Meatless Monday: Lentil Burgers

Even devout carnivores will enjoy this hearty, tasty dish.

Posted: 02/20/2012 03:17 PM EST

Did you know that improving your health can be as easy as cutting out meat and processed cold cuts one day a week? Doing so can reduce your risk of preventable chronic conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

 

Enter Meatless Monday. This week's recipe is Lentil Burgers. "Brown lentils are spiced with red chili and thyme, topped with alfalfa sprouts and served on a poppy seed bun," says the Meatless Monday website. They add, "These burgers are great on the grill and so hearty, even the most devout carnivores will be singing the praises of the mighty lentil."

 

Serves 8

For the lentil burger patties:

— 1 1/2 cups brown lentils, rinsed and picked through
— 6 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
— 4 garlic cloves, smashed
— 1 red chili, diced
— 1/4 red onion, diced
— 5 sprigs fresh thyme, roughly chopped
— 2 slices wholegrain bread, roughly diced

or

— 1 1/2 cups freshly made breadcrumbs
— salt and pepper, to taste
— 2 eggs, lightly whisked
— 1-2 tablespoons wholegrain flour

To complete the lentil burgers:

— a little vegetable oil or cooking spray, to prepare the grill pan
— 8 slices of your favorite burger cheese*
— 8 tablespoons relish
— 8 sweet sandwich pickles
— 4 ounces baby lettuce
— 4 ounces alfalfa sprouts
— 1 avocado*, cut into slices
— 8 poppy seed buns, toasted

 

* Optional.

 

To make the lentil burger patties:

 

Place the lentils in a large saucepan with the stock and smashed garlic. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Drain off any excess liquid and set aside to cool.

 

Combine the chili, red onion, thyme and breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Add the cooked lentils and stir to mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Add the whisked eggs to the burger mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined, adding enough flour to bring the mixture together.

 

Form the mixture into large patties with your hands.

 

To complete the lentil burgers:

 

Prepare a large frying pan or barbeque grill pan with a light coating of vegetable oil or cooking spray. Try using a sheet of lightly oiled tin foil on the grill if you don’t have a grill pan.

 

Cook the lentil burger patties on the prepared pan for 4-5 minutes, flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes on the other side, or until both sides are golden and cooked through.

 

If using cheese, top the cooked burger patty with 1 slice of cheese and place under a medium grill or broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

 

Build your burger by spreading the bun with relish topping, then pickles, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts and avocado, if using. Close the burger with the top bun and repeat the process with the remaining burgers.

 

This recipe comes from veggie.num.num.

 

Nutrition info: 338 calories, 5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 52 mg cholesterol, 615 mg sodium, 60 g total carbs, 14 g dietary fiber and 17 g protein.

 

(Photo: Harald Walker/Getty Images)

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