Black lentil burger

Oh I have been away.  Has it been a whole month really?  It's not that I haven't been cooking - well, less cooking, but we still have to eat.  But I've gotten a little under water on every day life - four kids, everyone with colds, plumbing problems (three times), not getting enough sleep (because one baby still doesn't sleep through the night), computer frying, etc.... you get the point.  No time, or energy, to blog.
But I'm back.  The photos have suffered - I have some better pictures on my camera, but it might be another month before I get those downloaded.  So I figured I had better just get these things out here with phone photos. 
Dinner tonight: Black Lentil Burgers.  A vegetarian meal.  I have been inspired by a dear friend of mine who is on bedrest pregnant with twins.  Her family are not completely vegetarians, but they eat very little meat.  I'm going to be trying to supply them with at least one meal a week, hopefully more as my schedule and two sets of twins will allow.  And because I want her to have yummy, healthy meals to help feed those growing babies (and her lovely son and over-extended husband), I've started doing some reading and researching about high protein vegetarian recipes - hopefully with the goal of coming up with some yummy things to deliver to her. 
I came across this recipe for lentil burgers, I thought it sounded like a good starting point, but maybe a little boring.  So I used that as my basic starting point, but I added a lot to it.  Here's what I used:
  • 2 -3 three cups of cooked black lentils (I had a package of pre-cooked lentils from Trader Joes, which made it quick and easy)
  • 1 diced onion (I used a red onion, because it's what I had)
  • about a cup of finely shredded cabbage
  • a couple handfulls of shredded carrots
  • a couple teaspoons of chopped cilantro
  • ~ three garlic cloves (frozen cubes of garlic from trader joes)
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups plain bread crumbs
  • a bunch of grated parmesan - maybe about a cup
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 4 eggs
I blended everything except the bread crumbs and cheese together in the food processor.  Then I dumped in a bowl and stirred in the crumbs and cheese.  It was a nice thick consistency.  I plopped spoonfulls of this into a heated pan with some olive oil, spread them out to the right size - about the size and thickness of a burger.  I cooked  them on low/med heat until each side was brown.  I think one key is to keep the heat somewhat low, because they need to get cooked all the way through without burning. 
Served with cheddar cheese, on a whole wheat bun, with some mayo, dijon, avocado and tomato.  The flavor was really, really good.  I think next time I would try to process the mixture a little less, to leave the lentils and onions and carrots a bit more chunky - I thought the texture was a little too soft.  But yummy.  And I'm looking forward to trying them again.  

Lisa Marsh

Mom to two sets of twins.

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