Cooking Caveman with Jeff Nimoy

THESE ARE THE COOKING ADVENTURES OF JEFF NIMOY, AN LA WRITER WHO, WHILE DOING RESEARCH FOR A SCRIPT, STUMBLED UPON WHAT’S CALLED THE CAVEMAN DIET, ALSO KNOWN AS THE PALEO DIET. BASICALLY, IT’S EATING WHAT THE CAVEMEN ATE. HE TRIED IT OUT, AND THE RESULTS HAVE BEEN STAGGERING! THIS BLOG SHOWS EXACTLY HOW AND WHAT JEFF EATS. IF YOU’RE NEW TO THE BLOG, PLEASE START WITH THE “ENTERING THE CAVE” PAGE TO GET A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT.

Posts tagged Burger

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I Don’t Always Eat Cheat Meals… But When I Do, I Prefer Hamburgers

He is… the least interesting Caveman in the world!

I’m not just a caveman, I’m a major foodie as well.  I’m the guy when someone’s in a strange city, they text me back in LA to see where to eat.  Most people are more fascinated by what I eat for my cheat meals than when I eat paleo the rest of the week.  I would say more than half the time, it’s a burger!  LA is the king of burgers, and I challenge any city to produce more restaurants serving amazing burgers than we have here.  I’ve tried what many claim to be the best burgers in NYC, and they wouldn’t even crack LA’s top 10.  So for those that live in Los Angeles, and want to run into me to bust me for not eating caveman style, here are my top 5 burgers in LA.

1. The Apple Pan.  Since 1947 and still the champion.  Have you ever been to a Johnny Rockets?  Well, they got the model from The Apple Pan!  Only Johnny Rockets looks retro and The Apple Pan IS retro!  I suggest the Hickory Burger, and Fries (the only time I eat ketchup with fries, it’s just the way the counter man pours it onto the paper plate for you that makes it taste just right).  And save room for pie.  They’re shockingly good.  Try the apple pie topped with French vanilla ice cream, chocolate pudding pie, or my favorite that they make, banana cream pie.

2. Umami Burger.  Some complain it’s too trendy, but there’s no denying it’s amazing.  I always get one of the many beef burgers they offer, but some say the ahi tuna burger is the best thing they’ve ever had.  I think the truffle cheese fries has to be on my menu for my death bed meal.

3. Westside Tavern.  You have to have some balls to claim you have the best burger in LA, opening right across the street from The Apple Pan.  I don’t know if it’s the best, but it’s in the discussion.  Get a side of mac-n-cheese for the table and thank me later.

4. Hole-In-The-Wall-Burger-Joint.  Just recently discovered this place, and they immediately vaulted into my top 5!  And the owner grew up only 5 blocks from me in Brooklyn!!!!  They give the option of a pretzel bun, and I may never be able to eat a burger on anything else ever again.

5. In-N-Out.  I could pick a few burgers over this famous fast food joint, but it’s in my top 5 because I don’t crave those places.  Every now and then, I HAVE to have an In-N-Out Double Double (light spread, animal style, add raw onion, extra pickles, and a black and white shake).  Some people complain it’s too greasy and it gives them the runs, but I never had a problem with it going in (or out).  Skip the fries though.

If you’re eating paleo 6 days a week, a cheat meal might keep you sane.  Just the break from cooking alone is worth it.  Just try to eat a meal that still has quality ingredients, and all of these places do (even the places that look greasy are using pretty fresh ingredients).

Filed under burger paleo caveman Hole-In-The-Wall-Burger-Joint

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Food Log: Wed 8/29/12

Morning: Black Tea and Water throughout the day.

Lunch: Planned to do Intermittent Fasting until dinner but got hungry at 11:30am, so I had half an organic avocado around 11:30am.  All that tumblr food porn made me ravenous, so I logged out until after dinner!  I hate you bastards sometimes.  :)  The avocado satisfied me, so that was all I needed.  Remember, eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full!

