There are a lot of veggie burgers out there. Most of the recipes, however, require a large amount of something starchy, like rice, flour, breadcrumbs, etc. I have weird O.C.D. about starch on starch action. I don’t want to put a ton of something starchy on top of something else starchy like a bun and then try and get good flavor out of it. Starches are flavor diluters. They take away from all the good yummy punches you throw into the mix, so I feel the need to be cautious with them. So I decided I would make my own veggie patties and see how they turned out. I have to say, they were delicious.
I had a big bag of lentils, since I am on a budget this month and organic lentils in bulk are only $1.69 per pound, and increase in volume when cooked, unlike ground beef at $3.99 per pound and decreases in volume. I also resorted to dried mushrooms, priced by weight and lucky for me they weigh next to nothing. And a zucchini, for funsies. I did end up throwing a tiny bit of flour in, out of nervousness for them to fall apart, but I think I could have left it out, and will next time to see if it works. Here’s my result:
Green Lentil Burgers
2 cups water
1 cup dried mushrooms (shitake is usually the most cost affective)
1 cup green lentils
1 zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp tomato paste
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder (or minced garlic if you have)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 whole wheat flour
Bring the water to a boil and steep the mushrooms for 5 minutes, until soft. Remove with a slotted spoon and add the lentils. Reduce heat to medium low and cook the lentils for 20-30 minutes, depending on how mushy you like them. Meanwhile, chop the mushrooms finely and mix with the remaining ingredients until well blended. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
When the lentils are cooked, blend with the vegetable mixture and scoop large spoonfuls onto a non-stick baking pan. Pat each one down gently into a patty. You should yield 6 hearty portions. Bake for 20 minutes, then serve on a warm whole wheat bun with lettuce.