Monday, July 11, 2011

Meatless Monday: Lentil Burgers

I kinda took last week off. I fed the husband a lot of easy stuff: grilled chicken, baked turkey breasts, canned beans, corns. Actually, I fed him all of that easy stuff twice. Almost every meal I made last week resulted in leftovers. And we didn't even get around to going meatless until Friday. Talk about a wash.

So we agreed that I'd make a much better effort this week. I found a recipe for lentil burgers and asked the husband if he'd be willing to try them. The truth is I picked the recipe because it was meatless and I was out of ideas. But I also thought it sounded good. I wasn't really sure the husband would go for it, though.

Surprisingly he said yes - without hesitation! OK, maybe he just looked at me and said "sure." But, still. He didn't shoot the idea down. Although I think he regretted agreeing to dinner when he saw me mixing it all up.

"Oooh, lovely," was all the husband could say when he saw me cooking dinner. I had sauteed some veggies, cooked brown rice and lentils, and then mixed it all together. I had a big bowl of mush that, I'll admit, really didn't look that great. 

Remember, Husband, I didn't say everything this week would be pretty. I just promised it'd be better than last week. And I think we're headed in the right direction.

The husband and I both liked dinner, although I wasn't sure what to serve on our burgers. (I've had this problem before, haven't I?) I thought salsa might work, but the husband disagreed. He put a spicy orange sauce on his and I followed suit. The burgers really tasted the best with a little Asian sauce. Now I know. And the only thing the husband has asked that I do next time is chop the veggies a little more. I made three burgers; he picked his burger by *not* choosing the one with the big carrot in it. Oh, well. I guess I'll be eating that one for lunch tomorrow. (How efficient am I? No leftovers tomorrow!)

Yes, that's the carrot that scared the husband.
Veggie and Lentil Burgers
Inspired by Whole Foods

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons carrots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons walnuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 chile pepper, chopped
1 cup cooked brown rice
3/4 cup cooked lentils
2 tablespoons fat-free liquid egg product (or  about 1/2 an egg ... yeah, you measure that!)
1/2 tablespoon canola oil

Cook the lentils and brown rice according to the package directions. (Or, if you're like me, have the husband turn the steamer on for the rice before you get home from work. This will help speed everything up!)

In a medium pan, heat the olive oil and cook the carrots, celery, mushrooms, walnuts, salt and pepper, and chile pepper. Cook the veggies until they're tender, about 5 minutes or so.

Puree 1/2 cup of rice, the lentils and the egg product in a food processor.

Transfer the lentil/rice mixture to a large bowl and mix together with the veggies. Add in the remaining rice.

Heat the canola oil in the same pan, using a little cooking spray, if necessary. Form three burgers as well as you can. (They'll be sticky, if they're anything like mine.)

Cook the burgers for about 3 minutes and flip. You'll want to brown the burgers and heat them completely.

Enjoy on a whole wheat bun with your choice of toppings.

Serves 3
Amount per serving: 210 calories, 7.8 g fat, 28 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 7 g protein

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