Dinner (all organic):

I cut a 1/4 pound Grass-fed Ugga-Bugga Burger into two, lengthwise, so I guess I had 2 Ugga-Bugga Burgers on Almond Butter Bread with Caveman Ketchup, Avocado, Tomato, Red Onion, Cucumber, Dry Dill.  Cutting it in two allowed me to double my plant based food intake, while keeping my meat intake to a minimum.  Remember, even the biggest meat eater on paleo should still be only eating about 30% animal based food in their overall diet to maintain a healthy body ph balance (alkaline versus acid).  Paleo is not meat, meat, meat all the time, there should be plenty of veggies in your diet as well!

Dessert (all organic):  One and a half frozen bananas with about four medium sized strawberries to make paleo strawberry “ice cream.”  Then I swirled about a tablespoon of almond butter into it to make PB&J swirl (without the P, which is an L, and I mean legume, not lesbian, although I heard P experimented a little in college).

If you like PB&J and you’re on paleo, you MUST try this fake ice cream substitute.  It works with strawberries, grapes, blueberries, whatever flavor jam and jelly you like with PB&J.  In fact it was so good, I had another half portion, bring the totals to 2 1/4 bananas, 6 strawberries, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of almond butter.

More black tea (but all from the same tea bag as from the morning).

Yes, I know, “Burgers again?!  Damn Cavey, give us some variety!”  Well, get used to it, because tomorrow is the same!  The point is, this might seem like a boring food log, but it’s a typical week in my life.  I cook a big meal, and then eat the leftovers for 3 days.  This makes the paleo diet sustainable, because if I needed to cook for an hour every day, I would cheat a LOT more!  The fact that dinner is 1o minutes away instead of an hour away, makes a world of difference in staying true to the lifestyle!  I’ll finish my leftovers tomorrow, and then Friday I’ll cook again with enough food to last through the weekend (I’m leaning towards my first attempt at Bone Broth Soup!  Stay tuned).

Filed under pb&j paleo caveman organic intermittent fasting avocado ugga-bugga burger ugga-bugga burger almond butter bread caveman ketchup dessert frozen banana

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Food Log: Tues 8/28/12

Morning: Organic Black Tea and Water until lunchtime.

Yesterday I couldn’t do Intermittent Fasting until dinner, because I had sushi lunch plans.  But I kept it pretty paleo by ordering sashimi (no rice).  Little cheat with the soy sauce, but some things came with it on, and I didn’t tell them no soy when I ordered, so it wouldn’t be right for me to send it back, and I just ate it.  No big whoop.

Mixed Sashimi

Avocado

Red Onion

Pickled Ginger 

I doubt anything was organic (and definitely not salt-free), but I’m pretty confident the fish was wild caught.  No, I didn’t ask, but it’s a good sushi place in a big sushi town.  The street I live on is called “Sushi Row,” so this place has to have some standards to stand out, and they do.  Now get off my back, can’t you see I’m stressed out from not being able to eat any of that amazing rice!  It’s not easy being a foodie AND a caveman, folks.  Temptation is everywhere!!!  That little tramp!

Speaking of temptation, look at the char on my grass-fed burger!

Dinner (all organic):

The last 2 leftover carrots from Friday night

1/4 pound Grass-fed Ugga-Bugga Burger on Almond Butter Bread with Caveman Ketchup, Avocado, Tomato, Red Onion, Cucumber, Dry Dill

3 tiny Asian Pears

The Almond Butter Bread came out great again!

Not sure how I managed to unhinge my jaw to eat this Ugga-Bugga Burger… but I DID!

Filed under paleo caveman crossfit ugga-bugga burger almond butter bread ketchup avocado char

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alyssajanelle asked: Tasty burger is, in fact, tasty! :D

That WAS a tasty burger!  Lol.  Glad you liked it.  Try the mediterranean burger next!  I’m too much of a lazy bastard to put it on the recipes page, but just go to my blog and in the search box type in BURGER.  Should come up.  Plus, my almond butter bread is recent, and better than all the buns I’ve used in the past.  Enjoy!

EDIT: Okay, I hate being called a lazy bastard, especially by myself, so here’s the link to my Mediterranean Burger!

