This summer is my first in New York. The oppressive heat and permeating smell of trash I was promised has been delivered swiftly and rather painfully. Fortunately, the other day I made the ideal warm-weather meal to offset my rather grungy day of working and underground commuting–a fresh sandwich chock full of veggies and protein and other Healthy Things That Actually Taste Delicious.
To be fair, I actually eat these lentil “burgers” year-round. They’re too tasty to be seasonal. They just seemed particularly relevant during the warmer months.
I serve my lentil burgers on toasted whole wheat buns and plate them with salad (when I’m feeling healthy) and sweet potato fries (when I’m feeling, well, less so). Oh, and sometimes I top them with curry mayonnaise (Curry seasoning + mayo).
Dessert can be decadent after such a nutritionally-balanced dinner. But that post is for another day…
*Note that these burgers can easily be made vegan by substituting the egg for three tablespoons of vegetable oil.
1/2 cup uncooked green lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 green onion
1 cup spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
1 carrot, grated
1 small yellow zucchini, grated
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 cup oats
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
cheese slices, if desired
1. Place the lentils in a medium pot and cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until tender. (About 30 minutes.) Drain.
2. Pulse the garlic and scallions in a food processor until well-grated. Add the lentils and all remaining ingredients, except the breadcrumbs, into the food processor. Combine well. (Without a food processor, you just need to mash everything together. It’ll take a bit longer, but it’s worth the effort!)
3. Mix breadcrumbs into the mixture, then refrigerate for 30 minutes. The lentil mixture will be wet, but dries off a bit in the fridge.
4. Heat olive oil in a pan on medium-low heat. Form patties with the lentil mixture and place in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. (Once I’ve flipped mine, I add mozzarella cheese to the cooked side.) Place onto a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess oil.