Monday, April 30, 2012

Black Bean and Cranberry Burgers with Chipotle Hummus

Who needs meat when these sweet and spicy burgers are just minutes from your kitchen table? Made from everyday pantry staples these burgers can be thrown together in minutes and will satisfy meat eaters and picky kids alike. My kids loved them (minus the spicy chipotle sauce).  I think that the dried cranberries, sweet corn and grated carrots are to credit with the fact that my kids gobbled them up right before my eyes. 

I recreated this burger from one of my all time favorite places to eat, Pita Jungle. My husband won't go there with me so every so often I just so happen to find myself alone, stranded and starving  at the mall   in the middle of no where except for this lone Pita Jungle with a cute little patio and a fantastically healthy Mediterranean food selection, my fav.  Lucky me.

While I don't mind eating out by myself every once and a while, the bill even being solo can still add up. So in an effort to save money and because I realllllly crave these burgers quite often, I had to figure out how to make them for myself.  

And I did.


Big time.

To satisfy your sweet tooth, have a few naturally sweet strawberries with your dinner instead of sugar laden cakes 
or ice cream.

I honestly think I could give Pita Jungle a run for there money on these babies. They were totally right on the money..... even better IMHO, sorry Pita, no disrespect.

Paired with the chipotle hummus instead of fattening mayo and with a side of spring lettuce, bean sprouts and salt and pepper  Organic fingerling potatoes this is a perfect healthy meal. You will leave the table with your taste buds and belly satisfied, I promise!

Did You Know That Potatoes Can Help You Get A Good Nights Sleep?

When the sugars from potatoes enter the bloodstream, insulin surges, soaking up all amino acids except for tryptophan. This in turn becomes a fuel for serotonin, the neurotransmitter that produces melatonin. Melatonin is the amino acid that controls how drowsy we feel and regulates the sleep cycle.

For the best results, try eating potatoes 3 hours before bedtime.

Black Bean and Cranberry Burgers with Chipotle Hummus

These really are super easy! Don't be intimidated by the list of ingredients, in fact, I don't measure anything, I just eye it but I listed some general measurements for your convenience. 


2 cans black beans, drained
1 cup home made bread crumbs ( I use sprouted bread and pulse in my coffee grinder)
1 free range egg
1 cup frozen petite sweet corn
1/2 cup finely chopped bell or sweet peppers
2 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup grated carrots
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I use Himalayan Pink or French Grey for the minerals)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon turmeric (optional. I use for health benefits, doesn't have much flavor)

1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
6 whole grain Kaiser buns

sliced tomatoes
sliced purple onion

For Chipotle Hummus:

1 cup plain or garlic hummus (home made or store bought) 
1 6 oz. can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

Mix the hummus with a tablespoon or so of the adobe sauce (not the chipotle peppers). Reserve chipotles for another use.

Putting it all together:

In your coffee grinder or mini food processor, finely grind 2-3 pieces of sprouted or whole grain bread. Set out on a plate to dry out a bit while you put everything else together. TIP: I make a big batch of bread crumbs and freeze in a mason jar for convenience.

Pre-heat oven to 425F

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, beans through turmeric.

Lightly oil a heavy baking pan such as a broiler pan. You can also fry these on a grill pan if you wish.

Using your hands, scoop a big handful of the bean mixture into a ball and then gently shape into a thick patty.
Place on oiled grill pan. Repeat until all of the mixture is gone.

Bake at 425F for 12-18 minutes until slightly crispy and hot.

Put burgers on kaiser buns spread with chipotle hummus and layered with freshly sliced tomatoes, onion, lettuce and sprouts. 

If you are making potatoes as a side dish, rinse and dry potatoes. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper to taste. Layer on a heavy baking dish {I use a stone baking dish} and bake with the burgers. You may need to put the potatoes in first depending on how big they are. Check with a fork for doneness.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Healthy Spirits: New Arrival

Uinta Birthday Suit Sour Cherry Ale now available in limited quantities.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Healthy Spirits: Some more new stuff

1. Leireken Wild Berries 16oz

2. Seven Sins Luxuria

3. Seven Sins Gula

4. Strubbe IPA

5. Strubbe glassware


dave hauslein
beer manager

Healthy Spirits: New Arrivals

1. Bruery White Oak (limit 1 per customer)
2. Zunft Kolsch
3. Einstok Toasted Porter
4. Einstok Icelandic Witbier
dave hauslein
beer manager

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Healthy Spirits: New Arrivals

1. Firestone Walker Wookey Jack
2. Widmer Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout
dave hauslein
beer manager

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lox, Dill and Caper Petite Bites

For Mother's Day I can think of nothing sweeter than waking up to home made cards and love notes from my four children and then maybe enjoying a relaxing brunch with my mother. Most days breakfast means oatmeal, eggs or cereal straight out of the box for the kids and maybe a banana and coffee for me. Although I try to be better, there are just so many easier options available when trying to get everyone out of the house by 8:00 a.m.  intact and with both shoes on the correct feet. So when it comes to Mother's Day, even though I want to show my own mom how much I love her by enjoying a gourmet brunch that we both love so dearly,  I have to relinquish to the fact that I'm just to tired to make anything fancy and just to poor to afford a resort style affair.

