In case you were wondering, I do realize that I’m a big pile of inconsistencies. I’ll eat peanut butter Nutella granola for breakfast nearly everyday, but justify it by mixing in ground flax and wheat germ. I’ll put brown butter in my pumpkin waffles, and top them with syrup, powdered sugar, and sometimes a bit of brown sugar as well, but convince myself that they make a balanced meal because they’re whole wheat. The funny thing is that when I’m not obsessing over sweets, I’m usually eating brussels sprouts and quinoa, or an absurdly huge salad with avocado and hummus (well, and a pretzel roll on the side). The way I see it, making healthy choices most of the time leaves room for naughtier choices other times (/for dessert every night). Logical, right?
Which brings me to these vibrant burger patties. This past Sunday, after returning from our two-year anniversary trip that included lots of delicious things, such as raspberry cream cheese turnovers and dark hot chocolate with pumpkin cream liquor, my body was yearning for some nutrients. Fortunately, a bag of split red lentils had been sitting in our pantry for a few months and were just begging to be used. When you cook red lentils, their texture leaves something to be desired, but their flavor remains awesome. So, I figured why not take that flavor, puree it with some chickpeas, coat it in panko, and make a sort of crispy falafel doppelgänger, if you will? Or a falafel relative of some sort? You know what I’m saying…whatever you want to call it, it’s pretty awesome. Especially if you put it on a pretzel roll (seriously, I have a problem).
Red Lentil Garbanzo Bean Burgers
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon parsely
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha (or hot sauce of choice)
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup oats, processed into flour
- 1 egg
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pick through the red lentils, removing any discolored ones (and be on the lookout for rocks, just in case). Rinse them well, and then put them in 2.5 cups of water. Do not salt the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for about 20 minutes. The lentils will soften and lose much of their texture when they’re done, but remember that they’re SO GOOD no matter what they look like.
Mix together the chickpeas, shallots, spices, mustard, Sriracha, and oat flour in a bowl. Stir in the cooked lentils, and then puree in a food processor until mostly smooth. Don’t worry if it’s not entirely smooth…a few small chunks of chickpea/shallot can keep things interesting. Taste it to make sure you like the salt/spice level, then proceed.
Combine the egg with the pureed mixture, and then set it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
When the 30 minutes in the fridge are up, form small handfuls of the dough into 6-7 patties. Dredge through panko bread crumbs. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and drizzled with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the panko-crusted patties on the parchment, and then drizzle with another tablespoon of olive oil.
Bake for 12 minutes, and then flip. If the patties are looking dry, drizzle with another tablespoon of olive oil. Bake for another 10-12 minutes, until the patties have firmed up and the crust is golden.
If you want to be crazy, mix a bit of cream cheese with a pinch of cayenne and a shake of paprika, and have yourself a nice spiced cream cheese. Spread that mixture on an airy, chewy pretzel roll and then sandwich your crispy red lentil patty between it all. You know, only if you want (but seriously, do it).
Dijon mustard blends perfectly with the red lentil/garbanzo mixture, and since I basically like hot sauce, cumin and parsley with everything savory, this is absolutely perfect in my eyes. It’s falafel’s slightly spicier and tangier cousin.
Since this recipe made 7 patties, I’ve been eating them in different forms all week: as a side dish, crumbled on top of a salad, and of course, in the beautiful display we see here.
I was a bit less confident of the boy’s opinion, since this was a straight-up bean patty, and to be honest, the words “bean patty” don’t even sound appealing to me without more of a context. To my surprise and happiness, he loved this. Loved the burger, loved the pretzel roll, loved the spiced cream cheese…it was just a big lovefest.
If you want to make them gluten free, just use gluten-free oats and skip the panko (they’ll still be super yummy, just less crunchy). If you want a vegan burger, replace the egg with a flax egg (3 tablespoons warm water mixed with 1 tablespoon ground flax). No matter how you customize it, you’ll have a nutritious, protein-packed meal that satisfies like something much naughtier. Which of course leads me to the obvious question…after that healthy dinner, what’s the plan for dessert?