Anasazi Bean Burgers

Skip to the recipe. Update 13 years after this was first published: we still make this anasazi bean burger recipe on the regular! We often refer back to this post for the recipe, even though it’s pretty simple. My husband over the years has pointed out a few places clarifications were needed. Here are the primary changes in the 2024 update:

  • Fixes for clarity and tips after making it on rotation for over a decade.
  • Doubled the recipe because we always double it now. (You could cut in half if cooking for two, or else freeze the uncooked patties.)
  • I’ve added how to cook the beans with a pressure cooker – because pressure cookers, like our basic Instant Pot (Amazon link), are time saving!
  • Confession: we don’t grow our own beans any more. We usually buy the anasazis in bulk online and store them in mason jars with silicon lids.
Anasazi Bean Burger from

(Original post): My mom was visiting last weekend. We had a nice visit and she checked out this blog. She let me know that I am again taking after my great-grandmother, Alpha, who wrote an article on Victory Gardens during World War II. I have always felt an affinity for this ancestor despite never meeting. Alpha (her father planned on working through the Greek alphabet except she was an only child) was an artist who studied under John Sloan. She was also a Long Island socialite who threw legendary Prohibition Era parties, attended by artists like author Thorton Wilder, who was supposedly in love with her. Before our urban farm days, I was known to host a party or two.

So I am all the more happy to carry on the tradition of championing Victory Gardens today. As much as we love fresh salads, tomatoes, and herbs like basil and mint, “salad” type items are actually not the best way to maximize a home garden. To really get the benefit of a “victory garden” try to plant calorie dense items, like potatoes, sweet potatoes and beans. Beans are an amazing source of protein, fiber and nutrients and my favorites by far are Anasazi Beans. They are a slightly sweet Heirloom bean, pretty and speckled maroon and white. If I were to describe the taste, I’d describe it as how the most awesome pinto bean should taste. They cook faster than other dried beans (they don’t need to presoak) and don’t have as much of the compounds found in other beans that can cause gas.

anasazi beans are easy to grow in zones 9-10

Plus, there is the legend of the beans…. Botanists may dispute the factual basis, but the story is that a dusty, sealed crock was found by archeologists in the ancient ruins of the Anasazi Indians, and lo and behold, the beans were viable and reintroduced to our diets. I have fond memories of exploring Mesa Verde and the dwellings of “the Ancient Ones,” carved into the stone, with my family as a child.

You can find Anasazis in the bulk section of a lot of grocery stores now, as well as online. Papa Bird has been growing them the last few years. One of the things I find “magical” about a bean is that it contains its future in itself. The bean is simply the seed. You can sprout and plant the beans from the grocery isle if you like. (I think we started from a bag I bought at the farmer’s market.) We try to remember to reserve a few from each harvest to plant the following year.

anasazi bean burger ingredients

Anasazi Bean Burger Recipe

My husband usually feels more satisfied with a little meat in a meal, but he makes an exception for Anasazi Bean Burgers. They are my favorite veggie burger and I hope you enjoy. Adapted from Moon Time/The Elk Restaurant.

Servings: 8 burgers

  • 2 cups dried Anasazi beans
  • filtered water, enough to go up twice the height of the beans in the pot
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin(optional)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, unpeeled (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small bell pepper, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Magic seasoning blend (link to our fav), smoked paprika (link to similar), and/or cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • Approximately 1 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
  • brioche or other yummy burger buns
  • your favorite “burger fixings” such as a sharp cheddar, caramelized or pickled onions, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, aioli…

Step 1
Distinctive-looking Anasazi beans have a unique, slightly nutty flavor and firm texture, and don’t need to be pre-soaked. You could pre-soak, in which case, cut the cooking time in half. Rinse the beans in fresh water. Add to pot with enough water that it is twice the height of the beans. Add 1/2 tsp of cumin, garlic and bay leaf to the water. If using a pressure cooker (Amazon link), cook 30 minutes at pressure (30 minutes if unsoaked – 15 minutes if presoaked), let sit for 5 minutes, and then release pressure. If boiling in a normal pot, boil uncovered for 1 hour (unsoaked) or 30 minutes (if soaked.) They should be soft but not mushy. Strain and let cool enough to handle. Discard the bay leaf and squeeze the gooey goop from inside the garlic cloves onto the beans, discarding the hard coating.

