As awesome and convenient as frozen, pre-made veggie burgers are, they are still a processed food. Just because something is meat and dairy free, doesn’t mean it still doesn’t have preservatives and fillers. On occasion when you are working late or in a hurry, they can make a fine dinner. But, the best way to get a good meat-free burger is to make it yourself. My favorite alternative burger is lentil. I first had one in this little restaurant by the Opera House in Sydney, Australia. It had great flavor and a meat-like texture. Like beef, it will take on the flavor of whatever you season it with, so you can make Southwest burgers with chili and cilantro, Indian with cumin and curry—or any other flavors you like. These are just basic burgers, so feel free to experiments with the spices. This recipe makes about 2 burgers and can be easily multiplied.
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used Italians ones, but it plain is fine)
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Rinse and pick through the lentils.
Cooking the lentils according to the directions on the package.
Drain the lentils and let them cool for a bit.
In a food processor or blender, at the lentils and remaining ingredients. Process until blender and fairly smooth. It’s okay if there are some big chunks.
Form into patties and let them chill in the fridge for a few hours. This allows them to firm up and hold up better while cooking.
Now, you can fry them in a pan but I get better results baking in the oven. Lightly spray a baking sheet and place the patties on. Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping half way through.
Since you have the oven all hot, might as well be efficient and throw some fries on the pan too.
Homemade French Fries
1 small russet potatoes
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp house seasoning, depending on taste
Wash the potato very well.
Cut the potato in 1/4 inch strips.
In the small bowl, add enough water to submerge the potatoes and then stir in the salt. Add the potatoes and soak for 15 minutes. This will add some flavor and remove some of the starch.
Drain the potatoes well and lightly dry.
In small bowl, add the potato sticks and house seasoning. Coat the sticks well.
You can cook them at the same time as the burgers on the same baking sheet. Spread the sticks in an even layer on part of the baking sheet.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, same as the burgers, until golden.
I didn’t have any buns, so I just ate mine plain. But I suggest a nice whole wheat bun, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and a good pickle on the side. I dipped my fries in some mustard and sweet chili sauce mix. If you go for ketchup, get the unsweetened all natural stuff. A lot of the big commercial brands are loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
A classic American meal with a fantastic healthy twist. Loves it!