Most parents I know are always looking for healthy, easy to prepare meals that combine whole foods and filling ingredients. I came across this recipe for lentil burgers recently, and they’ve been a big hit at our house. So I thought I would share it here. I found the recipe through the excellent site, 101 Cookbooks. If you’ve never visited this site before, you must! The recipes are amazing, healthy, and surprisingly easy to follow. Some of the most enticing recipes include homemade cheese crackers, lemonchello macaroons, and wintery springrolls. The author also has several great links with information about how build up your own natural foods pantry for your home.
What I like most about the lentil burger recipe is its fluidity. All the ingredients are basics, so you don’t really need to purchase anything special. The prep time is minimal and you can add all kinds of fun extras to spice things up. I threw in some fresh dill to our burgers, which added a nice punch. We served them avocado, which added a layer of richness to dish. The best thing about these burgers is their frugality. Lentils are quite cheap and you can make the whole recipe on less than 5.00.
Here’s the recipe! Or go directly to the 101 Cookbooks site here.
Vegetarian Lentil Burger Recipe from 101 Cookbooks.
These make great do-ahead meals, and you can store shaped, ready-to-cook patties in the refrigerator for a week’s worth of work lunches. I use black lentils in this recipe, some of the other types of lentils are too mushy when cooked – so I’d stick with the black lentils. Feel free to spice up the batter by experimenting with your favorite seasonings.
3 cups cooked black lentils
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup toasted fine (whole-grain) bread crumbs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or clarified butter)
Combine the lentils, eggs, and salt in a food processor. Puree until the mixture is the consistency of a runny yet textured hummus – it’s o.k. if many of the lentils remain whole (see photo). Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the onion. Add the breadcrumbs, stir, and let sit for a couple of minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a very moist mixture that you can easily form into twelve 1 1/2-inch-thick patties. I err on the moist side here, because it makes for a nicely textured burger. You can always add more bread crumbs a bit at a time to firm up the dough if need be. Conversely, a bit of water or more egg can be used to moisten the batter.
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium low, add 4 patties, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes. Flip the patties and cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties. Carefully cut each patty in half, insert your favorite fillings, and enjoy immediately.
Makes 12 mini burgers.