I have three kids, and that statement alone could sum up most of my life. It probably shouldn’t, but I haven’t figured that whole autonomy bit yet. Anyway, one of them turned five today which quite honestly I can’t believe, especially since he’s my oldest. Five doesn’t seem old until you start talking to him and suddenly it seems ancient – he is an old, articulate, intelligent, very emotional soul (that is currently wide awake and apparently having a bad dream – me thinks he just doesn’t want to go to bed).
But veggie meat touching his strawberries is not a laughing matter for him. For us, it was absolutely hilarious, and no, our laughter was NOT appreciated.
You may recall Somer’s “things that make me grin” post where she and I seemed to be living parallel lives. From that, I volunteered to make the vegan burgers from Scott Jurek’s two articles – one from Outside and one from Runner’s World. Oddly enough, they differed – who knew? I made the ones from Runner’s World because the recipe was easier to follow than the weird one printed out in Outside – it didn’t list the ingredients, was missing two of the ones from Runner’s world that I thought would make it better(nutritional yeast & paprika), and was white font on dark patterned paper which was hard to read. Okay, I like traditional recipe formats! I’m sorry!
Here is my critique:
First, make sure you have a food processor or your hand will get really tired. There is a lot going on in this recipe.
Second, like most vegan burgers, they don’t hold together particularly well, so make sure you have a good grip on them before you start eating because you probably won’t want to pick them up again if you put them down – they’re a bit messy.
Third, for being a bit fussy to make, the recipe makes 12 burgers and they can be made in advance which is nice. In our house, is 3+ meals since my two youngest aren’t much for the burger thing yet. I have 8 frozen but can’t give you feedback on how they defrost yet. I’ll update when I make them next.
Fourth, this is a tasty burger and I might make them again when I have the patience and fewer distractions, but if you’re a relatively normal person and cook at a relatively normal rate, these should come together pretty quickly. I just get interrupted a lot.
I made no substitutions, served it on homemade artisan bread with vegan mayo, ketchup, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and red peppers – pretty tasty. The burgers aren’t very big – big enough, but not a substitute for your 1/2-lb monster burger. Also, I let my mixture hang out in the fridge for almost two days before I shaped them up and tossed them on the grill and they held up great. Here’s the recipe, straight from the article:
Scott Jurek’s Lentil-Mushroom Burgers
For any reluctant vegan who worries that nothing will ever replace the taste or texture of a juicy beef patty, consider the lentil burger. It might not matter so much that lentils are an excellent source of protein, that they are one of the fastest-cooking legumes, or that they are consumed in large quantities all over Europe, Asia and Africa (even Idaho!). What will impress you is how tender, juicy, and “meaty” they taste. I grew up grilling over campfires, and I know burgers. These are as delicious as they come. Sometimes I’ll even take a few patties with me on long training runs and races.
1 cup dried green lentils (2¼ cups cooked)
2¼ cups water
1 teaspoon dried parsley
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1¼ cups finely chopped onion
¾ cup finely chopped walnuts
2 cups fine bread crumbs (see Note)
½ cup ground flax seed (flax seed meal)
3 cups finely chopped mushrooms
1½ cups destemmed, finely chopped kale, spinach, or winter greens
2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
In a small pot, bring lentils, water, parsley, 1 garlic clove, and ½ cup of onion to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 35 to 40 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft.
While the lentils are cooking, combine the walnuts, bread crumbs, and flax seed in a bowl. Add the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and paprika and mix well.
Sauté the remaining onion, remaining garlic, the mushrooms, and the greens in the oil for 8 to 10 minutes, then set aside. Remove the lentils from the heat, add the vinegar and mustard, and mash with a potato masher or wooden spoon to a thick paste.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the lentils, sautéed veggies, and bread crumb mixtures, and mix well. Cool in the refrigerator for 15 to 10 minutes or more.
Using your hands, form burger patties to your desired size and place on waxed paper. Lightly fry in a seasoned skillet, or broil or grill until lightly browned and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Extra uncooked patties can be frozen on wax paper in plastic bags or wrapped individually in aluminum foil, making for a quick dinner or wholesome burger for the next barbeque.
Makes a dozen 4-inch diameter burgers.
Note: To make the bread crumbs, you’ll need about half a loaf of day-old bread (I use Ezekiel 4:9). Slice the bread, then tear or cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces and chop in a food processor for 1 to 2 minutes, until a fine crumb results. The walnuts can also be chopped in the food processor with the bread.
CALORIES PER BURGER: 188; CARBS: 21 G; FIBER: 6 G; PROTEIN: 8 G; FAT: 9 G