Some Healthy Food Fun:    The Wanderlust Food Diaries (of a chronic daydreamer)

Remembering Route 66
(...twenty years after my cross-country drive)

On the Menu
Santa Fe Burgers, Turkey or Beef

Music by Some of my fav' songs from my cross-country drive
Video How to make Santa Fe Burgers

"Get your kicks, on Route 66 "

    --Nat King Cole

"I'm older now, but still running against the wind"

    --Bob Seger


Growing up in Chicago, my old man would talk about driving across the country on Route 66. He promised we would fish, and camp, and see the Grand Canyon. I became fascinated by the whole idea. We never made that trip, but twenty years ago, in 1992 I drove my then girlfriend (now ex-girlfriend) out to California where she moved. My longtime friend Harry came along with us.

We took the interstate system, which roughly traces the same route as the now defunct Route 66. I must say if was an adventure that I will never forget.

Although on the modern well paved interstate system, we were still able to get a feel of the grandeur and splendor of what a cross country travel would have been like on the old Route 66.


Route 66 was established in 1926, and ran from my former hometown of Chicago to Los Angeles. It played a huge role waves of migration west in the 1930's and 1940's.

With the progressive rise of the interstate system starting in the 1950's, Route 66 was officially removed from United States Highway system in 1985. However, with some portions within certain states being adopted as historic sites, the memory is Route 66 is still being kept alive.

I will never forget spectacular scenery we saw in Arizona and New Mexico. With that Southwest theme in mind, for this episode of my "Wanderlust Food Diaries" I will be preparing Santa Fe Burgers.

Sante Fe Burgers (2 separate recipes)

Recipe #1 Sante Fe Burger with Queso Sauce
1 large poblano chile
2 1/2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds grass fed beef
(or pasture raised ground turkey )
4 hamburger buns, split; I like Sami's Millet and Flax buns, toasted
12 blue or yellow corn organic tortilla chips (avoid GMO corn!!!)

Queso Sauce:
1 tablespoon unsalted grass fed butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose organic flour
1 1/2 cups whole grass fed milk
8 ounces organic Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)
Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Put the chile on a rimmed baking sheet, rub with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until the skin of the chile is blackened, about 15 minutes. Remove the chile from the oven, place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let the chile steam for 15 minutes. Peel, stem, and seed the chile and then coarsely chop it.

To make the queso sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the milk, increase the heat to high, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cheese until melted; season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Divide the meat into 4 equal portions (about 6 ounces each). Form each portion loosely into a 3/4-inch-thick burger and make a deep depression in the center with your thumb. Season both sides of each burger with salt and pepper. Cook the burgers, using the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil.

To see the Bobby Flay's video to make this recipe,
go here


Recipe #2 Santa Fe Chorizo Burger
1 Pound   grass fed beef (or pasture raised turkey)
1 Pound Fresh Chorizo casing removed
2 Tbsp organic Minced Garlic
Handful organic chopped parsley
Pink Himalayan Salt & Organic Pepper to Taste
Mix together, do not over-handle meat. Make into 4-6 patties.
Grill over medium-high until chorizo is cooked through.

Optional Sauce:

1/2 Cup Organic Mayonnaise (avoid mayo with Canola!!)
1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro chopped
2 Tbsp Green Diced Chile – canned
Juice of 1 Organic Lime
Himalayan Salt to Taste


2 Organic Avocados sliced
4-6 slices organic Monterey Jack Cheese
2 organic Red Peppers roasted, peeled and sliced
4-6 Burger Buns, I like Sami's Millet and Flax Buns toasted

As a quick note, I know family and friends are going to ask me about the Chorizo pork sausage as it relates to healthy eating. I could easily remove the Chorizo from this recipe, but for me, I only eat pork once or twice a year, so I don't think for me it really matters in relation to the extremely regimented and naturally disciplined 1800 small meals I eat every year. If I were at a barbecue and someone asked  me if I want the Chorzio sausage added my Santa Fe Burger, I would say "go ahead, pile it on", because I still like the taste of pork, I just have no desire to eat it day in and out. Plus, I am now into papaya enzumes which help digest meat. I don't believe in forcing it either way. I know that my digestive system knows how  to process that type of meat twice a year. The beauty of my healthy eating regiment is that I cheat whenever I feel like it with no guilt, because that desire is occasional. Maybe I'm just lucky in all these respects, but I think it's more the result of eating healthy for many years. Just something to keep in mind.

I don't remember every song I put on that cassette tape (young people, ask your parents what a cassette tape is) that I played to death on the drive from Chicago to Cali, but these songs from that tape are deeply embedded in my soul forever. ENJOY!!!!

(...and for my "Hip-Hop", Soul, and R&B music clientele, don't try to figure me out, cause I know my musical tastes are all over the place. I never "Color inside the Lines" with my music :) )




I almost lost my life on that dive out to California for the stupidest of reasons. Somewhere near of St. Louis, I got into a fight with my then girlfriend as I was checking the oil at a gas station. Somehow I forgot to secure the hood, and 10 miles down the road the hood flies up smashing the windshield, I can't seen anything, I'm right next to a 18 wheeler truck , I already know I'm dead.

Fortunately, my homeboy Harry happens to be able to peek underneath the hood covering the windshield and screams "go left go left", and we drift to the road shoulder. As fate was even kinder, we were right outside of Scott Airforce Base and my brother just happened to be stationed there. We call him up, get the windshield fixed and we keep going. Through the ice storm in Amarillo Texas, to the intense heat of the California desert, and everything else, we get there without a scratch. It always amazes me how the pioneers made this trip in their wagons.





Thinking back on that car accident, I always carried from it this feeling that it was meant for me to live and carry on, perhaps to fulfill some special purpose? Although I've been running "Against the Wind" for the past 20 years as Bob Seger says in the song, I always carry this feeling that someone is watching over me, guiding me down this long winding road of life. But, just like driving down Route 66, I've learned not only to look forward to the destination, but to also enjoy the journey. ~dw~.


"Sail Forth. Steer for the deep waters only. Reckless O soul, exploring. I with thee and thou with me. For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared go. And we will risk the ship, ourselves, and all." --Walt Whitman


to read more on the history of Route 66 go here


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