If french fries are perfect finger foods, nothing but burgers are perfect 'all-hands' food. Eating a burger puts a person in a position of power. You have the power. To hold the whole burger in your hand, squeeze it together and take a big powerful bite of it. And of course lick the ketchup that drools out of your mouth onto your chin in little drops. Forking a salad seems so lame right now.
Such a burger makes my free spirit truly happy. But, the wife and mom in me wants a few more points on the health scale when it comes to a burger. More power. More protein. That's what is many times missing in a potato laden veggie burger patty. And how to achieve that? Make it. Simple. I've already blogged about a version of a homemade veggie patty prepared with fresh sprouts and veggies. Check it out here.
This time I'm going all lentil loony on my patty. This is a barley and bean soup mix that I bought from Henry's a little while ago. I use this often to make a whole and hearty soup using my slow cooker. I even have pics- will post that soon. But, this time I was looking for lentils to add to my burgers and thought this would work perfect. The mom and wife in me was finally happy.
Take about 1 1/2 cups of the barley and bean mix and soak for about 4-5 hrs. Then, open cook the beans in boiling water until they turn soft. They will turn soft in about 10 mins. Some of the big beans might still be a little bite able crunchy like that of roasted peanuts. But, they taste great and provide a nice bite to the burger.
While that is boiling, chop up all of your favorite veggies to go inside the patty. I added all the veggies here except broccoli and mushrooms inside the patty. These two went on top - you'll see.
Once the beans is cooked, strain away all the water. You can use that water to cook rice or use in anything else that you would normally add water to. I'm sure it has the vitamins in there.
Also, boil a couple of medium sized potatoes and mash them. Add the cooked beans and potatoes to a big mixing bowl.
Add the rest of the veggies. I added shredded carrots, finely cut green beans, chopped onions and corn kernels.
Then, add the following -
Salt - to taste
Paprika or Red chilli powder - about 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Mix everything well. Add a little bread crumbs to absorb the remaining moisture and form a cohesive ball.
Now comes the burger making part. Take small balls of the patty, roll them in your hands and flatten them to make little burgers. Keep about 1/2 cup of bread crumbs ready on the side for dipping.
Use a wide shallow pan and fill enough oil just to cover the bottom. You can always deep fry the burgers. This I feel is slightly healthier than that. But, again, baking these would be the healthiest option to do. But I did not do that - don't judge me though. I had no time really to bake for about 25-30 mins. My 2 customers had already asked me if dinner was ready like 5 times!
Shallow fry each side of the patty for about 3-4 mins. The advantage of using a pan like this one is that you can move the patty to the side walls and that heat also helps to cook the sides without much oil.
These are almost done. Golden and perfect.
Drain all the excess oil on a rack.
Now, comes the fun part. Assembly.
There are so many ways you can assemble this burger for your family. I add a thin layer of mayo on the buns and then place a piece of the patty and then top with whatever the heart desires.
It could be a traditional tomato-lettuce-carrot strips burger.
Or a burger topped with sauteed mushrooms and broccoli. (by far my favorite!)
Or just topped with some grilled pineapple and sauteed jalapenos. (TH's favorite)
Or just a hearty double cheese double patty doused on the top with ketchup!
Or an indianized version made with green mint chutney and tomatoes and carrots.
In all this excitement, I totally forgot to make one of my favorite versions with avocados. But, thankfully had leftovers and made some for lunch the next day.
So, who said burgers have to be eaten one way? And when you make burgers for dinner, just mix it up so everyone gets to taste something new in each burger.
My family was totally ready to pounce on this but wait we all want to try multiple things. How do we do that?
Perfect. I have 30 secs left to take a picture of this.
Since this qualifies and I also just saw this 'My Legume Love Affair 32' event on Sandhya's Kitchen, I'm going to send this across to her and also to Susan's event page. Hope you gals like it!
Enjoy. Peace Out.