Filed under Burger mediterranean paleo grass-fed caveman organic almond butter bread crossfit

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Tonight’s Ugga- Bugga Burger…

… is brought to you by, Grass-fed beef.  Grass-fed beef, serving humanity since man figured out cows were slow and didn’t bite!

That’s a half-pound baby right there!  Hard to eat, but, um, yeah, I managed!  On an almond butter roll (with caraway seeds) with caveman ketchup and homemade mayo, cucumbers and fresh dill (to replace my favorite, salty pickles), and topped with heirloom tomato salsa!  All ingredients, all organic, all the time.

Look at that char!  Hot-ass cast iron skillet, 5 minutes on each side.  Trick I learned on Food Network, after you flip once, add some water and cover to steam the burger while searing side #2.  Came out a perfect medium rare.  Ugga-Bugga indeed!

Filed under Burger Mayonaise almond butter bread caveman crossfit cucumber dill hamburger heirloom tomato ketchup mayo organic paleo salsa ugga-bugga grass-fed grass fed beef grass fed grass-fed beef

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Paleo Memorial Day Burger

Don’t know if I can fit it in my mouth, but I’ll try.

image

Wild Venison Burger on Almond Butter Bread (a new bread for me, review in a future blog), with homemade caveman ketchup, fresh dill, avocado, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, and onions grilled in the burger juices.  All organic and gluten-free.  Peach Paleo Ice Cream for dessert!

Have a happy and a paleo Memorial Day!  Ugga-Bugga!

 

Filed under venison paleo burger caveman organic crossfit almond butter Almond Flour almond butter bread wild game

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Ugga-Bugga Burga!

I don’t post every burger I make, but this Ugga-Bugga-Burger was REALLY good!  Not just a grass-fed burger (all ingredients, all organic, all the time), but I went to Whole Foods and asked them if they would grind some grass-fed beef for me, and this is a combo of grass-fed brisket and chuck.  I’ve only seen chefs do this on TV, and for whatever reason, I have always been so afraid to ask the butchers to grind meat for me, but they had no problem at all.  Just a silly intimidating thing I finally got over.  Yes, it’s a bit more expensive than the Trader Joe’s grass-fed ground beef I normally get, but who knows where those cuts are coming from, and chances are, they are the scraps of the scraps.  But this was like a steak burger.  Delicious.

Used my macadamia nut bread as a bun (with added caraway seeds to make it like rye bread), added generous amounts of my homemade ketchup on top and bottom (I am getting really, really, REALLY good at ketchup!),  lettuce, cucumber, fresh dill (in the ketchup too), homemade guac (avocados are in season again!), red onion, and sauteed baby bello mushrooms.  Amazing!

Filed under Burger caveman crossfit grass fed beef grass-fed beef ketchup macadamia nut organic paleo gluten-free gluten free

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Paleo French Toast!

I think I’m done experimenting with bread.  It’s enough already and I’m sick of it, but I have experimented enough where I’m confident this is my last word on the subject (until my next word on the subject). (EDIT from the future: before reading any further, check out HERE for the best bread recipe so far, then come back here and tweak for banana bread and French toast)

I found my almond flour bread isn’t great, but it makes great toast.  And now I use the same recipe substituting the almonds with raw organic macadamia nut flour.  This bread is firm, tasty, and great for sandwiches, however, it DOES NOT toast well.

I made this one a flat bread, in the hopes of using it as a bun, for say, a grass-fed beef burger, homemade paleo mayohomemade paleo ketchup, fresh dill, cucumber, lettuce, onion, tomato (all ingredients, all organic, all the time).

Despite the fact I cut the bun too big for the burger, the bread does hold together pretty good, and is not “grainy” like the almond bread.  But if I try to toast the macadamia nut bread, only the edges get toasty, and will burn long before the rest of the bread will “toast.”

I’ve also made this as a loaf, and that works great too, but it still won’t toast.  It did make great French Toast though (came out GREAT)!  The macadamia nut is slightly sweet, and gets sweeter when baked.  The outside gets a nice sweet brown, while the inside is firm and spongy.  Perfect for French Toast.  But it made me think, I could make banana bread out of it and it would be even sweeter!

