It's getting harder and harder to make ends meet these days, so I though I'd let you guys in on one of my favorite vegetarian treats, an inexpensive but super-tasty lentil burger. I do all my cooking without recipes, but you really don't need a recipe for this. Just think of lentil burgers as "meatloaf" and you'll get the picture.
- 1 cup lentils
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 beaten egg (to help hold them together)
- chopped onions
- garlic or garlic power
- bread or cracker crumbs (to help hold them together)
- grated carrots
- 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- A1 sauce
- salt and pepper
- Cook 1 cup of brown lentils in about 2 1/2 cups water until they are soft. About an hour or so (or follow directions on bag). You may need to add extra water, but you want the lentils to be as dry as possible. If you don't "mush" them up while they're cooking you can always drain off any excess water.
- When lentils are soft and fairly thick they are done. They tend to thicken up a bit as they cool. Let lentils cool until warm or cold, then stir them up a bit so they make kind of a paste. Add remaining ingredients and combine well.
- Now, spray Pam or pour a bit of oil into a large griddle or skillet (I use cast iron). Heat to med-hot (so that a drop of water sizzles). Drop dollops of the lentil mixture onto hot skillet and mash down with a fork until the "patty" is about half an inch thick.
- After one side browns, flip over (like regular burgers). When both sides are browned, drizzle with soy sauce* then immediately add one slice of cheddar cheese to the top of each burger. Then cover pan and turn off burner. Let sit for 1 or 2 minutes just until cheese melts. Serve on buns with the works or open face on a plate.
**Note: If you don't use the soy sauce, then add salt to the mix before cooking.
Instead of frying in a pan, you can make a meatless lentil loaf. Pat the lentil mixture into a greased loaf pan. Then drizzle with either A1 sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, or thickly spread Ketchup on the top of the loaf. Bake about 45 - 60 minutes at 350 degrees F (like you would a real meatloaf). Let cool and cut into slices. It needs to cool to cut properly. It tastes better if it sits overnight in the fridge, like regular meatloaf.