Lentils are super healthy and easy to cook. In our house, delicious lentil burgers are a staple lazy food. My original inspiration was the “Bye, Bye Ronald Anti-Mac” burgers in a little British vegan cooking zine called “Well Fed – Not an Animal Dead” by Graham Burnett.* I love this zine for being very sincere and rootsy, all handwritten and liberally illustrated with drawings that feature peace signs and people wearing patched clothing. I never refer to the recipe anymore, so the burgers are a little different every time. Here’s the gist of what I’ve been making lately, but I encourage you to experiment with whatever you have around.
(makes 2 big burgers or 3-4 smaller ones)
Combine the following:
- 1 can lentils, drained (or about 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils if you prepare them yourself)
- 1/2 cup quick oats (add more if needed to make stiff mixture)
- 1/2 can of tomato paste (4oz) or a generous dollop of ketchup
- 1-2 TBSP soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp – 1 TBSP curry powder (this is entirely a matter of taste)
- 2 tsp onion flakes or 1/2 a finely minced fresh onion
Other things you might want to throw in:
- a finely chopped carrot
- a few chopped mushrooms
- 1/2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce (make sure it’s veg if you don’t do anchovies)
- minced garlic or garlic powder
- a dash of cumin
Mush it all together, adding more oats or even some oat flour as needed to create a nice burgery consistency. Then just fry ’em up with a little oil. You can brown them pretty quickly, but they tend to taste better if you let them cook for a good long while – at least 5 minutes per side.
You can minimize carbs by eating them like “steaks” or do them up like standard burgers with a toasty roll, lettuce, vegenaise, sprouts, or whatever you like.
* Sidenote: I’ve always wanted to try Burnett’s recipes for homemade wine – especially the white wine, which sounds super-simple if you have an appropriate tightly-sealed gallon jug and the patience to wait at least 3-4 months. I’m not much of a drinker, but I love the idea of throwing a party and serving hooch I made myself.