I’m not so sure that most people get excited for free time to try out new recipes, but I know I do! Thinking about what was already in my pantry, I remembered I had just a bit of red lentils left and thought about what to do with them. Although I could have went a different route and made a random little lentil dish that would probably be too mushy and not very pretty looking (red lentils tend to get much softer than others) I chose a vegetarian burger.
Vegetarian burgers aren’t always so warmly welcomed, but for the skeptics out there, I challenge you to try one. If you still don’t like it….try a different one :).
This specific burger is full of protein and fiber, especially with ingredients like sweet potato, spinach and garbanzo bean flour. One burger should be just enough – depending on the size you make them.
*Before I begin with the recipe I would like to highly suggest adding something with a little more crunch to this recipe. I failed to do so and I cooked down the yellow squash quite a bit until soft and the crunch factor (texture) was definitely lacking. Green, red or yellow bell peppers would probably be perfect (I would add them in raw before baking, skip the saute).
Sweet Potato Lentil Burgers mainly inspired by Hummusapien
1 1/2 Cups Cooked Red Lentils* (or lentil of your choice)
1 Small Sweet Potato
1 Large Garlic Clove, minced
1/3 Cup Onions, diced
1/3 Cup Yellow Squash, diced
1 Cup Chopped Greens (Spinach, Kale, Swiss Chard)
Pinch of Sea Salt
Pinch of Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
1 Egg or “Flax Egg” (one Tablespoon Ground Flax Seeds, 3 Tablespoons Water)
3/4 Cup Garbanzo Bean Flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Poke the sweet potato with a fork and either bake in the oven or microwave wrapped in a paper towel for about 5 minutes, until soft. Remove and scrape insides from sweet potato into large bowl (if you enjoy the skin I bet you could keep it in there – it does hold most of the nutrition!).
In a saute pan, add the olive oil and garlic and cook until bubbles form around garlic. Add the onion and squash, mix and cook until soft (this is where you may improvise and wait to add the squash at the end to keep a firmer texture). Add the spinach, mix and again cook down until soft. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and set aside.
*To cook the lentils, rinse them and add them to pot. Add water to cover about 2-3 inches above lentils. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook down until soft, about 20 minutes (however, mine cooked fairly quickly so keep an eye out until they absorb all water).
Add the lentils to the bowl with the sweet potato and mix together, slightly mashing. Add the spices (cumin, cinnamon and turmeric) followed by the saute mixture. Mix well and add the egg and bean flour, mixing again until incorporated. It is always suggested in vegetarian burger recipes to refrigerate your mix for at least 30 minutes before baking/frying. I agree that it does help hold it together more when you begin the cooking process, so try not to skip it.
Form the burger mix into patties and place on a baking sheet (greased or lined with parchment). * A little trick is to wet your hands slightly before molding in order to reduce the chance of sticking to your hands. Sprinkle patties lightly with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping half way and sprinkling again with salt and pepper.
For a crispier look, leave in a bit longer or try dabbing some coconut oil on top, this may help brown the top and bottom.
I love bean/lentil burgers with a nice creamy pesto/aioli including avocado, olive oil, garlic and greens like kale, spinach, herbs. It is also fine with a ketchup or salsa. If you’re cooking for one (still trying to win over your boyfriend and friends) bake them off, wrap and freeze for later in the week! They’ll still be good!
Anyone else have a great vegetarian burger recipe they’d like to share?