Meatless Monday: Kicky Black Bean Burgers
A great bean burger is a fantastic vegetarian main to include in your weeknight rotation and can be customized again and again depending on your mood. We use Pepper Jack to kick up these patties. You could use provolone or mozzarella and top the patties with basil leaves instead of lettuce, or take the Mexican theme further with sliced ripe avocado and a dash of hot sauce. We toast an extra burger bun for the fresh breadcrumbs that go into each burger. If you don't have a food processor, you can sub about 2/3 cup plain breadcrumbs for the torn bun.
Toss Tuesday: Grilled Chipotle Chicken and Sweet Potato Toss
Time: 35 minutes
No Seeds: Cucumber seeds are of course edible, but they can dilute the salad and compromise crunch. Remove with a teaspoon.
Serve with Dilly Cucumber Salad with Yogurt
Hump Day: BLT Pasta
Slab bacon lets you get a thicker dice than presliced bacon that will hold its own in the pasta; if it's hard for you to find, just use thick-cut sliced bacon. Peppery watercress wilts well yet maintains a little crunch. It also adds a nice savory note, balancing the sweetness of the tomatoes and the saltiness of the bacon. Arugula would also work.
Tasty Thursday: Grilled Chile-Lime Flank Steak
Fish Friday: Red Snapper with Chunky Tomato-Watermelon Salsa
The salsa combines sweetness from watermelon; acid from tomatoes and lime; a bit of heat from the chile; and a pop of herbal freshness from cilantro and mint. It pairs particularly well with red snapper and would be lovely with most any mild white fish. To get the fish skin good and crisp, be sure to forgo a nonstick skillet in favor of a stainless-steel or cast-iron one; reach for a 12-inch skillet- (or larger) so the fish doesn't get overcrowded—or cook in 2 batches if using a smaller pan.
Treat Yourself: Soft Serve Nice Cream
If you’re unfamiliar with the term “nice cream,” it refers to an ice cream–like concoction made by pureeing frozen bananas. This version takes on a smooth, creamy, soft-serve texture with the addition of a little coconut milk. A handful of soft, sticky dates and a sprinkling of salt also enhance the flavor, lending the dessert a caramel-like richness. The final touch is a crunchy coconut flake topping that adds an irresistible textural contrast that both counters and enhances the soft, creamy texture of the nice cream.