Step 2
Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Sauté the diced onion, carrot, bell pepper, and add remaining cumin, spices, and salt/pepper. Let cool slightly.

Step 3
Mash the beans with a fork, or a mashed potato masher, or break up the beans using your hands. Add the sautéed veggies to the chopped beans. This is a great time to taste the mix and add more spices and seasoning. Once tasting good, stir in the eggs and bread crumbs.

Step 4
Form the patties (I usually do 4 patties the first night and save the rest of the “batter” in the refrigerator for night two. We have also made sliders). Next, sauté the patties in oil until they’re golden, about 5 minutes on each side over medium high heat. I find starting the patties in a cold pan gets a nice crust. Tips: try not to move them around too much before flipping and add another splash of oil before placing the second side down. Add a slice of cheddar to the top of the patty when almost done and melt it a little in the pan. Serve on a bun with typical burger “fixings” (i.e. tomato, lettuce, pickle, avocado, mustard, ketchup, siracha, etc.)


Although Anasazi beans don’t cause as much gas as other beans, it never hurts to add a little cumin, bay leaf and/or epazote to the cooking water. All three are classic flavorings for beans and are carminative, meaning they help reduce gas when cooked with beans.

Feel free to substitute another bean in this recipe if you can’t find Anasazis, but you will probably want to presoak them before cooking.

Tips for Cooking for Baby:

Reserve some of the “batter” with all the ingredients added, minus the egg. Blend or grind in a baby food mill. Add a little breastmilk, maybe some avocado. Delicious! Babies love the naturally sweet taste of beans and they are an excellent vegetarian source of protein.

For a baby that is ready for finger foods, cooked beans (e.g., Anasazi, black or pinto) and sautéed, diced veggies are excellent ways to practice pincher skills. If it is the first time, if your beans are still on the crunchy side, or if you are just paranoid, feel free to cut the beans in half or squeeze each one between your fingers to mush it a little and make it easier for baby to gum.

Updated 2.19.24 to optimize the anasazi bean burger recipe, including the option of a pressure cooker. Updated 1.5.13 to add a photo of the burger. Originally posted 8.21.12. -Mama Bird

Mattress Comparison: Boring vs. Tuft & Needle vs. Nectar

Howdy friends. I feel like I always say it’s been a while, but, it has!

I never thought I would become a mattress reviewer, but here I am. Long story short: We wanted to move from a queen bed to a king. Since then, in the space of a month, I’ve used at home:

  • Legacy Tuft & Needle (legacy meaning no longer made)
  • (new) Tuft & Needle Mint
  • Nectar 
  • Boring (new company that launched early 2024)

In addition, in the past month I have also tested in stores for comparison:

  • Nectar Premier
  • Nectar Premier Copper
  • A bunch of TemperPedics
  • And other traditional spring and hybrid mattresses

All this to say, after a LOT of research online and nights spent from agony to comfort, I think I’m now qualified to share! Please note, I am a side sleeper and in a lighter body, but I’ve also considered input from my husband who sleeps on his back and tends to sleep hot.

Just give me the basic mattress comparison

MattressFull Price (King)Sale Price
heightComfort for Side SleeperToxic fume smell?WarrantyTrial Period
Nectar$1399$84911″Worst pain ever!no“forever”*30 to 365 nights
Tuft & Needle Mint$2095$167612″yesyes10 yearsup to 100 nights
Boring$999$89910″yesno10 yearsup to 99 nights
Legacy Tuft & Needleno longer for sale10″yesyes10 yearsn/a
*“forever” is really 10 years. The Nectar limited warranty replaces a mattress up to 10 years old, but “repairs” one over 10 years old.

