Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lentil Beet Burger

Delicious, savory veggie burgers that stay together while cooking (without the use of eggs as a binder) are the vegan holy grail

There are few recipes that get me as excited as a new veggie burger recipe; and for right reason. When done well, they are an easy way to get your veggies, grain and protein in, all packaged wonderfully in a small disc of perfection. 

No need for lots of bells and whistles, I enjoy mine on a bed of lettuce, with avocado, ketchup, mustard and Sriracha. A side of sweet potato fries or potato salad doesn't hurt. 

I enjoy leftovers for breakfast. Or as a snack before a run. Whenever, really. 

The latest recipe I modified is by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and the original can be found here. I made some substitutions based on what I had on hand, as always. The beets provide a reddish color that mimics the appearance of ground beef...which is strange considering the patty is fully vegan. 

Lentil Beet Burger
Modified from 'Quarter Pounder Beet Burger', by Isa Chandra Moskowitz 
Makes 6 patties 
Looks like beef, doesn't it? 
1 1/4 cups cooked, cooled brown rice 
1 cup cooked green lentils, cooled, drained well
1 cup shredded beets
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon Zahter seasoning
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
3 tablespoons very finely chopped onion*
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cashew butter (use what you have) 
1/2 cup very fine breadcrumbs

Mash the brown rice and lentils together as best you can; I didn't have a food processor on hand so I used a potato masher. It did the job just fine. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Let rest in the fridge for a half hour, at least. This step is crucial! It guarantees that the patties won't fall apart when cooked. Once the mixture has rested, shape into patties and either pan fry, or bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. But I think veggie burgers are most delicious when pan fried a bit. 

*If you prefer a milder onion taste, you can saute the onions before combining with the remaining ingredients. I wasn't bothered by the raw onion taste, but my sister was. You can try either way. 

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