The loaf looked great coming out of the oven, but it sunk by the time I took the photo 30 minutes later.  :(

Still, it was delicious.  My friend tried it and said it wasn’t sweet enough for him, but for my paleo palate, it was totally sweet.  I guess you can add some raw organic honey to the mix if you want it sweeter.  Just take my bread recipe and add in some pulverized (in food processor) organic bananas (the riper the better; I used 3 or 4), and maybe some honey to taste.

THEN, I made French Toast out of that!

Came out amazing!  Just dip the slices into egg wash with cinnamon, fry, and serve.  I took some honey and dissolved it in a small frying pan with water and kept stirring so the honey didn’t burn, but it does get brown and thick like maple syrup, which is not paleo (this method is barely paleo either, since technically I’m processing the honey to make it even sweeter, but it’s a good mini-cheat).  I drizzled the syrup over the banana bread French Toast, although it’s hard to see in the photo.  It was delicious!

Don’t tell me you don’t have enough calories to eat on paleo, just come to my house and you’ll be eating paleo French Toast for breakfast!  Made with banana bread if you want!  Boy, the menu at my Caveman Cafe is going to be great, breakfast, lunch and dinner!  Ugga-Bugga!

EDIT: Just a quick word about nuts.  Nuts and seeds aren’t super great for you, because some contain the same kinds of toxins as legumes, and for the same reasons, it’s nature’s way of protecting the seed so it will survive, and it protects it with natural pesticides (which is why you should eat organic, and avoid non-natural pesticides).  Some nuts are worse than others as well, just like legumes.  Some nuts and seeds also have horrible omega-6 to omega-3 ratios (too much omega-6 without the omega-3 to counterbalance isn’t great).  But the one nut you can eat a lot of and never build up any toxicity is macadamia.  They seem to be the healthiest of the healthy, and you can eat them in bulk without harm.  Almonds aren’t as good, and I wouldn’t recommend them in too large a quantity, which is why I started experimenting with macadamia nuts in the first place.  The organic ones can be expensive, but shop around on-line and I bet you can find some deals (amazon is usually pretty amazing at finding great prices).  All nuts and seeds are better than legumes, but except for macadamia, they should be eaten in moderation, like fruit (due to the sugar).

Filed under paleo caveman organic bread gluten free gluten-free banana bread almond flour macadamia nut Burger grass fed beef grass-fed beef syrup french toast

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Turns Out Man CAN Live on Bread Alone!

Especially if it’s paleo bread.  Because the recipe I use has no wheat or grains or anything not paleo, but instead uses healthy & organic nut flour, arrowroot, eggs, and olive oil.  And believe you me, the taste is…!

Mediocre.  At best.  The taste is bland, and the texture is dry.  Yet, I overlooked it all because I was only using it as a conduit for whatever sandwich, burger, bruschetta, hot dog, etc I was delivering to my mouth.  But of everything I have paleo’ized so far this is clearly the least successful dish.  My best guess is because it’s unleavened, meaning it doesn’t rise.  The reason I didn’t use a leavening agent like yeast (which usually means gluten), baking powder, or baking soda is because I didn’t consider them paleo, meaning a caveman would never come across them in a million years (literally).  But something has to be done, my paleo bread just ain’t slicing it for me anymore.

The thing that leavening agents do to make bread rise is add air, in the form of carbon dioxide.  For instance, baking powder mixes with moisture and turns into carbon dioxide, which forms tiny air bubbles, expanding the dough.  So I figured if I added some water, it would create steam while cooking and might produce the same effect as carbon dioxide.  So I baked a loaf, and it turned out great…!  As a matzoh ball.  And also great as stuffing.  But still, not so much on the bread front.

