Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What’s for Dinner: Grass Fed Beef Burgers


Aaron and I took Guinevere to the local Farmer’s Market on Sunday morning.  I love Farmer’s Markets but I hadn’t been to this one in a really long time.  Once I joined the CSA, I didn’t really have a need to seek out additional locally grown organic produce.  Plus, it has been so hot here ever since Guinevere was born that I really didn’t want to expose her to that kind of heat when she was so little.  Now that she’s a little bigger, and the highs are “only” in the 90’s as opposed to 100’s, I’m much more willing to take her out (especially in the morning before it heats up too much).  Aaron wanted to pick up some local honey to potentially help him with allergies (we shall see if that actually works or not), so we decided now would be the perfect time to take Guinevere on her first Farmer’s Market excursion.

I’m definitely glad we went earlier rather than later.  We were sweating by the time we left!  But I think Guinevere enjoyed herself.  She certainly smiled at plenty of vendors and got loads of comments on how adorable she is.  While I was buying some plums and pluots, Aaron started talking to the lady at the grass fed beef stand.  I’ve wanted to try grass fed beef ever since I read “Diet for a Small Planet,” which talks about how grass fed beef is much more sustainable for the environment.  But somehow, I’ve always skipped over the few meat stands at the Farmer’s Market.

As I mentioned in my post about our trip to Michigan, Aaron is from a farming family.  In addition to growing crops, part of his family raised cattle and owned a meat packing plant.  Aaron always talks about how humanely his family treated their livestock and how he never understood animal rights activists who went off on the horrible treatment some animals receive . . . that is until he moved to California and drove past some of the giant agribusiness “pastures” in central California. 

After talking to the lady at the grass fed beef stand, Aaron decided we should show our support for this type of farming and make a purchase.  Since neither of us had ever had grass fed beef, the lady recommended we buy a pound of ground beef.  She said it was a good “starter” option.  I made burgers with it last night – omg, they were so good!!!  I’m really glad the lady told us that grass fed beef doesn’t require a lot of seasoning – it’s very flavorful on its own.  I just added a bit of Worcestershire sauce and some salt and pepper.  Then grilled the burgers on my Foreman Grill.  We had a salad to go with, and it was delicious!  Of course, I ended up eating most of mine cold bc Guinevere decided to start crying inconsolably the moment we sat down to eat.  But even cold, it was yummy!

  
In continuing with my series of “How much does dinner cost?” I decided to break down the dinner I cooked last night.  I went into it knowing that it would be a bit more expensive because of the grass fed beef, but I was still curious.  Honestly, I’m really impressed that it wasn’t that expensive – even with the higher ticket items of grass fed beef and thin buns that have no high fructose corn syrup in them.  I think it’s still less than the cost of going to McDonald’s (not sure on that one since I’m not totally sure on prices at McD’s) – but $3 per serving seems like it would have to be cheaper.  Not to mention the cost in gas to get there.  As far as time, it was one of the fastest meals I have prepared.  I think it took me all of 15 minutes to chop the salad, divide up the meat into 4 equal portions AND cook them (the burgers only needed about 5 minutes on the grill).

Here’s the breakdown:
Grass Fed Beef Burgers

1 lb grass fed beef
$7.92
salt, pepper, worcestershire
$0.30
4 buns
$1.25
4 oz cheese
$1.00
pickle
$0.10
lettuce
$1.00
cucumber
$0.50
tomato
$0.25
carrot
$0.10
dressing
$0.10


total
$12.52


4 servings
$3.13

Full disclosure: I arbitrarily assign a value of 10 cents to anything that is a staple in the pantry, like salt, pepper, etc.  Also, there were more than 4 servings of salad, but it was easiest to just add all of it to this meal calculation.

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