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.

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For the Love of Lentils

Confession time. I absolutely adore lentils. I love them. Not only are they ridiculously good for you, but they are super easy to make. You know those foods that bring back memories? Happier times of childhood? Lentils are one of those foods for me.

I have fond memories of giant pots simmering on the stove and sitting down after a long day of school, practice and farm work to a piping hot bowl of lentil soup. My mom was a traditionalist, she kept the recipe simple but it was always delicious.

As I got older, I found out that there was a whole world of possibilities when it came to lentils. I remember my time in Spain, one of my favorite meals was a lentil stew with chorizo and garlic. During my time in DC, I used that meal as my inspiration for cooking lentils.  I also explored Indian, Latin and Moroccan recipes. I loved it all. Luckily, my husband appreciates lentils as much as I do… and he loves getting creative with them.

These days, I typically stick to a one-pot method, similar to my mother’s but with my own twist. A friend of mine has begged me to divulge the recipe, so, as a gift to you, here it is. I have to say, I am a bit embarrassed because it is stupidly easy. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

What You'll Need

Noelle’s Lentils:

  • 2 cups lentils (I used black belugas, but any kind will do)
  • 32 oz. Thai Culinary Stock (We got it at Wegmans, chicken or vegetable broth will also work)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp.Chili Sauce (I use the husband’s super hot variety. )

*For less spice, you can also use chili flakes/powder and some cumin in place of the chili sauce-a few dashes of each*

Rinse and drain lentils (a lot of times there are small stones/dirt that get in the package, just pick them out).

No words.

Dice onions, garlic and carrot.

In a large pot, add olive oil over medium heat.

Add onions, garlic and carrot. Cook until onions feel soft and are slightly translucent, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the lentils,  Thai stock and the bay leaf, bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat (medium-low will do).

Cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. I get very impatient, so I stir often and uncover a lot. Try to resist the urge-it saves a lot of time.

Add in your chili sauce after about 20 minutes. Stir it in and re-cover.

Lentils are done when they feel tender and most of the liquid is gone.

Serve hot with a sprinkle of parmesan or with a fried egg and avocado slices (this is my favorite way), also pairs well with rice  or your favorite sausage if you’d like something more hearty.

Enjoy!


Mini Mental Break…

Can I just say that the last place I wanted to be today was at work? Is that wrong? Probably. I much rather be driving around blasting country music and singing along at the top of my lungs… Or at home with Benjamin, baking up something fabulous, maybe enjoying a PBR… Or out running and getting lost in the thick fog that seems to have taken over the North Country.

I don’t know if it’s this time of year or if it’s just been a crazy week, but I am mentally checking out. The to-do stack on my desk is getting pretty big, and seems to double whenever I move something to the “Completed” stack. And there is no sign of it slowing down.

This morning was a bit rough and the day seems to be dragging on…but that is probably because I have some pretty awesome plans for later…no big deal. The hubs and I had our usual Wednesday lunch date and now I am anxiously watching the clock to make sure everything goes off without a hitch… it’s torture.

Besides the evening plans, there are a few other things on my mind.

  • Lentils. I absolutely love lentils. Especially when topped with a fried egg, Parmesan cheese and a few slices of avocado. They rock my world. Dinner tomorrow. It’s happening.
  • This macaroni and cheese. I am making this for some friends of mine. So easy to make and absolute heaven. I used Cabot/McAdam Jack & Cheddar. Only the best.
  • Sweet Potato Fudge. I usually am NOT a fan of white chocolate, but the sweet potato aspect is really grabbing my attention, I may need to substitute some dark chocolate…
  • Chocolate Beer Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Buttercream . This looks awesome. I am a huge fan of beer flavored chocolate cakes. I definitely need to make these sometime. It looks like they can also be made gluten-free! I may have to make it this way and  then try it with regular butter and milk, just for fun, either way, these are going to happen in my kitchen.
  • Quinoa Patties. These are so easy to make and so good. Please try them.
  • My husband’s birthday. Ben is turning 29 this weekend. I know he’s working all day, but I am so excited to celebrate as a married couple. So corny, I know. I am currently try to come up with something good. He snooped through the box that contained his present… accidentally-the stinker!  Now I am scheming for some sort of surprise. More on that later.
  • Christmas. I never used to like Christmas but the last few years have really opened me up to it. I’ve been very blessed and I love to share that with the people I love. The major lack of snow is a bit weird for this time of year, but I am soaking up all the merriment, regardless  (If you still have shopping to do, check out my previous post for an awesome gift idea!).
  • Measuring Spoons. Okay, maybe it’s only hilarious to me, but Ben and I always put the measuring spoons back in different drawers. It drives me absolutely batty.
  • The stack on my desk that’s not disappearing….

… Time to go! Until next time!