Updated: Jun 1, 2022
There are lots of burger alternatives out there, but there is really nothing compared with a freshly made, delicious, and healthy burger that the kids love and makes great leftovers. Think I’m dreaming? It took us awhile, but we finally found the perfect burger recipe in The High Protein Vegetarian Cookbook.
Not only does the “Protein Powerhouse Veggie Burger” contain lentils, black beans, quinoa, walnuts, and eggs (hence the powerhouse!), but the added flavors of red onion, garlic, red pepper, cumin, and cayenne are the perfect amount of savory. Does it taste like a beef burger? No. But it’s not supposed to. It’s supposed to taste like a damn good burger and it does.
I’m sharing this (moderately modified) recipe here in the hopes that you will check out this cookbook someday. The recipe makes 11 burgers, more or less, which means you’ll have leftovers for lunches or you can use them in burritos, tacos, or salads as a ground beef substitute. It’s not a quick recipe, but since the burgers end up making several meals, the time is worth it. We buy all the ingredients in bulk or from the bulk bins, further saving packaging and money.
Protein Powerhouse Veggie Burgers inspired by The High Protein Vegetarian Cookbook
1 cup beluga (black) lentils
1 and 1/4 cup of dried black beans or 2 15-ounce cans of black beans
1 cup cooked quinoa (or other grain)
1/2 cup oatmeal, processed into flour
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, chopped or minced
1 red pepper (don’t buy fresh peppers in the winter!), chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cook the black beans. I use an Instant Pot and it takes like twenty minutes, which saves packaging and money. One heaping cup of dried beans equals about 30 ounces of cooked beans. So do two cans of black beans. 🙂
Boil water for the lentils. Add lentils and cook for 5 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender.
Cook the quinoa, unless you already have some cooked grains hanging around. 1/2 cup of dry quinoa equals about 1 cup of cooked.
Blend oats into flour and walnuts into small pieces in a food processor or blender. Don’t wash the machine. You’ll use it again in the next step.
Puree the lentils with 15 ounces (half) of the black beans.
Mix the pureed beans and lentils with the remaining black beans, plus the quinoa, oat flour, garlic, red onion, red pepper, walnuts, eggs, and spices.
Refrigerate for an hour or more (it’ll still work if you don’t do this, but it’s easier if you do).
Form patties and lay onto the cookie sheet. The patties will not expand, so make them the size you’d like and don’t worry about the spacing.
Bake for 12 minutes on one side, then flip carefully and bake for 12 minutes on the other side.
Enjoy with local pickles, mustard, and ketchup, plus some fun sides. You can even make your own buns, if you have extra time. Leftovers work in tacos, burritos, salads, and lots of other meals.
Happy burger night!