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(Veggie) Burger Night, with a Mexican Twist

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Whether or not you're a vegetarian, you won't miss the meat in this flavorful Mexican-inspired menu.

This hearty, spiced black bean burger is not your average veggie burger. Top it off with a cool tomatillo & avocado salsa and even the most ardent carnivores will be singing its praises. Round out your meal with smoky grilled vegetable tacos drizzled with a fresh and unexpected cilantro pesto. And end the evening with warm cinnamon-sugar bananas curled up next to a scoop of ice cream and topped with bourbon and toasted pecans.

Menu Timeline

Up to 2 days ahead:

  • Make and refrigerate the Tomatillo & Avocado Salsa.
  • Make and refrigerate the Cilantro Pesto.

Up to an hour before dinner:

  • Make and refrigerate the black bean patties (do not cook).
  • Grill, slice and season the vegetables for the taco filling, keep warm or allow to come to room temperature.
  • Toast the pecan pieces.

Just before serving dinner:

  • Cook the black bean burgers.
  • Warm the corn tortillas.
  • Assemble the tacos.

After dinner:

  • Slice the bananas and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.

Just before serving dessert:

  • Grill the bananas, and allow to cool slightly.
  • Peel and serve bananas with ice cream, bourbon, and pecans.

Shopping List

Fresh Produce:

  • 4 bananas, ripe but not overly soft
  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1 medium tomatillo
  • 1 small poblano chile
  • 1 small Serrano chile
  • 1 small head garlic
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 large bunch fresh cilantro

Dairy & Eggs:

  • 1 large egg
  • 3⁄4 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese or feta (optional)

Other Groceries:

  • 15-oz. can black beans
  • Eight 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 loaf whole-grain bread (only 1 slice is needed)
  • 1 pint best-quality vanilla ice cream
  • 3/4 cup pecan pieces
  • 2 Tbs. pine nuts
  • 2 Tbs. best-quality bourbon, such as Maker’s Mark or Woodford Reserve
  • 1⁄2 tsp. pure chile powder, such as ancho or New Mexico

Pantry Staples:

  • 1⁄2 cup sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • Black peppercorns

The Menu


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