Chock full of goodness these burgers are! I am a sucker for a good veggie burger and unlike in the States where you can buy pre-packaged good quality veggie burgers to keep on hand for lazy meal emergencies, I have yet to find good ones here. I wanted to make a big batch of veggie burgers to keep in the freezer and pull out on a whim but had a hard time committing to what kind of veggie burger to make. There are so many options, so many delicious combinations, but I settled on using red lentils and chickpeas as my base and then adding lots of yummy and healthy additions- carrot, zucchini, kale, herbs, onion, oats for texture and sunflower seeds for crunch. The truth is though, you can customize these burgers however you want- use black or white beans instead of chickpeas, green or brown lentils instead of red and though I used cumin here because I love the earthiness of cumin with lentils you could go a different route and use oregano or basil etc. Have other veggies lying around? Throw those in as well! Though these burgers are super healthy, they are also really really tasty- I served them on toasted buns slathered with some Sriracha Garlic Mayo, lettuce and tomato and was in veggie burger heaven! Enjoy!
3 cups cooked red lentils ( 1 1/2 cups raw should make 3 cups cooked), divided.
2 Tbl oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
2 cups chopped kale or your favorite green
1 15 oz can (about 1 1/2 cups) chickpeas
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup of your favorite chopped herbs, I used a mix of parsley and cilantro
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1 medium carrot, grated
1 medium zucchini, grated
1/2- 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (depending on how moist the mixture is)
1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 Tablespoon granulated garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Canola or light olive oil for frying
In a saute pan, heat the oil and saute the onion and garlic until the onions start to be translucent. Add the kale until it starts to wilt. To your food processor add half of the cooked lentils, the onion, garlic and kale mixture, the chickpeas, oats, herbs and sunflower seeds. Pulse 2-3 times just to start breaking up the chickpeas and oats, you don't want the mixture to be mushy. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the rest of the lentils, carrot, zucchini,eggs and spices, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Add bread crumbs, enough for the mixture to come together well but not be dry. Form into traditional bun size patties that are about 1/2 an inch thick. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry on each side until crisp, about 3 minutes on each side.