Despite wanting to spread out across a king-sized mattress, we had zero concerns with our old queen-sized mattress from Tuft & Needle. (It re-sold for $150 within an hour on Facebook marketplace.)

I started my search for a king sized mattress with Tuft & Needle. I’d always liked the idea of the bed in a box, the simplicity of their products, and their ethos. For reference, we paid $350 for a twin in 2016 and $800 for a queen in 2017. I wasn’t expecting to find prices that low now, as inflation and supply chain issues have impacted every industry. However, I wasn’t expecting the online mattress market to have gotten so confusing.

What I dislike about online shopping for a mattress now

Too many options: It used to be your decision for a bed in a box was just what size. Now it seems like the options include hybrid (which sometimes costs more, sometimes less), special cooling gels and chemicals, tiered pricing options, and there are so many more companies out there now.

Hard to gauge quality and feel: It’s super hard to know what a mattress feels like without going to a store. I first started looking at Tuft & Needle’s website, but since the prices had gone up considerably, I shopped around. I found a blog comparing Nectar to Tuft & Needle, saying they were similar except Nectar was more expensive. Since Nectar was still offering an “end of year” sale at 40% off, I thought I was getting a deal. I’ve since learned that many companies run one sale after another. After “end of year clearance,” there was “MLK Day sale” running into “President’s Day sale.” It’s a sales gimmick.

The comparison bloggers are all paid: The pretty much all have affiliate links. Yes, I have participated in affiliate programs before, like Amazon, but it doesn’t impact what I recommend. And I will straight up tell you NOT to buy a mattress off Amazon but directly from the maker. It’s very important if there’s any chance you want to return it. But it makes it hard to find meaningful comparisons online.

If you like a softer feel, you pay the most: I understand having tiered pricing for quality. But I had always thought of soft-medium-firm as preferences. Since I happen to prefer a softer feel, I find it irritating that I have to pay for the most expensive version.

Too Hard: Nectar Mattresses

Swayed by online sources leaving me to believe a Nectar mattress would be comparable to the Tuft & Needles, I bought one on sale.

Pros: Easy to purchase, arrived quickly, no off-gassing/ weird chemical smell. My husband, a not picky, back sleeper, thought it was “ok.” It’s possible if you weigh more than 250 pounds that you might find it more cushiony.

Cons: Very hard. To me, it felt like there was zero cushioning. Perhaps as much cushioning as our floor with carpet. I had to fight to return it.

The back pain I felt after the first night was debilitating and didn’t stop. I was curious if the firmness was because it was “new.” I found a local brick and mortar mattress store, Mattress Firm, that carried Nectars. We went out to try out their floor model to get a sense of it “broken in”. It was slightly less hard than ours at home, but still way too hard. I also tried out the floor model of their “Premier” and “Premier Copper,” supposedly more plush, and thought both were too hard for side sleeping.

I didn’t know a bed could hurt me that much

The false advertising: Although Nectar advertises risk free returns “within your 365-night trial,” there was no response to multiple emails to initiate the return. Worse, when I called the customer service line, they told me that in their fine print was a line that I had to sleep on it for 30 nights before requesting a return. Hell to the no was I going to endure more days of pain, all day, as a result! Eventually, after declining the offer to pay more for their “premier” or purchase a separate topper, I asked to escalate my call to a manager. Thankfully, they granted me a “one time exception” to return it early. Seriously, what is their strategy? That people well get used to an uncomfortable bed and then get too lazy to return?

How I survived waiting for the next mattress: Once I came back from Mattress Firm and knew there was no hope for our Nectar Mattress, I ordered a different brand that night. While waiting for it to arrive, I couldn’t take even one night more. So I put a full-sized foam topper we use for the kids’ sleep-overs on top of my side of the mattress.

