There are all sorts of recipes out there for veggie burgers and I took it upon myself to create my own. I was inspired by a BuzzFeed post
that made me want to create my own at home, especially since I didn’t have some of the ingredients for the featured veggie burgers on hand. Besides, the veggie burgers at the grocery store are not fresh and, for that matter, contain preservatives.
I began with lentils, since they are a great source of protein as well as cheap! (I bought three 1 lb bags of lentils for $4 at my grocery store!) Then I needed to have something that would bind the lentils together. Many recipes I’ve seen suggest chickpeas, although I had none. However, being a typical college student whose freezer is full, I had a package of generic frozen veggies. Once I defrosted them and pulsed them through a food processor, I had the perfect paste. I figured I wold be fancy (and healthy!) as well and substitute all-purpose flour with ground oatmeal (oat flour). All-purpose flour, and white flour for that matter, is stripped of its minerals, the same way white rice contains few nutrients compared to brown rice. Finally, I decided to bake the patties rather than fry them.
The verdict? More cumin! I love this spice, although I had to cut back because I had none left in my spice rack. I would suggest 2-3 tsp of cumin for taste. Definitely try and flatten them to be more patty-like. This will help flipping them. Had I made them thinner, then the cooking time could have been shortened. Plus, it would be easy to stack other veggie burger toppings on, such as onions and tomatoes. Nonetheless, it was a fun activity and a good first attempt!
Ingredients – makes about 16 patties
1 cup dry lentils
– 3 1/2 cups water
1 package frozen veggies
2 cloves garlic, one for lentils, one for veggies
1 tsp cumin
1/3 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/3 cup oats, shredded (optional)
400F for 22-25 mins
- Soak your lentils in water for at least 2.5 hours before beginning. Or, soak them overnight. Why do you do this? Soaking lentils breaks down the polysaccharides responsible for flatulence! (Or so I learned from The Four Hour Body by Tim Ferris.)
- Boil your lentils in about 3 /12 cups of water and a crushed garlic clove for about 30 minutes or until tender.
- While the lentils are cooking, thaw your packet of frozen veggies over the stove. Make sure they’ve gotten to the point to where they are mushy. Add the other crushed clove of garlic.
- Around this time, preheat your oven to 400F.
- Once the frozen veggies have softened, puree them in a food processor! I had to add some water in so it could puree properly, and as a result, I had to put the puree back over the heat to evaporate the water. (That’s why this took so much time! I’m sure that if I had a proper food processor here at school, things would have gone more smoothly. Alas, I’m still a college student.)
- In a bowl, combine the veggie puree and the lentils. Add your spices and oats if the texture is too soggy. (You want these to stick together and retain their shape, not mush out!) A great substitute for flour is oat flour, which can be made by grinding up oats in your food processor.
- Shape into patties. My patties were about 2.5″ – 3″ in diameter and 1.5″-2″ thick.
- Bake at a middle rack for 22-25 minutes, flipping halfway in between.
I’d suggest storing these at room temperature and heating them up in a toaster oven as needed. Enjoy!
Serving suggestion: Skip the overly processed bun and use lettuce instead. You still get a great crunch!