So when I made these darling little appetizers  for a recent party I had, I knew I couldn't wait for an excuse to make them again. I brought these to our family Easter get together and we enjoyed them with a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio out on my sister-in-laws patio looking over one of the many gorgeous Phoenix golf courses and mountains.

When my mom and I both were popping these into our mouths faster than I could arrange them on a plate for my guests, I knew I had a keeper. Smoked salmon is one of my favorite treats and the remaining short list of ingredients in these petite bites pair together so wonderfully you will savour each and every single salivating chew.

Lox, Dill and Capers on Persian Cucumber
with whipped cream cheese.

Now, on a sadder note, my favorite online photo editing program has come to an end. Picnik has been my savour when it came to making the food shots that come out of  my point and shoot look presentable. Doesn't it seem that just when you  really  get comfortable with something it tends to change or vanish all together?  I don't get attached very easily when it comes to inanimate objects but Picnik was this non-techy  girls best friend.  I suppose I will just have to be a big girl and really learn how to use the Photoshop that has been hanging out somewhere in my computer for the last few years.

Lox on Pumpernickel

I hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day and get to spend time showing those you love how much they mean to you and hopefully enjoying some much needed rest and relaxation!

You Will Need:

1 petite loaf of pumpernickel bread
1- 14 oz. container of whipped cream cheese (you will not need all of this)
6 oz. salmon lox (smoked salmon)
2 Persian or English cucumbers (seedless)
1/4 cup minced red onion
fresh dill

Putting it all together:

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the rind off of the cucumber leaving thin strips for appearance sake. Slice cucumber 1/4 inch thick. Using a small food processor, mince onion. I mixed some of the onion right into my cream cheese.

Using a spoon, spread a bit of cream cheese (whipped works best) onto 1 of the sliced cucumbers and the pumpernickel, reserving 1 of the sliced cucumbers for layering on the bread.

For the cucumber bites, simply top with cream cheese, salmon lox and a bit of fresh dill. 

Look for packages of salmon lox that say 'Pre-Sliced' then you simply have to pull them apart and fold them on top of your  hors devours/.

For the pumpernickel bites, top with cream cheese, cucumber, salmon lox then garnish with a bit of minced onion, capers and a fresh dill sprig.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Healthy Spirits: New Arrivals

1. Upright Brewing Four
2. Upright Brewing Five
3. Upright Brewing Six
4. Upright Brewing Seven
5. Jester King Black Metal Imperial Stout (Farmhouse Version)
6. Devil's Canyon Sunshine Rye IPA
7. Speakeasy Scarface Stout
8. Rogue Russian Imperial Stout 2011 (large ceramic bottles)
dave hauslein
beer manager

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Healthy Spirits: New Arrivals

1. Angry Orchard Apple Cider

2. 21st Amendment Monk's Blood

3. Lost Abbey Red Poppy

4. Old Crafty Hen Vintage Ale

5. Bruery Mischief

6. Bruery Saison Rue

7. Einstok Icelandic White Ale

8. Einstok Toasted Porter

9. Port Brewing Hop 15 DIPA

10. High Water Doppelsticke Alt

11. High Water Campfire Stout

12. Grand Teton Lost Continent DIPA

13. Oskar Blues Deviant Dale's IPA

14. New Glassware from Lost Abbey/Reissdorf/Duchesse De Bourgogne and Tripel Karmeliet


dave hauslein
beer manager

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Healthy Spirits: New Arrivals

1. Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere
2. Jolly Pumpkin IO Red Saison
3. Jolly Pumpkin La Roja
4. Jolly Pumpkin Maracaibo Especial
5. Pretty Things Lovely St. Winefride Brown Lager
6. Struise Pannepot
7. Brasserie Artisanale du Flo Cuvee Du Flo Blonde
8. Dieu Du Ciel! Equinoxe Du Printemps
9. Hitachino Nest "Three Days"
10. 8Wired Batch 31 Oak Aged Imperial Coffee Stout
11. 8Wired Saison Sauvin
12. Epic Epicurean
13. Haandbryggeriet Haandbic
14. Fantome Glassware
dave hauslein
beer manager