Yup, I definitely felt stacked up, like I was in the Princess and the Pea. Worse, the full-sized topper hit my husband’s side of the bed awkwardly half way, even trying to cheat it over, draping off my side. I’m still indignant over them charging a thousand dollars or more for essentially a box spring that’s unusable, as is.

Illustration by Edmund Dulac for the fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea” by Hans Christian Andersen.

Shopping in Person: Mattress Firm

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked Jessica at my local Mattress Firm. She wasn’t pushy and she seemed to be honest. However, the options there were disappointing. The value options were the above mentioned Nectars – crazy hard. The beds that felt good to me were the TemperPedics. The price point was out of my budget. I wasn’t interested in financing and taking on a monthly payment similar to another car! The only option in between was the “Sleepy’s” line. But their warranty lasts only two or three years and they tend to get replaced that often. She told me the most affordable option for me to be able to tolerate the Nectar was buying a topper. But my husband said it was silly to have a thousand dollar mattress that isn’t ready to sleep on.

Next: Tuft & Needle isn’t the same as it was

legacy tuft & needle

Seven years ago, when our youngest graduated from the crib mattress, I had just heard of Tuft & Needle, and gave it a try. Her twin was the most comfortable bed in the house, so Papa Bird and I ordered a queen a year later. I do recall both mattresses having a strong odor that dissipated in a day or two.

However, things change. The mattresses we purchased back then are now called “Legacy” Tuft and Needle. The “original” now sold is not in fact the original. The Legacy has an all off-white cover.

Upon exploring online, I learned that Serta Simmons purchased Tuft & Needle. Despite being founded as a “disruption” to business as usual mattresses – they are in fact now owned by a large, classic mattress company.

The New Tuft & Needle Mattresses

To get the same approximate comfort as the Legacy, I wondered if it was a safer bet to pay more for a “medium feel” Mint instead of the “new original”. I wasn’t sure if the “cooling gel” would be worth it, but I was scared to have a “medium firm” as the original is described.

The False Advertising: Despite the website saying you can go try out the mattresses in store, this is not actually the case. They list select Target locations (not all.) I was about to drive the 15 miles to the closest Target selling Tuft & Needle mattresses, but upon calling T&N customer service (east coast hours, by the way), I learned that no Target’s have floor models. It doesn’t surprise me, but I wish the website didn’t say that. I’d have to drive to an official Tuft & Needle store in Los Angeles to feel a floor model. (I also learned that the Target version is stripped down and lower quality.)

The Differences: As far as I can tell, the main difference (besides the price) between the Mint and our old Legacy Tuft & Needle is that the cover of the new Mint is grey with a thin mint-colored ribbon. Honestly, that doesn’t really matter as we keep our mattresses inside protective covers to reduce dust mites and allergens. Though, if I had to pick, I personally prefer a more minimal look. But again, no one sees it!

How does the new Tuft & Needle Mint compare?

Temperature? One of the selling factors of the Mint, besides extra plushness is “breathable, open-cell foam infused with ceramic and cooling gel plus heat-conducting graphite.” Unfortunately, it is winter and cold this season, even in San Diego. August in our non-air conditioned house might better test the mattress comparison to Boring and others. But we weren’t able to tell any difference between the different brands ability to be cool or not.

Comfort? I would say this is similar in feel to both the legacy and the Boring mattress for me as a side sleeper. My husband as a back sleeper says he can’t really feel the difference.

Pros: Easy to purchase, arrived quickly, along with the comfort listed above. Easy returns by filling out a form and scheduling pick up via an app.

Cons: Weird chemical “off gassing” smell, though it was less obvious after a few days. And the cost – the Mint costs twice as much as a Boring Mattress. Saving a thousand dollars is a thousand dollars!

tuft & needle mint mattress delivery

A Boring Mattress with an Interesting Proposal

While I was trying to research the difference between the legacy Tuft & Needle and the new original and Mint, I stumbled upon a Reddit thread talking about the Boring Mattress Company. The original founders of T&N started Boring – “coming soon.” I dropped my email in their landing page of a website but was in far too much pain from the horrible Nectar mattress to wait or think too much on it. My quick impression was that a Boring mattress would be closer to what Tuft & Needle was like 7-8 years ago than the current Tuft & Needles are now.