So I bit the bullet and decided that baking soda is as good a mini-cheat as I can find.  I looked up baking powder too, but every organic brand I found had either potato starch, or corn starch, two paleo cheats I was not willing to do.  But baking soda is really just minerals, which I guess is organic by nature.  The chemical compound is called Sodium Bicarbonate, which is very similar to salt, but with about half the sodium.  When mixed with acid like cream of tartar or lemon juice (which is what I’ll use), it forms carbon dioxide.  Still, my main concern with baking soda is the sodium, but I use so little of it (1/4 teaspoon for every loaf of bread) and the fact I only eat salt when I’m cheating, the small amount of extra sodium I’m eating is minimal.  I also think it’s the best mini-cheat for me because it becomes carbon dioxide, and I can rationalize the argument that carbon dioxide, the thing we all breath out constantly, is without a doubt, paleo.  So I found the healthiest baking soda I could find (Bob’s Red Mill), and used 1/4 teaspoon of it in my bread recipe (along with a 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice).  I also baked it in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper, instead of my usual flat pan.

And boy did the changes make a difference!

It now at least looks like bread!  It rose and everything (although the parchment paper put some dents in the shape).  And the taste was overwhelmingly…!

Just okay.  Better, but just okay.  Still very dry, but it was thicker, spongier, and airier.  It sort of became a little blander though (if that was possible).  But it held up pretty good on my grass-fed burger, loaded with paleo ketchup, caramelized yellow onions, raw red onion, cucumber and dill (all organic).

So it’s better, but it still needs work.  I think I’ll add back that water I added to make matzoh balls, but took back out for the bread experiment.  I’ll post the new recipe after I’ve played around with it a bit.  Stay tuned.

Filed under paleo caveman organic bread burger

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Paleo Mediterranean Burger!

You all remember my Ugga-Bugga Burger, but sometimes I like to mix it up a little bit.  Especially when I have leftovers to finish up before they spoil (the downside of eating fresh food all the time).  And a great way to spice up leftovers is to throw them on a burger!

All these leftovers are paleo, and of course, organic (all ingredients, all organic, all the time!).  I’ll include links to them all, so my new readers can see all the wonderful things you can eat on the Paleo Diet without giving up flavor or creativity!  Remember, Dieting Does Not Mean Deprivation!

Leftover Hummus, leftover Greek Yogurt Sauce (with cucumbers, dill and red onion), leftover Hot Sauce, leftover onion board bread (with fresh rosemary), and grass-fed ground beef in the hands of a culinary Caveman like me, magically turns into a Mediterranean Burger! (Don’t get a big head Cave-hole, you threw a burger and a slice of tomato on a bunch of leftovers, congratu-friggin’-lations)

Can you believe that on paleo, without grains, legumes, dairy, vinegar, or salt, you can still eat delicious substitutes for hummus, yogurt, hot sauce, and bread?!  I hate when people say “I’m tired of eating the same things every day on the paleo diet.”  That’s like saying you’re tired of watching the same thing on TV every night.  Change the friggin’ channel!  Your meals are only limited by the ingredients in your local organic markets, your pantry, and your imagination!  Try new things, my Caveman minions!  And when you stumble upon a new fantastic recipe, scream a resounding cry of “Ugga-Bugga!” to be heard throughout the cave!

Filed under paleo paleodiet caveman cavemandiet food burger mediterranean Greek Yogurt hot sauce grass fed beef grass-fed beef organic organic food crossfit

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This IS a tasty burger!

"This IS a tasty burger!" - Samuel L. Jackson in PULP FICTION

Get ready to salivate.

Is there anything better than a hamburger?  For Americans, maybe not.  Many of you know that I will travel great lengths to find the perfect pizza.  I once had my sister drive me all over NJ looking for a hot dog stand named Rutt’s Hutt, because I saw it on TV once (totally worth the drive, by the way, I recommend 2 Rippers and a Frenchy Gravy, thank me later).  But I have traveled more places to find the best burger than any other iconic food group.  The burger is still KING!


"I don’t know, I didn’t go into Burger King." - John Travolta in PULP FICTION

And one of the things LA does consistently better than NY is a tasty burger.  In-N-Out is just the tip of the iceberg lettuce.  Ever eat at a Johnny Rockets?  Well we have the place that Johnny’s was modeled after called The Apple Pan, which opened in the 1920’s!  Any place that hasn’t cleaned the grill in 80 years is going to be damn good!  We also have a slew of other amazing burger places (I highly recommend Lucky Devils on Hollywood Blvd).  Anyway, my point is, I’m not going to just eat any crappy burger, so if I’m gonna be on this kookie caveman diet, I have to reinvent a damn good burger or I’m gonna bite into a cow one day in a delusional rage from burger withdrawal.

