Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lentil Walnut Burgers

Here is the recipe that inspired me, from Whole Foods (found here). Of course I couldn't follow it. I followed lots of it but I typically use recipes to guide me and do things I like or use ingredients I have. What I did & how I liked it will follow the recipe...

Lentil Walnut Burgers

Serves 6

Walnuts add a little crunch and brown rice takes the place of bread crumbs making these savory vegetarian burgers a great gluten-free meal. Serve with a green salad or cooked greens.


2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small carrot, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped button mushrooms

1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)

2 cups cooked brown rice, divided

1 1/2 cups cooked lentils, or 1 (15-ounce) can lentils, rinsed and drained

1 egg, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons high heat sunflower oil or expeller-pressed canola oil, divided


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, mushrooms, walnuts, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper and cayenne and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to a large bowl. In a food processor, purée 1 cup rice, lentils and egg until smooth. Transfer to bowl with vegetables, add remaining 1 cup rice and stir to combine. Form lentil mixture into 10 to 12 patties, using about 1/4 cup of the mixture to make each one. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Arrange half of the patties in skillet and cook, flipping once, until golden and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat process with remaining sunflower oil and patties. Serve hot.


Per serving (about 5oz/156g-wt.): 240 calories (100 from fat), 11g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 35mg cholesterol, 220mg sodium, 27g total carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 2g sugar), 9g protein

-I also used diced onion, didn't have walnuts or parsley, and used some other seasonings. The ENTIRE flavor of this dish came from the veggies that go in the burgers so make sure your veggie mix is flavorful! I cooked mine longer than 5 min too so all the veggies were soft.

-I used ground flaxseed in place of egg (mix 2 1/2 tbsp with 3 tbsp water)

-Instead of pureeing, I did a good smash. So there were still some whole lentils too.

-At first the burgers were much too soft because the ingredients were still pretty warm, so I ended up coating the burgers in panko bread crumbs. I used less than 1 tbsp of oil but the breadcrumbs soaked it all up and the oil taste was too strong. The second time around was after the mix was refrigerated so they held together better. I still coated with breadcrumbs and only used enough oil so they wouldn't burn. Success! I liked them a lot the 2nd time around. I also think with a little less mash this would be good on its own, it wouldn't need to be in burger form.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Red Beans & Rice

I grew up with a family recipe that we called sausage rice casserole. It's even in the extended family cookbook. I believe it's probably officially a Lipton soup recipe. (I'll include the original recipe below) I was craving the flavor of this dish (it's on my list of comfort foods) but didn't want to use sausage. I'm not a huge sausage fan plus I wanted a healthier option so I thought of substituting beans for the sausage. I thought about what beans I wanted to use and decided on red beans...which led me to think that I should add some Cajun seasoning as well and make a type of red beans & rice. I know this isn't a traditional red beans & rice but what else should I name it...."Heather's non-sausage rice casserole"...?? This is a very easy recipe to make and very budget friendly too! Sorry vegetarian friends, Lipton Noodle Soup is made with chicken broth so this isn't vegetarian friendly.

Red Beans & Rice [or Heather's Non-Sausage Rice Casserole] :)

1 package Lipton Noodle Soup
1-2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning (to taste for desired spiciness)
2 1/4 cup hot water
1 cup uncooked white rice
1 cup celery, diced small
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced small
1/2 can red beans, drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix Lipton Noodle Soup, Cajun seasoning, and hot water together in 13x9 casserole dish. Add rice, onion, celery and stir to disperse evenly. Sprinkle in beans. Bake for ~1 hour or until rice is cook (watch because sometimes it will be done earlier)


Original Recipe: Sausage Rice Casserole

1 pound sausage, browned
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 package Lipton Noodle Soup
1 cup uncooked rice
1/2 cup onion
2 cups hot water

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until rice is cooked


"The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now"
-Zig Ziglar