Saturday, September 11, 2010

Vegetarian Adventures

Every week, I support Meatless Monday by linking to the recipes of the week that are posted on the Meatless Monday website.  Taste is totally subjective, but most of the recipes look pretty good to me.  The way it works out, I actually try some of the recipes, and do not either decide to or get around to trying others.

Tonight we prepared these Lentil Burgers (pictured above) featured in the Monday, September 6 Meatless Monday post.  I thought that this recipe looked especially good, and after trying it, my wife and I both thought it was delicious!  As good as I thought the recipe looked, it exceeded my best expectations.  Pure awesomeness!
So, in addition to the links I posted Monday, I'll post this entire recipe:

Lentil Burgers

Brown lentils are spiced with red chili and thyme, topped with alfalfa sprouts and served on a poppy seed bun. These burgers are great on the grill and so hearty even the most devout carnivores will be singing the praises of the mighty lentil. This recipe comes to us from Trudy of veggie.num.num.

Serves 8

For the lentil burger patties:
1½ cups brown lentils, rinsed and picked through
6 cups low sodium vegetable stock
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 red chili, diced
¼ red onion, diced
5 sprigs fresh thyme, roughly chopped
2 slices wholegrain bread, roughly diced
1 ½ cups freshly made breadcrumbs
salt and pepper, to taste
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1-2 tablespoons wholegrain flour

To complete the lentil burgers:
a little vegetable oil or cooking spray, to prepare the grill pan
8 slice of your favorite burger cheese*
8 tablespoons relish
8 sweet sandwich pickles
4 ounces baby lettuce
4 ounces alfalfa sprouts
1 avocado*, cut into slices
8 poppy seed buns, toasted

* Optional.

To make the lentil burger patties:
Place the lentils in a large saucepan with the stock and smashed garlic. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Drain off any excess liquid and set aside to cool.
Combine the chili, red onion, thyme and breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Add the cooked lentils and stir to mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the whisked eggs to the burger mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined, adding enough flour to bring the mixture together.
Form the mixture into large patties with your hands.

To complete the lentil burgers:
Prepare a large frying pan or Barbeque grill pan with a light coating of vegetable oil or cooking spray. Try using a sheet of lightly oiled tin foil on the grill if you don’t have a grill pan.
Cook the lentil burger patties on the prepared pan for 4-5 minutes, flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes on the other side, or until both sides are golden and cooked through.
If using cheese, top the cooked burger patty with 1 slice of cheese and place under a medium grill or broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
Build your burger by spreading the bun with relish topping with a patty, then pickles, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts and avocado, if using. Close the burger with the top bun and repeat the process with the remaining burgers.

This recipe contains both egg and cheese, so it's vegetarian, and not vegan.  We used our own homemade vegetable stock instead of canned or packaged stock.  The recipe listed avocado and cheese as optional, and we used both.  The type of cheese is not specified, and we used Swiss.  I think it may be even better with Monterrey Jack or Pepper Jack, but we didn't have any this time.  The only thing we changed was using whole wheat buns instead of poppy seed buns.  We will definitely have this again!


Anonymous said...

Sounds really good. Gotta try this one as soon as I have a "cheat" meal coming up.

Don said...

I thought they looked good, but they have way too many ingredients for me. My rule is to limit my recipes to 5 ingredients (not including seasonings) and 15 minutes prep time. ;-)

*~ZEN~* said...

How do you approach non-vegetarians that bombard/attack you with the whys, and tell you your wrong etc....

Vern said...

Zen, so far, I've been spared the attacks and accusations of just being wrong, although I've had my share of "why" questions. When asked, I tell people that I was eating very little meat any way, because the healthiest diet is at least mostly plant-based. Then I explain that as my environmental and animal treatment views evolved, I decided that eating meat wasn't consistent with those views. I explain that raising plants uses way fewer resources and generates much less pollutants than raising animals. Then I mention how deplorable and cruel the conditions are for animals in the large factory farms slaughterhouses that produce most of the meat supply. I finish my saying I make this choice in order to not support animal suffering, and to minimize my impact on the environment.

Don said...

Most people won't attack you unless they think you're trying to push your beliefs on them. If they do attack, it's better to change the subject or just walk away because you're not going to change their minds at that point.

The best answer to a belligerent person on why you don't eat meat is probably, "Because I choose not to."

Vern said...

Fortunately, the inquiries I've received have just been open-minded and out of curiosity, and I just explain my reasons. I try to explain in a non-judgemental way, just as a life choice, as we all make thousands of, depending on what's important to us.