Meat free Monday night’s dinner this week was these delicious lentil burgers served with beetroot & carrot salad, my super simple kale salad and another simple salad of fresh rocket leaves (from the garden) with mixed (crunchy combo) sprouts and a lemon and olive oil dressing…yum!
I had the leftovers for lunch the next day – they tasted even better!
Lentils make a fantastic meat alterative as they contain both protein (required for many functions in the body including muscle growth and repair) and iron (needed to make red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body). They also contain soluble fibre (the type that lowers cholesterol), folate (maintains the health and stability of your DNA as you age) as well as magnesium and potassium (both are required for healthy blood pressure). All lentils are a great low GI carbohydrate food, helping you to stay full for longer and providing your body with a slow release of energy. All this and they contain virtually no fat and no saturated fat, so what is there not to love about lentils?
Especially when you can make really tasty burgers like these out of them!
There are 3 main types of lentils – red, brown (also called green) and puy (or French style) lentils. Lentils do not require pre-soaking before cooking so they have that advantage over dried beans and chickpeas. Red lentils take about 15 minutes to cook, brown/green and puy lentils take a bit longer – anywhere from 20-40 minutes and brown/green lentils are available pre-cooked in cans (note that this brand is BPA free) which makes them even easier to use. That is what I used in these burgers.
- ⅓ cup (50g) raw unsalted cashews
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 brown onion, chopped
- 1 clove fresh garlic, crushed
- 2 medium carrots (3/4 cup approx), grated
- 400g can lentils, drained and rinsed (= 240g lentils)
- ½ cup whole rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon wholemeal plain flour
- ⅓ cup tzatziki or relish, optional, to serve
- Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan-forced. Spread cashews on a baking tray and bake for 3–4 minutes or until toasted. Roughly chop.
- Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat. When hot add half of the oil.
- Cook onion for 5 minutes or until softened.
- Add garlic and carrot and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until tender.
- Meanwhile, place lentils in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped.
- Place lentils, onion mixture, toasted cashews, oats and parsley in a large bowl. Using hands, mix well to combine.
- Shape mixture into six patties. Place on a plate.
- Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. (I didn't do this - I cooked them straight away)
- Place flour on a plate. Coat patties in flour, shaking off excess.
- Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Cook patties for 3–4 minutes each side or until golden and heated through.
- Serve topped with tzatziki or relish along with salad or use to make a burger by serving in a multigrain roll with lettuce, tomato, avocado, beetroot, cucumber and relish.
Per Serve (burger only): 698kJ or 166 calories; P 5g Fat 8g SFat 1g CHO 17g Fibre 2.2g
Adapted from Weight Watchers Website