Lentil Burgers

Lately, I haven’t been eating as well as I would like. It’s partly because I’ve been eating on the run and partly because I’ve been lazy about planning ahead.

It’s been all about beef, bacon, nachos, potatoes and cupcakes. Granted these are all grass-fed/local/from the garden…but I admit, I have been over-indulging.

Don’t get me wrong, I love greens but I have just wanted something a little more… meaty and cheesy.

So, in an effort to cut down on my carnivorous binge, I made some veggie burgers. I served them over greens with a quick yogurt sauce (greek yogurt, lemon juice, honey, dill and garlic powder).

These are super easy to make AND go really well with salad….so you’ll have plenty of room for shredded beef nachos later on… I’m only sort of kidding…

So much color and goodness!

Lentil burgers are also totally good for you-packed with iron, protein, potassium, fiber and good fats!

Anyway, I used orange lentils in this batch but I would advise using black lentils instead–they are a bit firmer and will hold up better to mashing/mixing. You’ll need to rinse your lentils before cooking them to make sure any little stones are picked out.

Lentil Burgers:

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

2 cups cooked lentils (I cooked mine with our favorite Thai Stock from Wegmans)

1 15 0z can beans –I used great northern beans- garbanzos, black beans or pinto beans would also work

4 large eggs

1 to 1-1/2 cups bread crumbs

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

a few good cranks/pinches of black pepper and sea salt

Parsley-I used about a tbsp

A few squeezes of lemon

1-2 tsp. Smoky Paprika

1 tbsp. Olive Oil

Optional:

  • Olives–Ben and I stumbled upon Lindsay’s Naturals Green or Black Olives and they are amazing! We had a can in our cabinet so I threw some in for some added texture.
  • Jalapenos–I’ll probably make these again just so I can throw in some fresh japs from the garden! YUM!
  • Your favorite cheese-I used about 1/4 -1/2 cup of Cabot Mozzarella

What to do:

Combine lentils, eggs and salt in a large bowl– use your trusty dough blender or a fork to combine until your mixture is still slightly runny but chunky-it’ll look like really wet/chunky hummus.  (You can also use a food processor).

Add in remaining ingredients (except olive oil), stir until just combined. Let sit for a few minutes so the breadcrumbs absorb excess moisture.

Your mixture should be wet, but still able to be formed into patties.  If necessary, add in more breadcrumbs a little bit at a time. Or, for more moisture, add in more water/egg.

(I mentioned using black lentils instead of orange-I found my moisture to be REALLY wet/mushy with the orange and was out of breadcrumbs, so I added in some unbleached flour-it worked just as well).

When you have the right consistency, heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat, form patties and add to skillet.

Cook covered until bottom begins to brown-this took about 7 or 8 minutes. Flip and cook another 7 minutes until other side is lightly browned. 

Serve over your favorite salad or on a bun as a veggie burger.

Makes about 12 burgers ~177 calories per burger. You can store uncooked patties in the fridge for up to a week.


To Plan, or Not to Plan?

I had a major garden score today. Completely unplanned! I took my empty coffee bag to Starbucks so they could recycle it (and so I could get my free cup of coffee for doing so!) and noticed that they didn’t have any of the small bags of used coffee grounds. So, I asked if they had any on hand. I ended up leaving with a garbage bag full of coffee grounds! Pretty exciting stuff…Farmer Ben is going to be ecstatic…and my car is going to smell like burnt coffee. I can’t decide if this is a positive or a negative.

Sidenote: I’ve realized that I am more awkward now than I was at sixteen. Scary.

In other news, big shout-out to Steph for sending me this very cool site/blog: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/ 

I highly recommend checking it out. In short, it’s a blog that chronicles a family’s journey of cutting out processed foods, then going further and doing so on a budget. It also has a lot of great recipes, resources, guidelines and best practices.

I’ve said before, you have to read those labels, buy local, in season, and grow your own food, etc., etc., etc.! It’s definitely for your health!

Anyway, check this out if you are interested in making the change and wondering where to start. Thanks again, Steph!

Another cool health plan is The Daniel Plan. Here is the website: http://danielplan.com/ 

It’s a similar concept with a biblical base and more of a community/group-based site. It also focuses on fitness and scripture. Again, give them a visit to check them out. 

Neither of these are your typical “diets.” They are more of a lifestyle change, focusing on real food and health- NOT the next big weight-loss craze.  

I believe that anyone doing this will discover that real food just tastes better. No question.

I’m also still an avid myfitnesspal user-Find me (username: nre820)!-but if any of you are interested in having a partner/support group on a food-based journey, I am totally down! I also happen to be married to a guy with a pretty  awesome wealth of knowledge on the topic of food! And gardening! And eating local! You can also check out my list of “current web obsessions” for some pretty awesome food blogs that focus on real ingredients (namely, 101cookbooks).

Alright, time to step off the soapbox. 

I just witnessed a torrential downpour. Literally 63.5 seconds ago. Now, the sun is shining. Oh April, you kill me.

Lastly, mad shout-out to Liz for being awesome and making some major tracks on the Couch to 5k program.  And to Kristy for killing the Plattsburgh Half-Marathon. And to James for his awesome job on the Chattahoochee Half Iron Tri.

The end. More coming soon.