If you're looking for a vegetarian appetizer that packs a protein punch, chef Tamara Stanger of Helio Basin Brewing Co. shares a user-friendly recipe for white bean puree (akin to a creamy hummus). Stanger uses Ramona Farms white tepary beans, a product that has been cultivated for about 1,000 years by Native Americans in the Sonoran Desert. (Buy online at

"You can sub other white beans, but these are very buttery and have more protein than any other bean," Stanger says.

Stanger uses crème fraiche in her recipe, but you can substitute sour cream or cottage cheese and vegans can use silken tofu, she says. Also, feel free to throw in any pickled vegetables or olives you have on hand. "This dish is really good for entertaining and it celebrates Arizona."

Each month, we of the PHOENIX magazine editorial team ask ourselves a different question about our favorite dining and drinking experiences in the Valley. Our picks are usually hidden in the back of the magazine among our Dining Guide restaurant listings. Not any more. Our picks are going digital! Feel free to follow us on social media (at least, those of us who tweet) and be sure to tag us (@PhoenixMagazine on Twitter and @PHXMagazine on Instagram) on pics of your favorite picks.

Happy January! As we welcome the new year with open arms, we're asking ourselves, "What are you most excited to eat in 2018?"