Unfortunate timing: About two days after we finally put all the sheets and comforters and mattress covers onto the new Mint, and barely a week after buying it, I got an email. Boring launched. They were offering $100 off for signing up on their interest list. I was out and about running errands, and responded quickly from my phone. I shared that maybe if I had gotten it a week earlier, but we were set, the T&N being “fine” and cash flow not allowing another purchase.

Daehee wrote back, expressing understanding and offering up a sleep trial – meaning a grace period to try out the Boring Mattress with the ability to return it with no money out of pocket. I can’t promise that they will offer this in the future to others, but being so new, they really wanted honest, constructive feedback. I appreciated the offer, but explained it was both a hard sell to my husband for all the heavy lifting, and I was scared of being too uncomfortable on a “medium firm” as a lightweight side sleeper.

The Boring mission

All this time, I thought Daehee was only in customer service, but once I got home and read their website some more, I realized Daehee is in fact cofounder of both Tuft & Needle and Boring. He humored me with menial questions on the specs, and also took the effort of asking his wife, a side sleeper my size, how she compared the Boring to the Legacy Tuft & Needle. How sweet is that? (She thought they were similarly comfortable.)

I really resonate with the mission of Boring. Why is buying a mattress so complicated? What exactly is in “cooling gel”? Why do you have to pay more for basic padding? People are seriously dropping a grand for something that feels like a brick and gets replaced in 2-3 years? And my only other option is to make another car payment each month to sleep on a TempurPedic??

Here we go again: new mattress take three

I waited until a good time to sweet talk my husband into changing up the bed again. He came on board when I shared how much we’d save if we like Boring as much as the Mint. Last week, I happened to be pulling up to the house when FedEx delivered the Boring Mattress box with a proud “Made in America” label.

The driver laughed, “You sure have been ordering a lot of mattresses lately!” It was him! He had brought all three in the space of a month! I laughed trying to imagine what he was picturing… Our house is too small to have three king-sized bedrooms. What was going on in our suburban house? Was I building a Princess and the Pea bed??

My Boring mattress comparison

Just like the others: delivery was quick. Unboxing was the same. (Check the video below!)

boring mattress comparison

Pros: No yucky off gassing or chemical smell at all for us. Boring does warn that it is possible to have briefly, though.

My not so Baby Bird jumped up and rolled on the mattress giggling. I laid down smiling, feeling that classic memory foam give of luxury brands like TemperPedic. I said, “I was hoping to like the Boring mattress as much as the more expensive Mint, but I think I like it better!”

Cons: The mattress seems a teensy bit shorter than T&N Mint and Nectar. I was expecting a gap between the bottom of the headboard and the top of the mattress since the Boring is only 10″ high. My husband also noticed a small gap inside our bed frame once it was pushed back. Understandably, our three-week old deep pocket fitted sheets sag and do not hug the mattress snugly. If I had known ahead of time I’d be buying this mattress, I might have selected a different headboard and sheets. Too late now. But I can live with all that to have a solid mattress at such a reasonable price point.

Bottom line on Boring: It is in fact very similar to the Tuft & Needle of the last decade. AND – if you can believe it – at last decade’s prices.

Thanks for reading, friends! I’m off to sleep on my Boring mattress. If you have questions, please leave them in the comments or head to Boring.Co (not an affiliate link.)

Fresh Salmon Review – Kvaroy Arctic and Fulton Fish Market

If you have been following along for a while, then you know how much I like to host giveaways and make someone’s day. I suppose I earned enough giveaway karma that I was recently a winner! Kvaroy Arctic and Fulton Fish Market recently picked me on Instagram to receive a 4-5 pound filet of fresh salmon, salmon burgers and salmon hotdogs.

