I’ve decided to start creating new, healthier recipes for burgers so when the burger craving strikes I can make something besides ground beef. Not to say I don’t like a real, beef burger now and then, but this way we can enjoy burgers more often.
So far I’ve made Middle East Burgers (featuring spinach, lean turkey, and tzatziki sauce), Turkey & Brown Rice Health Burgers served open faced on Ezekiel bread, Sloppy Janes (sloppy Joes made with lean turkey,) and Veggie Burgers (which aren’t exactly “healthy” but they’re delicious and they are vegetarian).
Here’s my latest burger creation. These burgers are totally vegetarian, and delicious with your favorite burger toppings. Fry them up in a light colored olive oil or peanut oil and melt cheese over the tops of them as they cook if cheeseburgers are your thing.
Saute the veggies while the lentils cook. These can be made several days in advance and kept in the ‘fridge until just before frying and serving. They freeze beautifully, just make sure you allow them to sit out at room temperature for an hour before cooking so they can thaw.
1 and 1/2 cup dry lentils (any type)
3 cups water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup light olive oil or peanut oil (for frying)
2 cups onion, chopped very fine
6 large cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, chopped very fine
1 cup walnuts, chopped fine
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup plain, dry bread crumbs
your favorite bread, buns and burger toppings
Place the lentils and water in a big sauce pan. Bring to boil. Lower heat to gentle simmer and place the lid on the pot so it’s slightly askew. Cook for 30 minutes or until the liquid evaporates and the lentils are tender. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the balsamic and mash well using a fork.
Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add onions and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the bread crumbs. Saute 10 minutes. Add this veggie mixture to the lentils in the mixing bowl. Mix. Add the bread crumbs. Mix well. Chill for 1 hour before making your patties.
Form 4 to 5 inch burgers, pressing them to about 1/2 inch thickness. Fry in oil until crispy on both sides and heated through (approximately 5 minutes per side.) If the burgers get to the point that they’re browned on the outside and not quite hot enough in the middle, feel free to microwave them for 30 seconds to finish them off. Place on bread of your choice. Top as you wish.
lettuce or other greens
thinly sliced purple onion
hot sauce or salsa
avocado slices or guacamole
bleu, gorgonzola or stilton crumbles