Sunday, June 26, 2011

Red Lentil Burgers

What’s a busybody’s dream food? RED LENTILS!

Let me tell you, these little things are cheap, versatile, and fast! I make a variety of dishes, from curries to chowders to variations of the traditional lentil soup. Thanks to Poor Girl Eats Well, I’ve discovered red lentil hummus, too! Her recipe is simple and you can easily personalize it. Red lentil hummus has become my go-to snack: I eat it as veggie dip, spread it on crackers, and use it in place of mayo on sandwiches.

But I digress. I got up this morning to tell you about red lentil burgers. Yes, yes, y’all! These are a tasty alternative to the ubiquitous veggie patty and bland black bean burgers.

Because I buy vegan, my recipe omits eggs. Therefore, I make my patties a little smaller so they will be less crumbly. This recipe yields 8-12 patties. The recipe that inspired my own simpler version is here.

The Goods
¾ cup red lentils
2 ½ cups water
2 cups mushrooms
1 large carrot, diced
2 celery hearts, diced
1 cup onion, diced
3 cloves (ish) garlic
2 cups breadcrumbs

Seasonings (to taste)
Salt n pepper
Cayenne pepper
Lemon juice

Bring lentils to a boil. (For more flavor, I prepare my lentils with veggie broth and a bay leaf.) Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain very well and set aside. You may want to use a wire colander because you want the lentils as dry as possible.

Saute the onion, garlic, and cayenne pepper in olive oil. When the onion is translucent, add the other vegetables and all seasonings except the lemon juice. Saute it all til it smells good and the mushrooms are soft but not slimey. Drain excess liquid.

Combine your lentils and veggie mix. Add the lemon juice. Add the breadcrumbs. Adjust seasoning to taste. Then chill the mash in the fridge for 30 minutes. Afterwards, make small patties and brown them on the stove, about 5 minutes each side.

Top with your favorite fixins. I suggest avocado, red bell pepper and hot mustard. Enjoy!

P.S. For all you playful flirts, this recipe is great to make with your date or sweetie!

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