24 November, 2010

Grilled Lentil Walnut Burgers

Confessions of a healthy food fanatic: I used to like burgers. The ones from well-known fast food chains. I used to crave them regularly, e.g once per month. Luckily, we moved to a spot that is far away from any take-away or home-delivery food place. So food would arrive only lukewarm or cold. That's fine with Indian food as you can heat it up again. Not so cool with burgers or pizza.
Perhaps it's just yet another detail that led me to eating healthier and preferring home-cooked dishes. Although I still like the burger idea in general.
I found this Lentil Walnut Burger recipe in my box of to-cook-dishes. It took some time to find out where I got it from: Martha Stewart. I actually only know her name. I sort of know that she is a big star in America and seems to be a next-door-neighbor kind of TV cook. I have never seen her on TV. When I grazed through the cookbook and lifestyle section in a big bookshop here in Dubai the other day, I found out that she also does books about housekeeping. I didn't page through them, not my kind of literature.....
However, this burger recipe is amazing. The combination of nuts and lentils as main ingredients make it a health bomb. I made a few minor changes to the ingredient list and grilled the burgers instead of frying them as my family is not used to fried foods and generally reacts with sore tummies.
It turned out really well. The burgers were just right with all these spices. I will definitely make these again, as they are being put together very quickly (as long as you have the lentils ready). Just one tip: eat them as soon as you make them. Leftovers tend to get a little on the dry side.
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GRILLED LENTIL WALNUT BURGERS

3/4 cup toasted walnuts
2 tablespoons dried whole wheat breadcrumbs OR whole wheat couscous
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup cooked brown lentils (1/3 cup uncooked lentils)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 large egg

Tahini Sauce
2 tablespoons Tahini (sesame paste)
2 tablespoons yogurt
water
salt to taste

Serves 4
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In the bowl of a food processor, combine walnuts, breadcrumbs, garlic, chili flakes, cumin, coriander, 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; process until finely ground. Add cooked lentils, onion, and olive oil; pulse until coarsely chopped.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg. Add lentil mixture; mix until well combined. Divide into quarters; roll into balls, and flatten with the palm of your hands into 3/4-inch-thick patties.

Place patties on a slightly greased baking sheet and grill for 8 minutes. Turn over and grill for another 6-8 minutes. Serve immediately with Tahini sauce on burger buns or pita bread with a mixed salad.

Tahini Sauce
Mix the Tahini and the yogurt. Add water little by little until you get the right consistency, not too thick and not too runny. Add salt for seasoning.

5 comments:

  1. Yum, your burger looks delicious!

    I’d love for you to submit some of your beautiful photos, and a link to your posts, to my vegetarian food photo gallery showcasing the best vegetarian/vegan dishes on the web.

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  2. Your burgers look great! I was wondering if I could substitute flax meal for the breadcrumbs in this recipe?

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  3. Tried these Anja, they were absolutely outstanding!

    Thank you for such a lovely recipe!

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  4. @ Sarah
    I don't have much experience in cooking with flax meal. Breadcrumbs or couscous are supposed to make the burgers lighter and fluffier (can't think of another word right now). I'd imagine that flax meal would make them more dense? I am just thinking out loud.....if you try it with flax, let me know how it worked out please!

    @The Bird Cage
    Thanks for your post. Glad you liked it. Positive feedbacks always put a big smile on my face!!

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  5. Love this recipe every time. Today I replaced the breadcrumbs with quinoa flakes, and used flaxseed meal and water to replace the egg. Just as good as the original. Thank you so much Anja, your recipes never fail to delight. :)

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