My first meal on this diet was an organic rib eye steak from grass fed beef.  It looked amazing!  But it tasted like a shoe.  Mostly my fault however, because I cooked it well overdone.  I didn’t realize that wild animals have a lot less fat in their system than factory farmed animals, and therefore, the meat cooks a lot faster.  I tried another steak a week later and even though this time I cooked it right, it was still CONSIDERABLY less tasty than the steak I’d been used to.  This is because fat=flavor.  I was very depressed that my old friend beef and I were growing apart.

But then I found organic grass fed ground beef from Trader Joe’s with 15% fat! (What’s with the exclamation point, jerk-wad, this isn’t a Trader Joe’s commercial, relax).  Sorry.  But if they want to throw me a kick-back for saying it costs $5.99 a pound, be my guest!  15% is what I used to buy in the old B.C. days (Before Caveman), and I think it’s the perfect balance for flavor.  So even though the grass fed steak had less flavor, Trader Joe’s controls the flavor by controlling the fat!  I am WAY too excited about Trader Joe’s!

Let’s calm things down a sec by reopening the discussion on fat.  You’ve been told by dietitians for a long time now that fat is bad.  But it drives me crazy when I hear people cut out fat because they’re trying to lose weight.  Fat has nothing to do with weight loss.  Bad fat will clog up your arteries and do all kinds of bad things to you, but it won’t make you fat.  So now that we’ve straightened that mess out, let’s get back to fat, good and bad.  Like I said before, any wild animal has lots of Omega-3 fat, which is the key to good health, so please don’t go low fat, just go good fat.  I’m gonna name my next dog Phat, so I can go around saying, “Good Phat, gooood Phat!”  My grandmother used to feed me a snack of chicken fat smeared on rye bread with Kosher salt sprinkled on top.  Years later we cringed at the unhealthiness of it all.  But now I’m thinking that chickens were probably still pretty healthy back then, and now I realize the healthiest part of that meal was probably the chicken fat!  Grandma knows best.

So for now, the only kind of beef I found that I like on this diet is the 15% brand at Trader Joe’s.  Which is fine since my favorite beef dish is the almighty hamburger.  Let’s make one, shall we.  I make 4 burgers out of the pound, forming my patties, and sprinkling on my Holy Trinity of spices (garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper) on both sides.  I pour a little fat into a hot cast iron skillet to prevent sticking (beef fat, or avocado oil so it can handle hight heat), and I slap those bad boys on for only about a minute or two on each side, depending on how you like it (I used to only like well done meat, but the longer I’m on paleo, the more rare I like things now.  Mmm, Caveman like!).  Even though the burgers have 15% fat, they’ll still cook faster than factory farmed beef.  Then I let them settle on a plate while I build my burger.


I’ve already shown you how to make all the other goodies in previous blogs, so no need to give recipes again (look them up yourselves, you lazy bastards).  Rosemary bread for the bun, homemade Caveman Ketchup and Caveman Mayo, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and cucumbers with fresh dill to soothe my pickle craving (haven’t figured out how to replace the cheese yet, maybe a runny egg).

Now I’m not going to lie to you, this will not be the best burger you’ve ever had, but you pick it up, and it tastes like a great home cooked burger, the fresh ingredients doing all the work for you.  It totally satisfies your expectations of taste, smell, and feel of a burger, and you totally get that satisfied feeling you expect after eating a great burger (no french fries substitute yet, but I’m experimenting, just you wait [Edit from Caveman of the future: yes, you will find one, see Delicata French Fries on the Recipes Page]).  And does it look like a burger?  You tell me:



Mmmm, Caveman very happy.  Ugga-Bugga Burger gooooood!

Filed under paleo paleodiet caveman cavemandiet healthy food food burger hamburger organic crossfit