Papa Bird has never been the most enthusiastic of food blogger husbands. He would MUCH rather dig in versus wait for our food to be photographed. But he is also the more talented photographer in the family. (Let’s be honest, he’s a professional photographer and I don’t even know how to use a “real camera.”) Another of his (many) talents: he has the most amazing salmon smoking process. You can see the step by step recipe here. Wait a sec… I suppose rather than say “I won” this fish, really he did… the contest was to share a salmon recipe, and I entered his smoked salmon. So, when he took this beauty (that he won) off of our PK grill [affiliate link to the smoker/grill but it’s legit worth it] and asked, “Do you have to blog about this fish?” I said, “I don’t have to, but what a great idea!”

smoked salmon - fresh salmon from kvaroy arctic via Fulton fish market

So, for what it’s worth, I was not obligated in any way to review the fish and do not receive any kind of kick back for you buying or clicking through the seafood links, but I thought it was very much worth sharing. True, I did not pay for this shipment, but I will give my honest reactions.

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[Giveaway] Nebulizing Diffuser for Essential Oils

Raise your hand if you have been trying to make your home as pleasant and comforting as possible this year. 2020, am I right? We have long been fans of essential oils and diffusers, so when Organic Aromas reached out to me to try one of their nebulizing diffusers, I was intrigued. A nebulizing diffuser uses no heat and no water. Plus, the glass and wood make it look like cool science laboratory equipment.

Organic Aromas Nebulizing Diffuser and Explorer Kit Giveaway

I’m kind of picky with sponsored posts and partners, and I let them know I would try out the diffuser and only recommend it if I liked it. They sent me the Magnificent Nebulizing Diffuser (that’s an Amazon affiliate link) along with a set of six organic essential oils. After playing around with it and seeing it in person, I do recommend it!

Organic Aromas Nebulizing Diffuser Giveaway

I like that there is no noise, no water vapor, and that it uses very little energy. There is an optional light, which is nice, as I prefer no light when sleeping. I especially like that it is made from glass and solid wood and has no plastic.

When I chatted a bit with Gayle from Organic Aromas, and she gave me this tip:

Do note one thing, that to get the wonderful, natural and powerful aromas from pure essential oils in a Nebulizing Diffuser does require you to give the glass reservoir regular rinses/cleanings with isopropyl alcohol. If you do not ever clean your glass reservoir, over time, the residual essential oil left inside will dry and harden potentially clogging the little tubes. So this is the only tiny bit of maintenance you will need to do. Just about once a week or so give the glass a quick rinse with isopropyl alcohol to keep it in top shape always… make sure you check out this important blog article with a very useful video inside instructing you regarding the best methods to maintain your beautiful purchase:
Organic Aromas Nebulizing Diffuser Giveaway

Guess what? You could win this diffuser and oil kit, too!

Would you like to win this same Explorer Aromatherapy Diffuser Kit? It retails for $125, and includes the “Magnificent Diffuser”, plus a box set of six essential oils. Enter below! (Due to shipping restrictions, giveaway is only open to residents of the United States.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Organic Aromas nebulizing diffuser giveaway with six organic essential oils

Strong Girls – Supportive Women

Hello Baby Birds Farm friends!

It has been a minute. For most of 2019, I have been focusing on launching an online course for new and expecting parents, designed to prevent postpartum depression. That is, when I’m not laughing with the Little Birds.

babes support babes, babe with a dream

In addition to blogging regularly at, and continuing to be a fourth trimester expert and guest contributor for Ergobaby, I have started posting on

I thought this latest post, featuring a collaboration with a sisterhood of supportive women I’ve met on Instagram, might interest some of you. Curious about how the Little Birds are growing and making me laugh? Head over to the Prevent PPD blog to see our feature of a small, Southern-California, woman owned business, Babe with a Dream.