organic Kitchen: Lazy Days of Summer for the Best Burgers

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By Nancy Chuda founder of
"Let advertisers spend the same amount of money improving their product that they do on advertising and they wouldn't have to advertise it." ...Will Rogers
He was my favorite American. In fact, I love his cookbook but to be honest, Will Rogers lived at a time when pesticides (that dirty word) were not around. Thank goodness Healthy Child Healthy World the organization Jim and I founded helped change awareness about the dangers of pesticides and children's health. Today, thanks to our partnership with Ken Cook and his organization, EWG, (Environmental Working Group) you can learn all about safer food choices and consumer products. I have always relied on Ken's determination to break through the barriers and secrets of agribusiness and to apply knowledge derived from science to direct political change. EWG does the best job in providing every consumer's right-to-know and Healthy Child IS the go to source for parents who want to use their dollars wisely and protect the health of their families. Especially children who are the most vulnerable.
Heats on. Temperatures are soaring. Dinner time is a challenge and so is the clean up. But what's easy, delicious and always a favorite? In our home it's a good old American burger with melted cheddar cheese.

But here's my secrets to a fabulous, low-cost, easy to fix dinner that won't leave you in a sweat. And it's organic too. People always love my cooking and I don't take any credit. I give it all to my favorite El Rancho Market here in the heart of Santa Ynez Valley. For me, El Rancho is my Disneyland. I can't pass up an opportunity to sample their freshly brewed coffee of the day as I peruse all of my favorite isles. It can be an overwhelming experience for any shopper without a list. But I make certain not to bring one. In fact, I feel like an artist in residence as I create every culinary choice on the spot.

For instance, last nights dinner was not a very big challenge. First, I spoke with my friendly butcher, (yes he or she is real and will help guide you in your selection) when you ask, " I need your best grass fed organic low fat beef to make burgers." Within seconds I was guided to the area for my specific request. Not only did I discover one brand of organic lean beef but many other brands. This is such an encouraging sign. I can't tell you how happy I feel when I discover a "rush" for organic anything.

A good old fashion relish and so is ketchup both are key ingredients to my secret sauce. (shhhh!!) El Rancho Market has every brand and more. Get Woodstock. For the rest of the treats.... and I mean treats!! You have never tasted tomatoes like the ones grown at Finley Farms. Or corn on the cob just picked. Or sweet red onions that don't make you cry when cutting. Or peaches that could rival any from Georgia. These are so so sweet you can eat them as a desert without cream or ice cream.

When it comes to buns.... pardon my expression, but I like to keep mine in tact. But, if you just have to have that carb, gluten free or not.... may I suggest some freshly baked organic sourdough bread with sunflower seeds because anything that contains those nutritious seeds plus fiber works for me.

And last but certainly not least, if you want a fine red wine with a smooth finish I suggest you visit my dear friend Lindy Willingham's home page and let Little Redhead, give you some ideas. It's all about the terroir.

Editor's Notes:

And for more information about how to find true organic food at your farmers market read Rodale's Organic Life