I'm working on a new menu planning service, and one of the biggest requests I have received so far has been for more vegetarian recipes. Trust me, I get it and I'm here to please. Living with two borderline vegetarians myself (my hubby and Kenya), I fully understand the challenge of trying to make one meal that will satisfy everyone in the family.
While reorganizing my cookbook collection over the holidays, I often found myself easily distracted, getting caught up reading both my old and new favorites. Hands-down, one of the ones I love most is Feast by Sarah Copeland. It's a gorgeous, beautifully written book which I can't put down or stop cooking out of. I met Sarah years ago when we were both enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Education and we became instant friends. She spent years working at the Food Network and is now the food editor at Real Simple Magazine. She also has a sweet little girl named Greta who is absolutely delicious herself. Sarah has an innate talent and sense for food, styling, and creating delectable recipes. I featured her Rise and Shine Muffins here on weelicious during the launch of her previous book The Newlywed Cookbook and it has remained one of my go-to recipes ever since.
The first of many recipes which caught my eye in Feast was these Lentil Chickpea Burgers. Having nutritious, full-flavored, vegetarian entrees on my brain, I was jazzed to make them as soon as I saw the name. And indeed, who needs meat when you have something that looks and tastes like these beauties. Whether or not you're a vegetarian, don't overlook lentils. They're inexpensive, a powerhouse of protein, cook quickly, and are versatile -- they can be tossed into salads, used for soups and stews, mashed into a hearty dip, or mixed with chickpeas and a ton of other yummy ingredients to make these delectable burgers. Sarah serves her's with a chipotle sauce but since I was out of chilies the first time I made them, I threw together this cool Avocado Yogurt Sauce which not only is simple to prepare, but it balances perfectly with these flavorful patties which I am convinced even the most ardent red meat burger lover will love!
Lentil Chickpea Burgers with Avocado Yogurt Sauce (makes 12-14 small patties)
- 2 cups cooked green or brown lentils
- 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 carrot peeled and coarsely grated
- all purpose flour, for dusting
- oil, for the pan
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 medium ripe avocado
- dash of salt
- splash of lemon juice
1. Pat the lentils and chickpeas dry. Make sure to dry themwell, otherwise the mixture will be too wet.
2. Place the lentils, chickpeas, onion, garlic, eggs, oats, chili powder, paprika, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the consistency of thick, chunky hummus.
3. Stir the grated carrot into the mixture.
4. With floured hands, form the mixture into patties using 1/4 cup of the mixture at a time. Lightly coat the patties with flour and gently brush off any excess.
5. Heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the burgers for 5 minutes on each side, until crispy on the top and bottom.
6. In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, avocado, salt and lemon juice until smooth and well combined. Top the burgers the sauce and place between mini burger buns.
Note: If you are using canned lentils and chickpeas, drain and rinse them well before patting dry.