Lovers of spicy food will appreciate this kicked-up rendition of burgers on the grill, served sans bun but with the full works of summer-time accompaniments including avocado and alfalfa sprouts for some California freshness and flair.


2 lbs. grass-fed ground beef
3 fresh jalapeno peppers
3 to 5 romaine lettuce leaves
Raw onion slices, optional
½ cup alfalfa sprouts
2 slices beefsteak tomato
1 or 2 avocadoes, sliced
¼ cup bleu cheese
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
3 tbsp. mayonnaise
About 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste


Wear rubber gloves if your skin is sensitive or if you have reacted to hot peppers before. Dice up the jalapeno peppers. You can leave some of the seeds and the white pith if hot and spicy is your thing. Otherwise, if you prefer your jalapenos less spicy, remove and discard these.

Mix diced jalapenos, salt and pepper with ground beef. Use your hands to combine thoroughly and form patties. Plate and set aside. Prepare bleu cheese topping by crumbling the bleu cheese and then combining with sour cream and mayo. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat grill to about 400 degrees or medium-high. While grill is heating up, prepare cheese slices and healthy sides. To each person’s plate add a leaf or two of romaine, 2 slices of tomato and an onion slice, 3 or 4 avocado slices, and the alfalfa spouts.

Place burger patties on hot grill. Cook for about 4 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for about 2 more minutes on the other side. Top with cheese and pull down the grill cover to continue cooking for about another minute or two until the cheese is melted. If you prefer your burgers more well done than this, cook to your liking.

Remove burgers from grill and place on plates along with healthy sides such as Summertime Cabbage Slaw with Fresh Cilantro.

Makes 3-4 servings.