This past weekend, I brought homemade veggie burgers to my friends Red and Jen’s house for the 4th of July. While everyone else was downing hamburgers, I was putting my veggie burgers on the grill and praying that they would hold together. The result was mixed. They tasted great but were kind of mushy. I was going for something like the walnut mushroom burgers from Amanda’s in Berkeley, but I don’t think I hit it. Here’s the recipe and plastic-free ingredients I used based on the lentil walnut burger recipe I found at Saverqueen.com. Maybe I should reduce the amount of lentils next time. What do you think?
1 cup red lentils (from Whole Foods bulk bin in my own container)
2 cups water (tap, of course)
1 tbsp olive oil (bought in bulk in own container from The Pasta Shop in Oakland)
1 cup finely chopped onion (loose, no plastic bag)
4 cloves garlic, minced (loose, no plastic bag)
1 tsp ground cumin (from Whole Foods bulk jar in my own container)
1/2 tsp each salt & pepper (salt in cardboard box and pepper corns from Whole Foods bulk jar in my own container)
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (from Whole Foods bulk bin in my own container)
1 cup finely chopped mushrooms (bought loose and put into my own produce bag)
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (made my own from plastic-free sourdough bread that comes in a paper bag)
Two other ingredients I added that were not in the original recipe, so they’re not in the photo above:
Balsamic vinegar (glass bottle) used to saute mushrooms
Grated cheese (from that big cheese wheel I wrote about last week.) So, here’s the deal with the cheese. It’s almost gone! I went out and bought nutritional yeast, like you guys said. And I also bought the Uncheese Cookbook secondhand from an Amazon.com seller. I’m ready. I think. After I use up the cheese I already have. :-)
1 . In a small saucepan, bring lentils and water to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until all the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. In a skillet, saute mushrooms in balsamic vinegar until they release all their water. Remove from skillet.
3. In skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin, salt and pepper; cook 1 minute. Stir in walnuts and mushrooms. Let cool slightly. Stir in bread crumbs and lentils to combine. (And grated cheese, if you are so inclined.) Form into patties.
4. Grill over medium heat on greased grill, turning once until crisp and golden on each side. (Oh wow, I just realized the original instructions say to grill for about 12 minutes. Hmm… this could be my problem. I don’t think I grilled them for 12 whole minutes. Maybe that’s why they were still mushy.)
5. Serve on grilled whole grain buns.
It made us about 6 good-sized burgers.
Oh, and to make the bread crumbs, I toasted 4 slices of sourdough bread until they were very crunchy. Then, I ground them up in the food processor. I ground up the walnuts that way too.