Time for another Twitter-submitted recipe, this one from @reluctantveggie. She runs a blog called The Reluctant Vegetarian, something that I imagine a lot of you are (or, more likely, whoever you live with is). So check it out for lots of recipes from someone in the same boat!
The recipe is for lentil burgers; you can find it here. I know lentils don’t sound too terribly exciting, but don’t let that stop you from trying this recipe. In addition to lentils, there are carrots, onions, oats, and breadcrumbs (or flaxseed, see next paragraph), so they’re great for you. Lentils, like beans, are loaded with protein and fiber, among tons of other good stuff. And as it turns out, they make a damn good burger. You might remember my first attempt at vegetarian “burgers,” portobello bistro burgers, and my second attempt, Mexican black bean burgers. Portobellos are shaped like burgers and have a nice beefy flavor, but they just don’t seem like burgers when you’re eating them. They seem like mushrooms. And the black bean burgers, though tasty, were just too soft. These lentil burgers, on the other hand, eat like real burgers.
The recipe calls for frying or baking the burgers, but I chose to grill them since I was grilling bread to serve them on (I served these bistro-style, like the portobello burgers). It worked out well, since these burgers stayed together nicely and didn’t fall through the grates or anything. I do think that pan-frying might have been a little better though, since the grill tends to dry food out, and our only complaint with these was that they were a little dry. So go with the original recipe and fry them (which will add a little moisture) rather than grilling.
A suggestion that @reluctantveggie gave me, which in my excitement I forgot to do, is to substitute ground flaxseed for the breadcrumbs. Definitely a little healthier, and probably tastier too. Ground flaxseed has a nice nutty flavor that somehow gets lost in the pure-evil flavor that pure flaxseed oil conveys. We add it to our smoothies now instead of oil, for that whole-food goodness. I’ll definitely try it in the burgers next time.
Like I said, these burgers were awesome, even if a little dried out by the grill. It really felt like we were eating real burgers. One caveat: when I say these burgers taste great, don’t expect a medium-rare piece of beef on your plate. I wish veggie burgers were called “veggie patties” or something like that, to avoid the comparison. You aren’t going get a burger; you get a different food that is really good in its own way. And it’s a hell of a lot better for you. Erin and I agreed that these veggie patties were worth yet another 4 out of 5 cows. I swear the rating system isn’t biased, I just know how to pick ’em! But the credit really goes to @reluctantveggie, for supplying us with this recipe, so pay her blog a visit and let her know how much you like these burgers.
Marathon Training Update
In other news, I’m finally back to a normal running schedule now that my knee is better. I did a hilly seven-miler over the weekend and have done two hill workouts since. My knee is still giving me a little trouble, so I’m easing back into it, but it feels great to be back. I’m totally committed to qualifying for Boston at Wineglass in October, which means knocking 10 minutes off my previous best, and it’s so exciting to commit to something that seems so hard. If you haven’t committed to something like that in a while, give it a try and remind yourself how good it feels!
Check back tomorrow for buffalo tempeh wraps! I made them today for lunch, and they were friggin’ fantastic.
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